Snacks, snacks and meals under the umbrella? All the suggestions of Giulia Marchesan, blogger of children with suitcases and mothers, and of Angela Spadafranca, biologist and nutritionist of the International Center for the Study of Body Composition (Icans) of the University of Milan,
Apart from ice cream and popsicles, the little ones on the beach are not interested in food, distracted by games in the sea and with the sand. It is up to the parents to guarantee them ahealthy eating, balanced, with fresh but also delicious dishes. Better the classic ham sandwich or a colorful cereal salad?
We have gathered the opinion of Giulia Marchesan, travel and family vacation expert and founder of the bambiniconlavaligia site, which is part of the Italian network of travel bloggers Tbnet, and of Angela Spadafranca, graduated in Biological Sciences and PhD in Clinical Experimental Nutrition, Specialized in Food Science who works at the International Center for the Study of Body Composition (Icans) of the University of Milan.
In this article
1. “Schiscètta” and drinks under the umbrella
«Exposing yourself to the sun with the necessary protections, avoiding the hottest hours of the day (12-15) is good for the mood and health of young and old – explains Dr. Spadafranca -. However, we must not forget that to better face a hot summer day it is essential to maintain a good state of hydration and of good supplies of vitamins is mineral salts: for this reason it is important to propose to our children to drink water and, to ensure a good supply of vitamins and minerals, good seasonal fruit or vegetables to munch on. For example, fennel, carrots, peppers, Cherry tomatoes are great choices to have on hand. For this, equip yourself with “schiscètte” containing fresh fruit diced or raw ready-to-eat vegetables is ideal. Also not to be excluded is the possibility of bringing a thermos containing juice or centrifuged of fruit and vegetables to be preferred to industrial alternatives often rich in sugars ».
2. Weaning and first two years
«For the first baby food, the ideal is to bring a thermos with the soup ready, already topped with Grana cheese is extra virgin olive oil, which is kept at the right temperature until meal time – specifies Giulia Marchesan -. From 12 months up to two years of age you can switch to formats such as the stars, but the formula remains the same. And from the age of two onwards, even on the beach, children can eat the same things as adults ».
3. For the whole family: pasta or cereal salad
At lunch, go ahead for the cereal salad. “The classic rice, but also those of barley, spelled or oats, which children like so much”, resumes the mother-blogger. And how seasonings? “Bet on simplicity is lightness, so the whole family will like it: I usually choose ingredients such as mozzarella, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, olives, diced ham, and grilled vegetables by myself such as aubergines, courgettes and peppers. No pickled vegetables, because the little ones don’t like the sour taste », he explains. Also the alternative ofpasta salad it is practical and fast: «In this case I recommend dressing only with tomatoes, olives and mozzarella». If, on the other hand, you want to focus on sandwiches, to make adults and children agree, use «sandwich bread (preferring wholemeal bread for the best fiber and B vitamins), lettuce, tomato and then turkey breast or cooked ham or even grilled chicken breast ».
4. Flavors from abroad
“From the holidays I shared with foreign friends, I learned that new flavors can be greatly appreciated by children – adds Giulia Marchesan – For example the couscous with vegetables or a Ukrainian recipe that includes grilled vegetables seasoned with onion, pine nuts and raisins: my children really like the surprisingly light taste of this dish ».
5. How many meals? Not abundant but frequent
“On the beach it is better to give to children not abundant but frequent meals: in this way we guarantee them the right energy and leave them more free to play and swim », continues Spadafranca.
However, the most awaited moment remains there snack: «Icicles and ice creams are allowed but better if they are not consumed daily; rice cakes, crackers and cereal bars are not typically summer snacks but they remain valid possibilities especially to appease any hunger pangs. Homemade pies or chiffon cakes are tasty solutions that will surely find the approval of the little ones and that can be consumed every now and then », concludes the nutritionist.
6. In the mountains and in the city
«Mountain nutrition is a little more energetic, especially if you plan to do long walks – concludes Giulia Marchesan -. Usually in these cases I also bring bits of cheese, yogurt is bars of chocolate, which moreover keep better due to the lower temperature ». For those who stay in the city, a nice one picnic in the park it will make the little ones happy: “On these occasions it is ideal to prepare inviting savory pies the day before: with zucchini, ricotta and eggs, or with spinach, ricotta and parmesan or finally with cooked ham and fontina cheese”.