Summer Time is Often Weight Gain Time

Most East Texas school children spend their summer vacation being active outdoors, but the summer months are also the time of year kids put on excess weight.

A recent study found many kids spend their free time snacking on unhealthy foods while their parents are at work, but nutritionists said busy moms and dads can set boundaries on what their kids eat, without taking away the fun foods that kids like.

Parents should keep in mind that certain snacks are every now and then foods, not everyday foods.

Registered Nurse Amy McLeod, Director of Food Services for Woodland Heights Medical Center, said, "They can have snacks like chips every now and then, but you need to control how much of it [they eat]. Never let a child just have free rein in a kitchen; be able to open the refrigerator door at any time and get a snack whenever they want to. You need to have controlled snack times."

The study showed the difference between school and summer gain rates is especially high among Black and Hispanic children, and kids who were already overweight when they started kindergarten.