Children are always very physically active. The summer heat will sap their energy and will bring down their energy level to a minimum. As parents, it’s us who needs to take care of their bodies so it doesn’t get dehydrated this summer and stays fit. These summer foods are there (besides water) to rejuvenate the body and mind instantly in this hot tropical summer. So keep your pantry stocked with the following items to keep your family healthy.
1. Glucose: Glucose water is a man’s best friend this blistering summer. It is important to drink plenty of water in this season to keep you and your children hydrated. You can also add a couple spoonfuls of glucose powder to your bottle of water to avoid energy levels from getting drained. And if your children don’t like the sugary taste much, there are fruit flavoured glucose powders as alternatives.
2. Watermelon juice: Nothing beats the heat then having something cold and refreshing to drink to end a hot day with. Make some chilled watermelon juice at home and keep it in the freezer. When your children come home and indulge them with this light and revitalised drink rather than store bought cola. There are other types of melons as well that not only keeps one hydrated but helps digest better as well.
3. Brown Rice: As Bangladeshis, rice is the most common staple food for us to have in our major meals of the day. However, it is true that rice makes us slow and drowsy, especially in the afternoon. To avoid that, you can switch white rice with brown rice to have in your meals as a substitute. It is rich in manganese which produces energy in the body and will keep you and your family energised all day instead of making you drowsy.
4. Spinach: Spinach, like most leafy vegetables, is high in iron. Iron is an essential nutrient that gives the body its much needed energy. Lightly sauté spinach and make a salad of it or you can cook it to go along with your rice. It will help you avoid that summer afternoon energy slump.
5. Beans: Most types of beans like lentils, kidney beans and other such items are packed with complex carbs. These are good types of carbohydrates, which give you energy and keep you and your family active throughout the day.
6. Cucumbers: Cucumbers are perhaps one of the coolest vegetables found locally as it contains 90% water; it cools your body from inside out. Having lots of cucumbers every day will keep you hydrated and chilled. Make a juice out of it or a salad or just have it as a snack with carrots, this vegetable is sure to keep you energised.
7. Apples: The thing that apples do for our body in summer is that it gives us a burst of energy from the Vitamin C and B complex it contains. In addition to that, apples are also highly rich in dietary fibre. That is, this stays in our system longer as it takes more time to digest, so it keeps on refuelling our need for energy and get rids of the sluggishness we feel in this weather. A must have for your pantry.
8. Banana: Bananas are considered as a one of the most high-energy foods. They contain natural sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose which, like apples, give you instant energy. Make a banana smoothie or shake with ice, or even berries. This will give your children energy and fulfil other nutrition requirements as well. While at it grab a glass for yourself as well.
9. Proteins: Proteins are considered as an essential energy inducing foods. Fishes, lean meat and some vegetables, even eggs contain high counts of protein that you can intake. This will keep your energy levels up in the summertime.
Bad eating habits for summer: The most crucial point to remember if you are trying to retain energy levels in summer is to strictly maintain specific meal times. Munching between meals, especially at night confuses our metabolism and make it slow down, which makes you feel sluggish. So keep to strict meal times.
Another important point is to avoid sugary foods and oily fried foods, and any type of fast foods. These foods contain heavy ingredients that weigh your body down and make you inactive. Try to stick to light eating and foods that are nutritious and don’t contain fat.