Summer is a time of rest and relaxation for many, and with that comes opportunity to eat and do whatever you want. Indulging every once in awhile in deliciously sweet and fatty foods isn’t a bad thing; however, it’s all about balance. In particular, it’s a good idea to keep your diet and activity in mind when you have more free and leisure time during the summer. Please note – it’s always a good idea to keep a good diet no matter what time of year it is, but just incase you need some help for the summer; here are a few tips on how to stay healthy and eat healthy during these summer months. DON’T DRINK SUGAR One of the biggest tips for keeping a healthy diet over the summer is to try to not drink those super sugary drinks. Stay away from sodas, high-fructose drinks and juices. Drinks with high sugar should definitely be avoided or taken out of your diet. Switch over to water or flavored sparkling water for that extra twist of flavor. There are definitely other alternatives to drinking soda all the time. You are already in taking sugar from your food and your desserts so don’t drink your sugar as well. MAKE FIBER YOUR FRIEND Fiber is a key to keeping a healthy diet during the summer months. Multiple studies have shown that fiber is correlated to weight loss as well as weight maintenance. Since fiber passes through your system undigested, your body has to work harder and longer to move it out. So fiber ultimately helps rev up your metabolism while giving you a feeling of fullness. Eat fiber-filled foods and at least 25 grams of fiber a day: beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. TAKE A FAST FOOD VACATION Kids love fast food but that doesn’t mean you should park your family at the nearest McDonald’s every day to escape the dreadful summer heat. Trade those french fries and big macs for healthy picnics at the park or lake. Take a pass on the Whataburger or Taco Cabana and instead, load the cooler with healthy alternatives like turkey sandwiches or light salads. Whatever you choose make sure to incorporate protein in every meal. Protein releases insulin at a slower rate, and that keeps your blood sugars – and your energy level – constant throughout the day. LIMIT THE SWEET STUFF Carnivals, fairs, vacations, beaches, they’re magnets for candy-coated apples, powdered funnel cakes and colorful slushies. As a parent you don’t always want to deprive your child of something fun and delicious like cotton candy, but just know to balance the bad with the good. If your child eats some cotton candy, make sure they drink water and have a healthy lunch or dinner. It’s all about a healthy balance and limiting the sweet, not completely denying it. KEEP ACTIVE! Sure, Texas has some brutally hot summers and few want to run around outdoors in the heat of the day. But find other ways to stay active. Hit the gym or encourage swim races at the pool and playing fun and creative outdoor games after sundown. If all else fails, turn on the Wii in an air-conditioned room for everyone to enjoy. Keep exercise a part of your vacation too. Biking, jogging, and signing up for active activities, rather than lazing at the pool or beach, will do everyone’s body and brain a whole lot of good. GET ENOUGH SLEEP Sleep is as important as anything else. Summer can be a great time for parties and a lot of sleepless nights, but it’s important to keep a regular sleep schedule and enough sleep to keep a complete healthy body and mind. There are so many health benefits to getting a good night’s rest so make sure to get some sleep this summer. Find great adventures this summer, but keep your eating habits and your health in mind as your travel the world or just stay right here in your own backyard. Take these tips and make them your own. You won’t regret keeping your diet and your activity healthy this summer or for the rest of the year. Have a fun and healthy summer!