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Dietetic interns teach kids about healthy summer meals

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, swimming, and outdoor activities. However, it can also be a time when kids may forget about healthy eating habits and indulge in unhealthy foods. This is where dietetic interns can step in and teach kids about healthy summer meals.

Dietetic interns are nutrition professionals who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree in nutrition and are currently completing their supervised practice experience to become registered dietitians. As part of their training, dietetic interns are required to complete a community nutrition rotation, where they work with various community organizations to provide nutrition education and counseling to individuals and groups.

One such organization that dietetic interns can work with is summer camps. Summer camps are a great place for kids to have fun and make new friends, but they can also be a place where kids may indulge in unhealthy snacks and meals. By working with summer camps, dietetic interns can teach kids about healthy summer meals and help them make healthier food choices.

Here are some tips that dietetic interns can share with kids to help them make healthier food choices during the summer:

Choose water over sugary drinks: When it's hot outside, it's important to stay hydrated. Encourage kids to drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda or sports drinks, which can be high in calories and sugar.

Add fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks: Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients that are important for growing bodies. Encourage kids to add fruits and vegetables to their meals and snacks, such as adding berries to yogurt or having carrot sticks with hummus.

Choose whole grains: Whole grains are a good source of fiber and can help kids feel full for longer periods of time. Encourage kids to choose whole-grain bread, pasta, and rice instead of refined grains.

Make healthy swaps: Encourage kids to make healthy swaps, such as choosing grilled chicken instead of fried chicken or having a side salad instead of French fries.

Plan ahead: Encourage kids to plan their meals and snacks ahead of time, so they are less likely to make unhealthy choices when they are hungry and on-the-go.

Dietetic interns can also teach kids how to prepare healthy summer meals. Here are some healthy summer meal ideas that dietetic interns can share with kids:

Grilled chicken skewers with vegetables: Encourage kids to skewer chicken and vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions and grill them for a healthy and tasty meal.

Fruit and yogurt parfait: Encourage kids to layer Greek yogurt with fruit like berries and granola for a healthy and tasty breakfast or snack.

Veggie burger with sweet potato fries: Encourage kids to make their own veggie burger with a whole-grain bun and top it with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Serve it with sweet potato fries for a healthy and satisfying meal.

Grilled fish tacos: Encourage kids to grill fish like tilapia or cod and serve it in a whole-grain tortilla with toppings like avocado, cabbage, and salsa for a healthy and tasty meal.

By working with summer camps and teaching kids about healthy summer meals, dietetic interns can help promote healthy eating habits and prevent childhood obesity. These healthy eating habits can also carry over into adulthood, leading to a healthier population overall.

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