Staying Safe – Safe Family Picnics
Recipes and Nutrition Tips – Enjoy a Cold Summer Treat
Physical Activity Tips – Stay Hydrated When Active
Food Access Resources in Massachusetts – Summer Meals for Kids
Warm sunny days bring the perfect weather to go outside for a picnic. Keep these tips in mind to keep you and your family safe as you begin to spend more time outside and in local parks.
- Plan your visit. Confirm the park’s hours of operation and plan to go at an off-peak time to avoid crowds. This is usually at the begining and at the end of the day. Choose a picnic area at least 6 feet away from another group.
- Follow posted COVID-19 safety guidelines bring your face covering and hand sanitizer.
- Bring your own food, beverages, eating utensils, and blankets or chairs.
- Keep cold foods cold and cooked foods hot to reduce risk of food poisoning.
- Carry out any trash from your picnic and dispose of it at home. Many parks do not have trash or recycling options.
- Limit gatherings in outdoor places to groups of ten people or fewer.
Recipes and Nutrition Tips
Everyone enjoys a cold treat on a hot summer day. Try this healthy and easy-to-make One-Ingredient Ice Cream. It is made with bananas and will please everyone in your family – including vegans, the lactose-intolerant, and picky eaters. Bananas are high in potassium, which helps with heart health. This popular fruit is 75% water and a good source for hydration during the hot summer months. Add your favorite toppings to this treat, such as nut butters, berries, a sprinkle of chocolate chips, or a dash of cinnamon.
Interested in more recipes for summer treats? Watch this video to learn how to make frozen fruit cups.
Physical Activity Tips
Worried about exercising outside in hot weather? Use these precautions to prevent heat-related illnesses.
Exercising in hot weather increases our body temperature. To keep your body cool, drink plenty of water. Another helpful tip is to rehydrate during a pause in your activity. You might eat some fruit, like melon or berries.
Avoid peak daylight hours.
The sun’s rays are at their strongest and most dangerous between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Limit your exposure to the sun during these times.
If your body can’t tolerate the heat, don’t skip your workout or physical activity time. Try doing some workouts inside in the comfort of your own home. https://ymca360.org/on-demand
Companion planting is a great way to make the most of your garden. For almost every vegetable you grow, a beneficial plant can keep pests away or increase the nutrients in the soil. Certain types of plants repel pests because their smell, oils, and color repel insects. Here are a few examples.
- Grow basil near tomato and pepper plants because it will repel flies, mosquitoes, aphids, and spider mites. Onion and spinach plants will also benefit from basil as a companion plant.
- Marigolds are also a popular companion plant for tomatoes. They repel horn worms, nematodes, and other garden pests.
- Plant garlic near eggplant, cabbage family plants, and beans because the garlic will discourage Japanese beetles from eating the plants.
- Mums, chives, and onions are also known to repel insects. Plant carrots near onions to repel the carrot fly and chase away aphids.
Food Access Resources in Massachusetts
Check out this USDA tool to find summer meal sites for kids in your area, https://usda-fns.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=789a7a56a07f4e3dab873fd8c2918f9a .
Learn how to apply for the Massachusetts Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) for your family.
The SFSP serves nutritious meals to children when school meals are not available. Use this site to check your eligibility and apply for summer meals for children. https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1729