Refreshing Summer SnacksPrint Page
As summer approaches and the beautiful days appear, the library of healthy snack options blossom! The warmer weather means it’s time to shift gears and gather some new seasonal snack ideas for your kids! Summer is a great time to eat cool, light, and refreshing snacks that are full of healthy ingredients. A significant portion of kids’ daily calories come from snacks —so it is important to make sure nutrient rich foods are offered. For healthy growth and development, make fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat/fat-free dairy products the primary choices. Don’t forget, in addition to nourishing bodies, snacks provide an opportunity to practice healthy eating habits.
Parents are more than likely hearing the words “I am hungry!” more than they anticipated and possibly running short on healthy snack ideas. Don’t stress, we have some easy ideas to help you cope with the long days and hungry bellies. Here are some healthy and simple snack ideas you can try at home:
- Frozen grapes: Take fresh grapes and freeze them for a cool twist on this healthy snack.
- Fruit pops: Place a banana or melon on a cake pop stick and freeze under hardened.
- Yogurt Bark: Spread yogurt on a baking sheet and top with your child’s favorite fruit (fresh and dried) and nuts. Freeze for 2 to 4 hours or until hardened.
- Homemade popsicles: Using a Popsicle mold or small plastic cup and popsicle stick, pour milk or juice and add in fresh fruit to the mold or cup. If you choose to use milk, you can sweeten it with honey.
- Fruit Jell-O: Prepare sugar-free Jell-O as normal and stir in an assortment of fresh fruit before chilling.
- Smoothies: Blend your favorite fruits and vegetables for an energizing beverage. Check out some recipes here.
- Chia Pudding: Soak chia seeds in milk, honey and add in your child’s favorite fruit. The chia seeds will expand and create a pudding texture.
- Fruit Kabobs: Slide your favorite fruits on a kabob stick! If you want to add a dip- try serving it with yogurt.
- Watermelon Pizzas: Wedge a watermelon and top with yogurt and berries.
- Pinwheels: Spread any of your child’s favorite filling on a whole wheat tortilla, roll it up, and slice into pinwheels. Some crowd favorites for fillings are peanut or almond butter, turkey, cheese, hummus, and bananas.
- Kale Chips: Take kale off the stem, toss in olive oil, and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 275 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.
- Granola: Combine oats, honey, olive oil, and your favorite nuts and seed. Spread into a thin even layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 300 degrees. Remove from the oven, toss, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let it cool for 45 minutes and then crumble.
- Fruit leather: Spread pureed fruit over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees until dry and gummy. Remove from oven, cool, roll it up, and cut!
- Apple bites: Slice apples and top with peanut or almond butter. Then, add your favorite toppings such as dried fruit, coconut, and nuts.
Pay attention to serving sizes for snacks: What a younger child consumes for a snack should look different than what an older child eats.
Be a role model for your children by choosing healthy snacks yourself!
Host a taste test at home to sample new snack options.
Use My Plate recommendations when incorporating snacks and teach your children about MyPlate during snack time.
Eat the Rainbow: Choose natural foods that come in a variety of colors for snacks.
Encourage kids to drink water instead of sugary drinks throughout the day, including snack time.