Believe it or not, summer break is almost here! Lazy days at the pool or beach offer a nice change of pace compared to the grind of the school year, giving the whole family a chance to relax before the back to school craze in a few months.

For many families, the freedom of summer can mean more snacking on chips and trips to the ice cream shop. Maintaining healthy eating over the summertime is possible though, particularly with a little planning ahead.

Here are tips to staying healthy this summer!

Create your summer plans now.

Now is a great time to sit down as a family and discuss summer plans as a group. What will the summer schedule be? Will you go on vacation? What are everyone’s expectations for the next few months?

Setting up a summertime schedule now – including activity time, mealtime and snack time – can cut down on frustrations and misunderstandings down the road. Getting everyone’s input (parents and kids) will help ensure a structured – and fun – summertime routine.

Make it fun.

Summertime, with its myriad of fresh fruits and vegetables, can actually be a wonderful time to introduce new foods to your family. Consider trying one new type of produce each week as a family. Compare notes on taste, texture and whether you’d try it again.

Check out our handy guide to what fruits and veggies are in season each month. Not sure how to select, store or cut the fruit or veggie you’re grabbing at the store? Our Produce Tips section is full of info on 60+ fresh produce items! Don’t forget: It’s more fun if everyone participates!

Other Fun Ideas:

Learn something new.

Late spring is the perfect time to start a garden. Growing your own vegetables can be as simple as getting a container, dirt, and some herbs or tomato plants from your local home improvement store. Even the youngest children can help with watering, weeding and harvesting.

Gardening not your thing? Many communities offer cooking classes, or have your children help you try out some new summer recipes, like this Spiralized Fruit Crumble, Lemon Chicken & Veggie Pasta, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese & Arugula Flatbread or Easy Homemade Strawberry Chia Jam.

For more summer activities, check out these ideas!

Make room for treats.

Fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods are great; but no summer would be complete without ice cream and pie! Make room in your summer plans for treats on a regular basis. Go out for ice cream on Wednesdays, or try your hand at pie making on Saturdays. Treats can be incorporated into a healthy diet when kept in moderation.

Summer is a time that many of us look forward to all year long. With a little planning, you and your family can enjoy it – without compromising your health. For more ways to stay healthy this summer, check out our Summer Treats board on Pinterest!