Serving Up Summer: The Healthy Summer Family Guide

Screen Shot 2013 05 31 at 9.58.30 AM Serving Up Summer: The Healthy Summer Family Guide

Let’s face it, as FM residents we love our summertime and soak up every last drop of it when it finally shows up. We never take a moment of it for granted, unlike some of those year-round warm city residents. Obviously, we have no bitter feelings toward them, their perma-tans or coatless winters… eh hem, okay, maybe we are a little resentful.

Make this summer the best and healthiest summer your family has ever had. It’s never too late to instill healthy eating and exercise habits into your family’s daily life. Since the summer comes with many hours of family time, when better to actively put those healthy habits to use? Here are a few ways to keep your family healthy, protected and to make healthy lifestyle changes while you have some quality time together.

Skin Protection With the dog days of summer comes the drip-dropping sweat. While it is a top priority to keep kids protected from the sun, it’s also just as important to protect your skin. Most of us have good intentions about staying fully protected from the sun, but many times it gets away from us and we end up looking like a boiled lobster. The FDA has also made some positive adjustments to the way sunscreens are marketed, which promises full protection for the consumer and are important to know when packing for a day at the beach or in the sun. Dr. Rachel Ness of Dermatology Associates in Fargo provided some top tips and advice for families bathing in the rays this summer.

Gym Memberships Just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean you have to pass up your gym time. Sign up for a family membership and enjoy family time while getting your dose of gym time. Many gyms offer daycare centers which allow kids to run wild with daycare attendants. Some gyms even offer organized sports or fitness programs to keep your kid active and outdoors throughout the summer months. Monthly family memberships tend to be more affordable and are a great idea for a daily family activity. Here are some local gyms that offer family memberships:

Playground There always comes a time when the family needs to get out of the house for some fresh air. The perfect place for everyone to find peace of mind is at the playground. Parents can sit back and let their kids roam, while the kids can work off some of their pent-up energy. There are numerous playgrounds within the FM area but here are some of the local favorites to check out.

Elephant/Percy Godwin Park 100 19th Ave. N, Fargo

Island Park 302 7th St. S, Fargo

Lindenwood 1905 Roger Maris Dr, Fargo

Ridgewood Park 1818 31st St. S, Moorhead

Gooseberry Park 100 22nd Ave. S, Moorhead

Grilling There is nothing easier, or healthier, than grilling out on a beautiful summer night; as long as you have the right food choices for grilling. It can be as easy as cooking up some meat, fish and veggies. For a twist, throw them together to make some juicy kabobs. Take advantage of FM’s great farmer’s markets by picking up fresh veggies to put on the grill. Toss asparagus, sweet potatoes, eggplant and peppers on the grill for a healthier side dish than potato salad. Want to clean up your grilled meal even more? Try fish and chicken over hamburgers and hot dogs.

Check out these local farmer’s markets.

Hildebrandt’s Farmer Market Opens mid June, Monday through Sunday, times vary. 349 E Main Ave, West Fargo hildebrantsmarket.com

Farmer’s Market at Dike East Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dike East. 100 2nd St. S, Fargo Like Farmers’ Market at Dike East Park on Facebook for more information

Farmers Market and Beyond Mondays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. From July 8 to October 3. 500 13th Ave West, West Fargo wfparks.org

Down By the Dike Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting in July. 100 2nd St. S, Fargo fargomoorhead.org Sydney’s Farmer Market

810 30th Ave. S, Moorhead

sydneyshealthmarket.com Summer Snacks and Hydration

Kids will be kids and they will crave sweets. With a summer schedule, sometimes their diet isn’t quite as set as it is during the school year. It’s important for kids to learn healthy eating habits at an early age to avoid making unhealthy decisions later on in life. While it isn’t entirely possible to cut sugar out of a child’s diet, there are ways to minimize the intake and avoid added sugars. Stock the fridge with fruit and veggies, so kids get used to seeing it and go for it first. When it comes to hydration, nothing is better than water. Since kids can be fussy and don’t always crave water, try to pay attention to how much sugar is in the drink. Just because it says “vitamin D” or “juice” does not mean it’s a clean choice for little ones. Check the label and steer clear of anything that contains high amounts of sugar, which is overlooked in many soft drinks, juices and sports drinks.

At the Fargo Public Library Summer is the perfect time to utilize the local libraries and get the whole family to put their nose in a book.

“We offer so many great programs and events that help to prevent kids from backtracking or losing information over their break,” explained Melisa Duncan, Community Relations Specialist of the Fargo Public Library. With dozens of libraries in the FM area, all offering great interactive programs and events, there is no reason not to partake. Check out these great resources and events at local libraries!

Dig into Reading! This runs June 4 through August 3. As Fargo Public Libraries’ “Reading Incentive Program,” it encourages kids at any age to dive into books in a fun and exciting way. Activities will be held at all three library locations.

