Thanks to the folks at Sprout Foods for this article on making summer weekends with toddlers fun & stress-free. I love their ideas, and think advance prep and having healthy snacks on hand are a great idea – not only for toddlers, but for big kids and adults, too.  I’m tempted to whine a little when I’m cranky and hungry myself!  Enjoy – Amy

Between cookouts, fireworks and barbecues, summer weekends are a whirlwind filled with activity and food. It’s important to enjoy the festivities, but also to keep toddlers on a fairly normal schedule to avoid the meltdowns caused by sugar crashes and exhaustion. There are ways to keep on napping and eating schedules while out and about to keep the whole family happy.

Here are tips help keep children on healthy eating, playing and napping schedules while on a long activity filled weekend:

  1. Bring an umbrella. An umbrella can give protection from the rain and sun. It can also be a great place to set up a quick nap for your little one. A blanket and some shade will provide the quick slumber necessary to keep them energized throughout the day.
  2. Bring the beach toys. Bring along some water toys, Frisbees and sand castle toys to keep busy. Whether you’re at the beach, the park or the fireworks, toddlers tend to get into trouble if they don’t have something to keep them distracted. Plastic toys can get dirty, wet and messy with easy clean-up.
  3. Prepare your meals ahead of time. While adults can find food at most venues, toddlers are picky and need to stick to healthier options. Think mess-free snacks, and throw organic quick snacks and meals like these in a purse or beach bag to keep your toddler happy.
  4. Keep hydrated. Bringing water will help to stay cool and refreshed throughout the hot summer day. Water bottles with filters are a great way to filter water from a drinking fountain while also being eco-friendly. Your toddler will be dehydrated from the sun and activity so drink up.

About Sprout Foods

Sprout Baby Food’s mission is simple: provide children, and the parents who feed them, with fresh and delicious whole foods that encourage happy and healthy eating. Founded in 2009, the entire product line is organic and features dishes and recipes created by renowned chef Tyler Florence, a 15-year Food Network veteran, author and father of three and one of Sprout Food’s founders. Using unique cooking methods and seasoning the recipes with gentle, beneficial herbs and spices, Sprout Foods has created tasty, unique, nutritious combinations that children – and their parents – love.