School’s Out – Pool Time’s In

My kiddos have outgrown the pool. At almost 17 and 12, they’ve lost interest in spending their entire summer cannon balling off the diving board and swimming aimlessly from end to end with goggles they’d surely lose by the end of the day.

However, back in 2017 when I originally wrote this post, spending short and long bouts at the pool was our main form of exercise and entertainment.

And while a diet of chips and popsicles is fine every once in a while, I didn’t want that to be our normal.

So, in unsurprising news, I “systemized” what I packed according to “the amount of rest breaks” we would be staying. After all, that is the only way kids understand time at the pool, anyways.

For all the parents still in that wonderful season of life where the pool provides hours of exercise and electronic free entertainment for their munchkins, I hope this:

  • saves you time at the grocery store
  • saves you energy in the kitchen packing snacks
  • keeps your pool time fun and nutritious.
1.  Pack Light.  Bring more, eat more.  In sight, in mind.  

The chances of over consuming increases the more variety and quantity that is in front of you.  

And let’s be real… your kiddos are swimming, YOU are the one in front of the food the ENTIRE time as you read, tan, or chat with friends.

If you pack 1/2 the pantry, good luck not eating 1/2 the pantry when all the goodies are in front of you calling your name.

I have some practical ideas below.

2. Pack per rest break.

If packing for the pool becomes a hassle, you are less apt to take advantage of short bouts at the pool. What a shame! Free play is electronic free, socialization time.

If you can only fit in one hour at the pool, it can be as easy as grab a towel, water bottles, goggles and go play.

If you’re staying longer, however, here’s where I want you to take some notes, get some ideas, and customize for your family.

3.  Create a predictable home base and stack from there.

* Your “Home Base” is for 2 rest breaks at the pool or 2 hours of play. Hydration and nutritious, easy to digest carbs is the priority.

Grab Water + Fruit

* Think strawberries, citrus, melons, cucumber, pineapple
* Salt can provide extra electrolytes and enhance the flavor of your fruit. Even my kids love to add Tajin salt on most of their fruit!!!

* 3-4 Rest Breaks – Home Base + STACK a meal to your home base!

While for the kiddos that might mean something as simple as ham and cheese or PBJ sandwiches, I often see adults get themselves into trouble not packing anything for themselves.

Bad idea!

Let’s chat “Adult Lunchable” here for a second….

1. Protein:
a. purchase a shrimp cocktail ring for the week. Grab about 15 of those and put in a portable container with ice.
b. Deli Meat works like a charm here as well.

2. Veggies: PICKLED everything! – dill pickles, pickled okra, pickled green beans, pickled beets. You can EAT TONS of this stuff for very little calories!
I have nothing against baby carrots but there’s a lot to explore in the pickled foods!

3. Fat: Cheese stick, Laughing Cow cheese

* 4+ Rest Breaks – Home Base + STACK a meal to your home base + Treat Yo’self!

Holy cow, you’ve made it all day. Everyone is worn out but happy.

Clean up, head to the concession stand, grab a popsicle or ice cream for the kids. Once you’re home and the kids are settled, walk over to freezer for your pre-made a “protein ice cream sandwich”

* 2 chocolate graham crackers
* sugar free whip cream + greek yogurt
* make it a sandwhich
* freeze it
* eat it

Congratulate yourself for a day well spent!

I realize I have not exhausted all snacking options but the idea here is AUTOMATION.  

But, between remembering the towels, goggles, pool toys, pool jumpers, sunscreen, and keeping the iphones dry… if you can make packing the cooler a no brainer… it’s a hella summer fun win!!

You can absolutely keep it simple, keep it predictable, without chips becoming the main food group for the next 8-12 weeks.

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