Clean labels

Summer is a great time to train children to read food and beverage labels while grocery shopping.

Thanks to clean labels, the process is easier today than just a few years ago.

The demand for more transparency and healthier food means our kids can actually pronounce most of the ingredients on packaging. Definitely a step in the right direction.

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Snackables

Have you snacked in the last 24 hours?

Research says, “Yes.” Actually more than 90% of us snack often during the day.

Moms complain about kids who “graze” through the summer, during frequent stops in the kitchen, but guess what? Children aren’t the only ones who snack.

Eatable art

This summer, museum exhibits are good enough to eat.

Foodies and kids will be especially pleased to sample art displays at some museums. Changing forever the notion that museums are stuffy and boring, edible art exhibits are attracting attention.

Look for special activities in children’s areas, too, with glow in the dark ice cream and invitations for kids to play with their food. Constructing works of art is especially fun when gummies and other candies are the ingredients.

Snackable summer time

Both the old food pyramid and USDA’s MyPlate have been replaced by consumers who don’t eat according to science.

That’s especially true during summer, when grazing kids roam non-stop through the kitchen.

Parents buying on-trend look for fresh (less processed) nutrient dense, simple options. But even with an Instagram-worthy bowl of organic whole fruit on the kitchen table, kids on the run still scour the cabinets for a candy bar.

At least we try…

Connected in a cocoon

Research says that parents are comfortable with kids having a connected toy or device, but only if it’s safe.

Security and data privacy continue to concern parents of digikids. Worries about online hackers or criminals locating a child through GPS tracking decreases if the “connected cocoon” around kids insures their safety.

A timely thought as schools close and screens open for the summer.

Cool treats

Creativity in the kitchen includes unusual ice cream sandwiches this summer.

Waffles, pastel French macarons and even churros are being used as the “wrapping.” These are true hybrid creations though, with flavors like mango sorbetto, sea salt caramel swirl and grasshopper tucked inside.

And it’s assumed that all are Instagram-friendly.

Healthy vending

If your child is already signed up for a summer reading program, he might be able to find more than good reading material at the local library.

Some public libraries have hopped on the healthy food bandwagon and offer a certain percentage of healthy options in their vending machines.

Local officials who approve “healthy vending policies” for libraries, parks and other county buildings put into law what many jurisdictions have already been doing.