June 17, 2013

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Guest Post: Don’t Let Healthy Living Take a Vacation This Summer

Don’t Let Healthy Living Take a Vacation This Summer
Matt Herzog, CEO of Funky Monkey Snacks

As school lets out and summer begins, family trips, camp and lots of free time can mean a more lax eating schedule and menu for kids. How can parents keep them on track during carefree summer activities?

Below, Matt Herzog, father and CEO of healthy snack company, Funky Monkey Snacks, gives some tips on this topic:

  1. Don’t forget breakfast! It’s easy to forget about this meal when kids get up during the summer and head outside to play immediately. Have quick options on hand, such as oatmeal, yogurt, non-sugary cereal or whole grain toast with peanut butter.
  2. Try to stay on a schedule. Even though the regimented hours of school are no longer present, try to serve meals at approximately the same time they would have been eaten during the school year. This helps prevent unnecessary snacking and allows the family to plan ahead and spend mealtimes together. This also means that it’s good to still have a set bedtime, even if a bit later, so that everyone is getting plenty of rest.
  3. When traveling with children, make sure to pack plenty of healthy snacks to have on hand in case you get stuck in traffic, at the airport or someplace where healthy eating options are limited. Funky Monkey Snacks are a great option of course, but also pre-cut vegetables, whole grain crackers or homemade trail mix will also do the trick.
  4. Buy personalized water bottles for each child (with their favorite character, sports team, color, etc). This show of personality will help each child want to drink more water – a must for hot summer days. Plus, the individuality will prevent mix-ups about which bottle belongs to which child.
  5. Limit screen time and find fun activities outside. Movies, television, iPads and video games are all fun, but take advantage of the weather! Start a family garden and let your children choose what to plant so they are invested in helping it grow. Take walks, find hiking trails, bike to get frozen yogurt. Go to the beach and bring the Frisbee.

The bottom line is that even though summer should be filled with fun activities and some treats, it should not be an excuse to drop all the rules, or back-to-school time will be an even bigger hassle! Maintaining a sense of schedule, while throwing in fun, summer-specific activities and trips is the perfect recipe for a healthy and harmonious summer together.

Matt Herzog was a brand manager at General Mills, where he responsible for the launch of Yoplait Whips! as well as managing Chex Mix. Now, he is using his healthy snack food knowledge as the CEO of a small startup with an all-natural, freeze dried fruit snack (made in Brazil using fresh tropical fruit). Since becoming CEO, Funky Monkey Snacks has taken off, landing distribution through natural and conventional grocery stores, Amazon.com, as well as Walmart. He is also a father of two.


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