Summer vacation is here. Without the pressures of school, many kids spend their days riding bikes, eating ice cream and going swimming with friends. One of the best things about summer vacation is having a break from the structure and order of school.

At the same time, structure and order help put parameters around our lives. It helps us know when to get up in the morning, when to go to bed at night, when to eat and how to spend our time.

During the summer, some kids become more active. Others spend their days conquering new video games, spraining their thumbs while texting and updating their social networking sites. Some kids wander in and out of the kitchen, finding new things to eat. Others get so busy they forget to eat meals. This lack of structure can create an environment where kids can find themselves in a world of weight loss trouble.

During summer vacation, parents should set their children up for success. Set a bedtime, wake-up time, schedule of daily activities and a menu. This structure will help children make significant strides in managing their weight, even while enjoying summer vacation.

~ Brian Fidlin, PsyD, director, NEW (Nutrition, Exercise and Weight Management) Kids Program

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