For many, summer is a time to relax and ditch daily routines for spontaneous adventures. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to completely veg out and veer off of healthy habits. Keeping healthy habits can be extra difficult for kids. Keep your kids busy this summer with these healthy summer habits to help them live well throughout the year!

Keep Moving

Even if just for your peace of mind, it is extremely important for kids to remain active during the summer months. They are going to have a lot of summer excitement and ramped up energy. Make sure they’re expending it accordingly! Have them try out a sports program or take a family hike. Even just daily walks with the dog can help! Do your best to limit their screen time and encourage them to find creative ways to keep active this summer.

*We also feel it’s important to remember how important hydration during the summer is as well. Whether your kids are playing indoors or out, it’s crucial they rehydrate enough each day to avoid heatstroke and dehydration.

Eat Fresh

And no – we’re not talking Subway sandwiches. It can be easy for kids to fall into the “I’m hungry” cycle once school is out due to lack of structure and routine. Summer is (in our opinion) the best time of year for fresh fruits and vegetables. Do your best to try and serve produce with every meal. You can prep veggies like carrots, peppers and cucumbers or fruits to quick and easy snacks. Keep your meals simple and let your kids help in the planning and prepping processes. Children tend to react positively when they have a choice in what they eat. And they are more likely to eat those healthier veggies when they are able to help cook them! Not to mention, cooking together is a great way to bond and make lasting memories in the kitchen!

Follow a Night Time Routine

Your kids may not agree but establishing a bedtime routine now is a great habit to start keeping. A bedtime routine not only encourages your kids to get the sleep they need (they are still growing and developing after all). But it’s also a way to help your kids to begin to practice self-care. Create a routine you can participate in together to show them how important it is to take even just 5 minutes for themselves each day.

Continue Learning Through the Summer

Just because your kids aren’t in a classroom setting doesn’t mean learning for the summer is over. Academic challenges are just as important as physical exertion during the summer months. Keep your kids challenged this summer by having them engage in reading, playing word games, and puzzles. Make a day of learning and travel to the Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museums, the Heinz History Center, or even the brand-new Museum Lab. Utilize incentives if you need to, but hopefully you can find some brain-challenging activities your kids actually enjoy doing (did someone say, “Escape Room”?).

Let Them Get Dirty

We know that some of the “mom” accounts on social media showcase pristine homes with well-dressed kids. But if we’re being honest, we know that isn’t the reality for many families – and that is MORE than okay. Get down and dirty this summer. Run in the rain, jump in the mud, get dirty. One fun (yet educational and beneficial) way to get down and dirty this summer is to start your own backyard garden. While it might be a little late to start a garden from seedlings, a number of grocery stores and greeneries sell already sprouted produce you can transfer into your garden. Gardening can be a great way to teach your children about the importance of fruits and vegetables, as well as the responsibility of taking care of plants. Plus, they get to play in the dirt – everyone wins!

CPA Family Counseling 

Counseling can be a helpful tool to help you make mindfulness techniques a part of your daily life. Sharing your family stressors with your therapist can help you both stay on the same page and keep you accountable in working towards your goals. Therapy and counseling are safe spaces where you can voice your concerns, develop coping and communication skills, and find the support you need.

Remember, therapy is hard work! It can feel extremely uncomfortable and even exhausting. Having a hand to hold and help guide you will only add to your personal success. Cristina Panaccione and Associates Counseling has two locations in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and one in the Robinson area. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help you stress less this summer!


* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.

Amber Kottner – LPC

Amber Kottner is a Licensed Professional Counselor and earned my Master of Arts degree in counseling from Waynesburg University. She has over 10 years of experience in the mental health field. She enjoys working with families, children, and adults.  Amber strives to make the therapeutic process as easy as possible by creating an open and supportive environment.

Amber enjoys helping others and strives to assist you in your journey.  She believes that each individual is authentic and deserves an approach that best fits them.  Therefore, she enjoys working from eclectic approaches, including an emphasis on cognitive-behavioral techniques, person-centered therapy, and solution-focused goals.

Therapy is a special partnership.  Amber is here to help make an improvement in your life.  You decide what you want to work on, and together, we will work to get you there in the best and most fitting way possible.