Summertime Treats for the Entire Family
As the summer heat continues to scorch, kids are always looking for ways to stay cool. Even though the school year is just around the corner, cooler weather unfortunately isn’t coming for a while. As your family enjoys the last picnics, get-togethers and pool parties before heading back to school, you’ll want some sweet treats to help you cool off. Usually these activities involve eating less nutritious foods such as hot dogs, ice cream, pizza, candy and potato chips. With these tempting foods readily available, it can be difficult to lure kids over to the fruit table for a healthier and more refreshing snack. By making fruit more appealing to kids, we might be able to change their views on this delicious treat.
Start by encouraging kids to get out of their bedroom and into the kitchen. When those mid-afternoon thunderstorms roll-in, call them into the kitchen for some kid-friendly snacks. Assign simple tasks such as washing fruit, slicing bananas, or organizing ingredients. When kids are involved in snack preparation, they are more likely to try new foods.
Here are some tasty and cool summertime treats for your family to try!
Greek yogurt parfait in a waffle cone (or cup)Yogurt parfaits are easy for kids to prepare. Parfaits pack a powerful punch of protein, vitamins, minerals, and calcium. Greek yogurt is best for adding extra protein, but regular yogurt would work just fine. This can be a great alternative to an ice cream cone. Place about 1 cup of yogurt in a small waffle cone (or cup). Sprinkle on some granola for a little added crunch, and then top it off with fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, or sliced bananas. Enjoy!
Green monster smoothieThis is a go-to smoothie that never fails, even with the pickiest of eaters. The sweet and tangy flavor makes the kids forget about the secret ingredient, spinach!
Green monster smoothie:1 banana, cut into chunks
1 cup of frozen green grapes
8 ounces of vanilla Greek yogurt
1 apple, sliced
1 cup of chopped spinach (or less, depending on preference)
1 cup pineapple chunks
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth in texture. Enjoy.
Fruit popsiclesStore bought popsicles are typically high in sugar and contain artificial colors. Not only are homemade popsicles delicious and nutritious, they are fun and very easy to make. Start by placing chopped fruit (kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, berries, etc.) into individual popsicle molds, filling each mold halfway. Fill remaining space with liquid such as 100% fruit juice or coconut water. You can make each popsicle unique by adding different fresh fruits and juices to each. Place in freezer and freeze overnight.
Frozen grapesThis refreshing snack is perfect for those hot days by the pool. Wash and dry grapes completely with a paper towel. Portion out into single serving zip-lock bags, and then place bags inside freezer. Freeze for at least 2 hours. Frozen grapes often taste sweeter, which might make them more appealing to picky eaters. If you like frozen grapes, try frozen blueberries too! They are delicious!
Yogurt covered blueberries/blackberries
Wash and dry fruit completely. With a toothpick, dip fresh fruit into vanilla (or fruit-flavored) Greek yogurt. Place yogurt covered fruit on a non-stick cookie sheet (on parchment/wax paper) and set in freezer. Once fruit is frozen, portion out into individual snack bags. This is a perfect on-the-go snack. Bring in the car on the way to summer camp or just the grocery store.
Fruit kabobs drizzled with chocolateFruit kabobs are a refreshing snack for picnics or an after dinner dessert. Wash and slice fruit (strawberries, bananas, grapes, apples, cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple work well). Decide what pattern you would like your fruits to go in, then place sliced fruit onto kabob sticks. Tip: Grapes at each end work well to prevent other fruits from sliding off kabob stick. Once each fruit kabob is completed, drizzle with melted chocolate. Store kabobs in a refrigerator until served.
Try some of these kid friendly snacks with your family. They are delicious, cool, and most importantly, nutritious!