(NAPSI)—For a great vacation experience, travel is not required—you can make priceless family memories with a staycation.

Staying at home saves time and budget for busy families. There are many ways to be a “local tourist” and enjoy an entertaining staycation that’s healthy and active.

Dr. Sonali Ruder, spokesperson for the Blueberry Council (aka the Foodie Physician), offers this advice on crafting a staycation to remember: “Spending time together and keeping kids’ minds and bodies going are important for a meaningful staycation. It can be as simple as taking walks or going to the playground. Bad weather? Get crafty with an art project. Put your devices away and play a trivia game that gets you thinking during dinner. And, of course, get kids in the kitchen to be your little sous chefs. It’s fun for them, but they can also practice their math and motor skills and learn about healthy eating.”

Savvy parents use all the tools at their disposal to keep kids busy and entertained during vacation season, and blueberries are here to help. They’re available—fresh or frozen—year-round. No muss, no fuss-just rinse and go. You can buy them by the boxful and eat them by the handful.

Ideas for Staycation Fun

Get the kids off the couch and into some entertaining activities.

• Start your day by tossing blueberries into your oatmeal, or make a batch of Dr. Ruder’s Blueberry French Toast Muffins.

• Invent your own scavenger hunt, indoors or outdoors.

• Practice counting or making shapes with blueberries.

• Explore “free days” at nearby museums.

• Whip up blueberry lemonade for an afternoon tea party.

• Picnic in the park or backyard with a basket of blueberries and healthy goodies.

• Assemble pizzas on whole-grain English muffins—kids’ choice of toppings!

Blueberry French Toast Muffins

Serves 12

4 large eggs

1 cup milk, any type

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

12 ounces whole grain bread, cut into small pieces (about 6 cups)

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Optional toppings: maple syrup, powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Whisk the eggs, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add the bread and stir to combine well. Fold in the blueberries. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Spoon equal portions of the bread mixture into the muffin pan, filling the wells almost all the way to the top. Bake in the oven for 20−25 minutes until muffins are puffed up and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool. Serve muffins plain or top them with a little bit of maple syrup or powdered sugar.

Blueberries are amazingly versatile and taste great on their own or in baked goods, kid-friendly blueberry slushies, or parent-ready blueberry bourbon sours. They complement a variety of flavors, cuisines and dishes.

The Healthy Part

Blueberries contain just 80 calories per cup, Dr. Ruder adds. They’re a good source of dietary fiber so you feel full longer, and they aid in digestion. They’re also a good source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, and manganese, which helps process cholesterol and nutrients. Blueberries are also low in sodium and contain virtually no fat.

Learn More

For more ways to enjoy blueberries-on a staycation or anytime-visit www.blueberrycouncil.org.

clicktotweet Says Dr. Sonali Ruder, “Spending time together and keeping kids’ minds and bodies going are important for a meaningful staycation. It can be as simple as whipping up some blueberry lemonade. It’s fun for them, and they can practice their math and motor skills and learn about healthy eating.” http://bit.ly/2pvYx83

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)