Summer health

10 ways to help your child thrive this summer.

By GreatSchools Staff

Family fitness fun

Make this the summer you all get in shape — family style. Walking is a great way to explore your neighborhood — or unfamiliar corners of your home town.


Healthy snacking

If summer means a diet of popsicles and snackbar fare, mix it up with six healthy snacks your kids will devour.


Summer health check

Before taking off on a family vacation, now is a good time to have a complete health and safety check. Even if you don't plan to travel, make a doctor's appointment now if your child needs any vaccines or boosters, or a sports physical to participate in athletics in the fall. If you schedule an appointment early, you'll avoid the end of summer rush.


Teach kids to pitch in

Summer chores are a perfect way to teach kids responsibility — and give yourself a break. (Their future roommates and/or spouses will thank you!) Try our easy-to-use chore chart to get you started, and learn more about teaching kids responsibility.


Hunt some greens

Try a scavenger hunt at the farmers' market for some tasty learning.


Screen limits

Check out these easy ways to limit time in front of the computer and TV, so summertime doesn't equal screentime at your house. (If things have really gotten out of hand, consider a screen-free week.)


Fruit on a stick

For a cool snack on a hot day, all you need is shish-kabob sticks and lots of fresh fruit. Try grapes, berries, melon balls, banana, apple — whatever you can fit on a stick.


Help your child make friends

Does your child have trouble making friends? Ask her teacher which kids your child gets along with and invite them over (with her permission, of course). Play dates are a great way for your child to practice and improve social skills. More ways to help your child make and keep friends.


Best breakfast

As you gear up for the new school year, consider: is you child getting the fuel she needs for learning? A protein-rich breakfast — eggs, milk, cottage cheese, whole grains, fruit, yogurt — is a far better way to start the day than a bowl of sugary cereal. Check out these tasty, healthy breakfast ideas.


Just don't do it

Starting a new school year can be demanding, so as the school year gears up, set aside even a small amount of time each week to do absolutely nothing with your kids. Make a pitcher of lemonade, find a shady spot under a tree, and spend a leisurely hour or two spinning stories and talking about your dreams.