Do you ever get stumped for ideas when it comes to entertaining your kids during the school holidays?
For holiday snacks, try chopped-up raw carrots or peppers with a selection of dips
If you do, don't worry. You're not alone! Lots of us find it hard to keep the kids amused when they're off school. Especially on a tight budget.
Here's our top tips on keeping them happy and healthy during the holidays.
It's unlikely that we'll have a totally rain-free summer. So take steps to prepare for any bad weather and stock up on fun and games to keep your kids occupied in the house.
Think jigsaws, modelling, painting, treasure hunts, board games and cooking.
Get cake-making ingredients and decorations in, stock up on finger and face paints and think up new games together.
You could even go one step further and brighten a rainy day with an indoor picnic or campsite in the living room!
It's likely your children will want friends over at some point during the holidays. So stock the cupboards up with healthy snacks and meals for them to enjoy.
Give the kids a chance to use their imagination and creativity. They'll have a much better day learning new skills with you than going square-eyed in front of a computer and the telly.
Out and about
We can't all afford to take the kids on lavish daytrips throughout the school break, much as we'd like to.
Remember to keep the kids protected from the sun
But there are ways to have frugal fun out and about without breaking the bank.
Many national museums are now free and are a great way to entertain and educate the kids for a day. You could also check the local schools and leisure centers to see what kids' sports and games activities they offer for the holidays.
Swimming is also a great way to exercise, as well as being fun and tiring them out for the evening. So get down to the local swimming pool, or if you're lucky, the sea.
You could also try walking with your kids around your local park or nature reserve. Play games like 'eye spy' to make it fun. And take a football, rounders set or frisbee to work up a sweat - for you and the children! Then finish it off with a picnic.
Remember to keep the kids protected from the sun. Use a high SPF sunscreen and stay out of the sun when it's at its hottest - usually 11am-3pm.
Food for thought
Given the choice, we can all imagine how our kids' meals would look if they made them themselves. The words 'health' and 'nutrition' probably wouldn't spring to their minds!
Take steps to prepare for any bad weather and stock up on fun and games
For daytime snacks, offer a bowl of fruit with yogurt, and include a few chips with some healthy sandwiches. That way the kids will get some balance to their lunch while still receiving a treat.
Keep food interesting by varying sandwich fillings and fruit each day and try new things like kiwi, grapes or melon chunks. Kids often enjoy food they can eat with their fingers, so try chopped-up raw carrots or peppers with a selection of dips.
Come snacktime, add extra vegetables or fruits to recipes. If your kids often pass on the vegetables, sneak them into a meal. Try vegetable or lentil soups, stews, vegetable-based pasta sauces and even vegetables chopped up in mash.