learning is fun for kidsIt sure is hard to believe that we are even talking about going back to school yet, as the summer seems to have just started. That’s usually how it goes though! Sir Rebrum brings up a great point, that sometimes it’s good to be challenged with academics and to also ensure recess and time with friends that is available on a daily basis at school. So if the kids start whining about back to school, make sure and remind them that learning is fun for kids and they will get to see all of their friends again soon.

Until that first day of school actually is here though, and you need a little something to entertain the kids, make sure and download the coloring sheet below because remember, learning is fun for kids!

 

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In the summertime, we love to drink smoothies. Smoothies help us to stay hydrated and refreshed in the heat. They are also a great way to get our daily serving of fruits. Drink this mango berry smoothie for lots of disease-fighting vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium. Mangos, a July Foods of the Month, are a delicious combination of sweet and healthy.

Mango Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

2 cups fresh or frozen mango, cubed

1 cup blueberries

1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

5 ice cubes

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!

mango berry smoothie copy

UV Safety Month

We are in the dead heat of summer, in some places extremely sunny and hot outside. Whether the sun is beaming down strong or hidden behind a sheet of clouds, it is important to make sure and take the proper precautions to preserve your precious skin and avoid overexposure.

According to The American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, but also one of the most treatable. Of course they recommend taking the right measures to prevent skin cancer from developing.

Here are some tips that can help keep your skin safe during UV Safety Month and throughout the year:

  1. Wear SPF30 or higher with broad spectrum protection on all uncovered parts of skin and make sure to reapply if out in the sun for long periods of time.
  2. Cover up with protective clothing such as long sleeves, swim shirts for the kids, big floppy hats and sunglasses.
  3. Avoid spending too much time in the direct sun, usually between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when the sun’s rays are most intense.
  4. Even if it’s cloudy, make sure to follow the same rules, it doesn’t mean the sun’s rays aren’t getting through!
  5. Do your best to never let yourself get burned.
  6. Make sure and use a good moisturizer following a day in the sun to rehydrate your skin.

Take this sun safety IQ quiz from The American Cancer Society to make sure you are savvy when it comes to protecting yourself from those harmful rays!

Enjoy that time in the sun, but be careful!

Childhood Obesity Spike

Recently, articles have been circulating discussing the spike in childhood obesity during the summer months. Summertime doesn’t have to be an unhealthy time for kids. It’s important for parents and caregivers to be proactive and accountable for making sure kids are being offered healthy food options and providing times for exercise and physical activity fun.

Here are 6 ways to ensure healthier kids during the summer months:

  • Enroll kids in daily activities – If this is a realistic option financially, get kids signed up for summer day camps or sports teams to provide them with plenty of physical activity opportunities.
  • Engage in family exercise – To avoid the heat, schedule morning or evening physical activities together as a family – try a walk, a bike ride, or even enjoy the neighborhood swimming pool.
  • Monitor amount of snacking – During the school day, it’s difficult to snack out of boredom, so try and determine if kids are snacking just because, or if they are genuinely hungry.
  • Encourage healthy snacking – Eliminate or make junk food hard to find! Create a healthy snack drawer that is easily accessible to kids and cut up fresh fruits and veggies and store in the fridge in single serving containers. 
  • Limit screen time – This one is huge! Long summer days allow for more time spent on video games, watching television and of course using handheld devices. Set a daily time limit to make sure technology doesn’t take over your day (and your kids!).
  • Promote good sleep habits – Getting enough sleep is so important for good health. This can prevent sickness and when refreshed and rested, one is more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to food and exercise.

Let’s all commit to focusing on these healthy ideas for the rest of the summer to get the kids off on the right foot once school starts!

 

Calci M. Bone PerseveranceSports are good at teaching life lessons to kids. There are so many parallels to be used that will pay off later in life. In this case, sports is used to teach the lesson of perseverance and that hard work will eventually pay off. There will be struggles along the way and there may even be times where kids just want to give up. Teaching them perseverance at a young age will definitely benefit them in all of their future endeavors.

In this case, Calci M. Bone is struggling a bit. Let the kids get in some coloring and a little math on the coloring and activity sheets for today. The kiddos will want to see what happens when she puts her mind to something!

Get your perseverance-themed activity and coloring sheets below:

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Click Activity Sheet

 

Corn on the Cob

Corn is a July OrganWise Guys foods of the month and there’s no better time than the summer to enjoy the variety of ways that it can be eaten. In addition to some interesting facts and tips below, we are sharing some tasty recipes featuring this great summer food!

Interesting Facts

  • The traditional name is “maize.”
  • It is available in markets year-round, but the locally grown varieties purchased during the summer months taste the best and are usually the least expensive.
  • It grows in “ears,” each of which is covered in rows of kernels that are protected by silk-like threads called “corn silk” and encased in a husk.
  • It is a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.

