Healthy eating: a routine that’s easy to keep

When holidays come, whether it’s the parents’ or the kids’, many routines go on a break. There are no strict times to wake up, to go to bed nor to have meals. And while some rest and relaxation are certainly well deserved, summer’s bad eating habits can have not-so-good consequences on health and fitness.

Without adding stress to those sunny days, let us tell you that it is possible to eat healthy in summer, keeping the ice cream, increasing fruits and never forgetting hydration.

Easy to follow healthy eating tips for summer

Maintaining a healthy diet during summer can seem like a challenge, as there are so many “temptations”. Whether it is street food by the beach, a sugary ice cream cup or processed foods that save time in the kitchen. However, to eat well in summer, you don’t need to give up tasty or stress-free meals.

Glass of water being filled in an outside table.
  1. Drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day at regular intervals

A list of healthy eating tips could never start with anything but water.

It is important that children and the elderly are kept well hydrated, especially on hot days. Dehydration can manifest as headaches, dizziness, and dry skin, mouth, or lips. Watch out for the signs.

Glass of water aromatised with raspberries and mint.
  1. Swap sugary soft drinks for infusions and flavoured waters

A cold soda, with lots of ice and a lemon slice is always welcome on a hot summer day to refresh and temporarily kill your thirst. However, the amount of sugar in ordinary soft drinks, as well as preservatives and dyes, have no place in a healthy diet.

Opt for herbal and fruit infusions such as chamomile and pineapple infusion, or fruit-infused water, such as nectarine-, citrus-, blueberry-infused water. To have instant flavoured water, you can even freeze some fruits, cut up in pieces, and use them as “ice” in the water.

Fruit popsicles in a plate over a kitchen cloth.
  1. Make fruit ice cream with little or no added sugar

Summertime sure begs for ice cream, but not all ice creams are good options. Milk and chocolate ice creams are dense in calories and fats and poor in other important nutrients. The way to avoid it is to make your own mashed fruit and yogurt ice creams, using appropriate freezer shapes.

In addition to a healthy eating tip, homemade fruit ice creams are also a fun family activity tip – all kids will love being the Chefs.

Spinach and orange salad in a deep plate.
  1. Have light and frequent meals

Hot weather usually causes a certain loss of appetite, and in summer it is easy to accidentally skip meals. To avoid stomach aches and to avoid going too long without eating, have lighter meals during the day, but more frequently.

Eat plenty of raw fruit and vegetables in salads, using fruits and vegetables of the season. And while at home, keep pre-cut fruit in the fridge to encourage kids to eat healthier snacks.

What are the fruits and vegetables of the season in July, August and September?

Fruits - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and apricots, watermelon, melon, cantaloupe, plums, figs, grapes, lemon.
Vegetables - cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, potatoes, onions, courgettes, aubergines, green beans, leeks, celery, corn.

Wooden bowl of whole pasta.
  1. Prefer wholegrains

Choose wholegrain varieties of bread, breakfast cereals, pasta, and rice instead of their refined counterparts. Wholegrain products retain a good part of the nutrients, in particular fibre, unlike refined cereals. Thus, despite having a higher caloric content, wholegrains help balance blood sugar levels, increase calorie burn and help maintain a healthy weight.

Grilled chicken breasts, with cherry tomatoes and lettuce, on a kitchen cutting board.
  1. Focus on fish and lean meat

Because they are more easily digested, lean meats are the most suitable for summer, besides being healthier. Choose white poultry meat, lean red meat, and fish. Avoid pork, meat with apparent fat, poultry with skin and heavy meals in general.

Privilege cooked, grilled and baked goods. Avoid frying.

Cucumber soup bowl.
  1. Eat summer soups

Speaking of healthy eating tips, we could never forget the soup. Soup is a staple food in the Mediterranean diet. It is a wonderful way to stay hydrated and reducing caloric intake while maintaining all nutrition.

In summer, soups are usually left aside due to the warm weather, but that’s nothing a cold soup – such as gazpacho or cold pumpkin or cucumber cream – can’t solve. They are nutritious, light and refreshing.

Two tall glasses, of wine and water.
  1. Consume alcohol in moderation

Alcoholic beverages have many calories, low nutritional value and contribute to dehydration because they are diuretic.

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and always alternate with water or an infusion without sugar or caffeine, since it is also diuretic.

Fruit salad in a bowl on a wooden table.
  1. Make healthy snacks for picnics and beach days

On beach days, picnics, hiking days and other adventures away from home, choose to bring your own healthy snacks instead of relying on what’s available at your destination – which are often fast food or sugary and fat-rich snacks.

In summer, fruits are the best, tastiest, and sweetest snacks, even for those who are sweet-toothed. Wholegrain pasta or quinoa salads, veggie sandwiches, and raw vegetables (carrot sticks, cucumber slices, tomato salad, etc.) are good choices to bring in outings.