June events for Kids

Thursday, June 13 at 2 p.m. at the Carlson Library

Storytime and Craft: “Burrowing Animals” 

A free, fun event teaching kids about animals that burrow with stories and crafts.

Monday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Dr. Carlson Library

Introduction to Geocaching. Kids are invited to come out and learn the ABC’s of geocaching.Thursday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library

Thursday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Troll Stories with Storyteller/Author Lise Lunge-Larsen at Main. Storyteller and author Lise Lunge-Larsen will take the kids into a world of magical imagination and fairytale.

June events for Teens

Wednesday, June 12 at 2 p.m. at the Northport Library

Crafts for Teens: Blackout Poetry. Use your creativity to produce a unique poem by blacking out words from newspapers or books. Pre-registration is required. Supplies are provided for this free event.

Thursday, June 20 at 2 p.m. at the Main Library

Crafts for Teens: Tie Dye T shirts. Create a funky tie dyed T-shirt with fabric paints. Pre-registration is required.

Tuesday, June 25 at 2 p.m. at the Carlson Library

Mini Robot Races. Come on out for the races. Make a mini robot and try your luck at a race. Find out how to create a robot by attending! This free event requires pre-registration.

June Events for Adults

Saturday, June 8 at 10 a.m. at the Main Library

Coffee: Grounds for Conversation. Wake up with coffee and conversation. Java expert, Angelique Kube of Fargo’s Atomic Coffee, will lead an informational discussion about all you need to know about coffee. Stop by to learn some facts about your daily cup of Joe and to sample some free brews.

Monday, July 15 at 7 p.m. at the Main Library Algona Branch Camp # 1: Moorhead’s World War II German Prisoner of War Camp. Mark Peihl, Archivist with the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County Moorhead, will delve into the lives of POW who lived and worked on local farms in Moorhead throughout 1944 and 1945.

For more information:   Contact Lori West at 701-476-5977 for information about Dr. James Carlson Library, located at 2801 32nd Ave. S, Fargo. Contact the Children’s Librarian at 701-241-1495 for information about the Main Library located at 102 N. 3rd St, Fargo.

Contact Teen Librarian, Bree, at 701-476-5978 or teens@cityoffargo.com for information about the Northport Library located at 2714 N. Broadway, Fargo.

You can find information on all the Fargo Libraries at cityoffargo.com/library. Also check out events happening at the West Fargo Public Library at westfargolibrary.org and Moorhead Public Library at ci.moorhead.mn.us.

In the water:

On 90 degree days in Fargo-Moorhead, the pool is the ideal place to set up camp with the family. It’s a great way to keep the kids active and cool on most summer days, minus the stormy ones. Whether you have a pool party in the backyard or go to a local pool, swimming is one of the best low impact workouts and is great for all ages. It makes for the perfect activity for kids of all ages, moms, dads and even grandparents. The great thing about the Fargo-Moorhead area is how many public pools are available. So grab the kids, sunscreens, some floates and head to get your feet wet.

Check out these locations for parent/child summer swimming lessons to ensure you and your child are aware of all the rules and are able to safely enjoy splashing around. Visit their websites for more information on times, locations, days and prices. YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties Aquatics: ymcacassclay.org Concordia College Swimming Pool: cord.edu Minnesota State University Dragon Swim School: msumdragons.com

At the campfire: After a long summer day, snuggling up by the campfire with stories and s’mores is the perfect way to wind down. The only way to really enjoy a campfire is to avoid getting eaten by those pesty summer bugs that love to nibble and irritate us. Bug repellent is an absolute must. Dr. Ness says when choosing a repellent; make sure the DEET concentration is no greater than 10 percent and to avoid using DEET on a child younger than two months.Spraying repellent on clothing is always better and safer than directly on skin and helps to avoid irritation that can occur as well as absorption. Remind your child to protect their face by turning away when spraying repellent and to step out of the vapor cloud immediately to avoid inhalation.

Allergies: The dreaded sniffles, sneezes and itchy eyes; it’s the perfect way to ruin a fun family outing. Over-the-counter medicine will temporarily mask these nasty allergy symptoms. However, over time, most bodies become desensitized to them and they stop working. It’s worth taking the extra time to go in and check out what the real source of the symptoms are through allergy testing.

If your child is showing symptoms, listen to what they are and be sure not to confuse them with irritation from a day of playing in the dust and wind. Be extra cautious if you or your child has asthma, as allergies can worsen the results of asthma. “Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors and you cannot hold the kids hostage because they have allergies… you just have to treat it. Now, nasal spray is available through prescription, so they can use it and minimize the symptoms. Let kids be kids… let them play,” urged Dr. Yeang Eng, Allergy and Immunology specialist at Sanford Southpointe Clinic.

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