(Family Features) State parks, local zoos and the beach are all great places to reconnect the entire family and make lifelong memories. The list of new adventures below is perfect whether your crew loves a taste of nature or cultural exploration. But no matter which adventure you choose, don't forget about hydration and nutrition so the whole family is properly prepared for a day of fun.
Optimize family-fun time by making sure you have everything you need before heading out the door, such as sunscreen, umbrellas and bug-spray, to ensure you can fully enjoy your day. When it comes to being nutritionally prepared, registered dietitian and author Patricia Bannan suggests these tips to keep your family properly fueled throughout the day:
- Munch in the Morning - If your day of adventure starts early, have easy breakfast options on hand. To keep your metabolism revved and hunger at bay, it's best to eat something small with protein and fiber within two hours of waking up. Greek yogurt with fruit or a slice of whole-grain toast with nut butter are easy breakfast options that provide a kick-start to your morning.
- Pack Healthy Snacks - Avoid costly and unhealthy food temptations at concession stands and rest-stops by bringing along nutritious snacks, such as all-natural SOYJOY bars. These gluten-free bars are made with ground whole soybeans and real fruit, providing a low-calorie, energy-sustaining option with a healthy dose of protein for an on-the-go snack option.
- Don't Skip Meals - Eating every 3-5 hours will help to keep your blood sugar stabilized and set you up for healthier choices the rest of the day. Curb your appetite between meals by packing pre-portioned snacks, like a mix of nuts and dried fruits.
- Bring a Cooler - A hot car can turn any snack into a melted mess, so pack a small cooler bag to keep things chilled. The most important addition to the cooler is water, so pack plenty to stay hydrated.
Now that you're ready for your adventure, choose an activity that your family will enjoy. Here are a few suggestions:
- Local or state parks - Chances are you're a short drive from a great public park. Do the research to find out if you can enjoy nature trails by foot or rent bicycles for the day. Many parks also have visitors' centers where kids can take part in crafts while learning about native animals and plants.
- Zoo - Get up-close-and-personal with wildlife. Check out a zoo in your town filled with lions, tigers and bears, or a petting zoo at a local farm where children can feed goats, sheep, ponies and more.
- Beach, lake or river - Pack the car for a day trip to a local waterway in your neck of the woods. Check and see if you can rent kayaks or paddle boats for a day of outdoor activity.
- Museums - Give the kids an adventure into the past, wildlife, outer space or the fine arts with a visit to a regional museum. Many museums offer special rates and programs for children to get involved. You may even find you have a mini Picasso or historian-in-the-making in your family.
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