COPY-Poor eating plumps kids up over summer break

NATIONAL (NBC) - If you're having a tough time getting your kids to eat right this summer you're not alone; when school lets out so do good eating habits for many children.

But with a little planning, one dietitian says you can keep your child's diet under control.

Kerry Wyscoki is a mother of two, and during the summer getting her kids to eat healthy can be a challenge.

"They would order hot dogs, fries and a Slushie everyday without fail if I allowed it," said Wyscoki.

Registered dietitian Emily Camiener says more freedom in the summer leads to more eating for many kids, so parents need to pay attention.

For example, make sure your child isn't confusing thirst for hunger.

"A lot of kids say 'I'm starving,' but they really have to think to get water in them first," said Camiener.

Fresh fruit is a healthy snack option.

If you're going to pack something for your child to take during the day, keep in mind that some fruits like cherries and grapes and travel better.

"You want to take something that won't get bruised so when the child opens up the snack is healthy and looks and tastes good because children are very affected by what the food looks like," said Camiener.

Experts say kids can still indulge in the occasional sweet treat, like frozen fruit bars, popsicles and low fat ice cream.

"That's to lower the amount of fat and total calories for the day," said Camiener.

Another tip: Teach your kids to order the smallest portion when they're out.

Just because the kids are staying up later in the summer, doesn't mean they have to eat longer.

Consider putting a time limit of when the kitchen closes.

And of course keeping active and getting plenty of exercise during the summer is important.

Remember, kids follow their parents' lead when it comes to making good nutritional choices.

Posted by Logan Smith