Our Favorite Healthy Recipes

  • Summer Appetizers – Try corn with quinoa, white beans and basil, in a creamy, crunchy veggie dip, or in a black bean southwest salad before your healthy summer meal.
  • Snack with Corn –  Hosting a lighter fare event this summer? You can’t go wrong including corn into these tasty recipes including roasted kernels, bruschetta, black bean salsa, and healthy quesadillas.
  • Sweet Corn Ideas – Here are some sweet ideas including a blueberry salad, a kale salad with peaches, and healthy homemade corn bread.

What are your favorite ways to eat corn this summer?

Family Breakfast

We always love sharing great resources from our partner, TogetherCounts!

After nine months working hard in school, children look forward to a more relaxed schedule over the summer. For parents, it can be one long period of negotiating. From bed time to keeping up with the summer reading schedule, kids find a way to wear you down!

As members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), we encourage healthy summer activities like those you’ll find free as part of their free Together Counts™ program. The summertime months are typically an unhealthy time for kids as they are away from school and engage in more screen time and likely less healthy food options. The OrganWise Guys fully support getting healthy as family during the summer and year round!

At TogetherCounts.com you’ll find creative ways to get kids thinking about healthy habits over the summer months. Activities designed to continue the learning at home are developed by the experts at Discovery Education. This month there’s a fun one called “H is for Healthy Habits” and the entire family can get involved by doing an audit of their energy balance for a typical day. Kids especially like “playing teacher” over the summer months. This hands-on project helps them identify the entire family’s habits and complete a chart checking the energy balance and routines for each member in the morning, afternoon and evening. It provides opportunities for discussion about nutritious foods and the importance of being active each day. Thousands of children use the energy balance curriculum in schools, and the learning can continue at home.

But wait, there’s more! Once your family knows if they are in balance throughout the day, they can move on to part two of the activity and implement small changes where needed. The whole family can benefit by committing to one or two new “family” habits such as committing to eat a nutritious breakfast each morning or taking a walk after dinner. Finally, print and sign the “Proclamation of Energy Balance” included in the activity packet and post it on the fridge as a reminder throughout the summer.

Join the energy balance conversation by following the Together Counts program on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/togethercounts

Peter Pancreas AnxietyKids learn at a very young age that sometimes different things in life may cause anxiety and seem a little bit scary. Anxiety is not a bad thing, but a normal part of many situations that they will come across in life. It is important to teach them that it is okay to experience the feelings of anxiety and also how to deal with the feelings in a positive way.

Download the coloring sheet for today to see what has Peter Pancreas experiencing some anxiety of his own. This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about these feelings and the best way to deal with them! Good Luck!

Get your coloring sheet below to help discuss anxiety with your kids:Coloring Sheet Button

Our second installment of summery side dishes with corn features this delicious roasted corn with Brussels Sprouts recipe. (Last week, we featured parmesan corn with zucchini.) Corn and Brussels Sprouts provide fantastic health benefits like fiber and Vitamins K and C. Try to eat veggies like this at least 5 times a week to keep your OrganWise Guys healthy!

Roasted Corn and Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

2 cobs of corn, kernels freshly cut (or 2 cups of frozen corn)

1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and sliced thin

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat on the stovetop. When it begins to bubble, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, until the garlic begins to brown.
  2. Add the sliced Brussels Sprouts. Cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to crisp.
  3. Next, turn the stovetop to medium heat then add the corn. Continue to cook until the corn begins to brown on either side (about 10 minutes).
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

roasted corn and brussels sprouts

You may also like these other healthy corn side dishes this summer! Enjoy!

 

Tropical Fruit

Tropical fruits, an OrganWise Guys Foods of the Month, are such a fantastic food to eat all summer long because of their refreshing taste. It’s as if tropical fruits were made for summertime!

First, here are some tips and helpful information about a few popular tropical fruits:

Pineapple

  • Pineapple is derived from word pina, which was used to describe a pine cone by the Spanish.
  • Select pineapples with a nice, fragrant smell.
  • Store pineapple at room temperature for a day or two before serving to allow it to become softer and sweeter.

Mangos

  • There are more than 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world.
  • All varieties have a rich tropical flavor when ripe.
  • The best-flavored fruit have a yellow tinge when ripe; however, color may be red, yellow, orange, green, or any combination.
  • The better varieties are soft when ripe, creamy in texture with a rind that softens to be fully edible.

Watch this fun video where Peri Stolic teaches kids how to pick a ripe mango:

Kiwifruit

  • Kiwifruit is available year-round.
  • Select kiwifruit without bruises or soft spots. Buy firm ones and let them ripen at home for a juicier flavor.
  • A kiwifruit is ripe when plump and slightly soft to the touch with a fragrant smell.
  • The seeds are a great source of fiber, so be sure to eat them, too!

Now, to introduce some of these tasty treats to kids, try this interactive taste test worksheet to have them sample some of these yummy foods! Taste testing is a really fun way to introduce new foods to kids where they may typically be more close minded about trying new things.

We would love to hear about your at-home taste tests! Share with us how it went and include any pictures of the finished worksheets on our Facebook page!

Here’s to trying new tropical fruits!