Keep Kids Satisfied with These Easy, Inexpensive Snack Ideas
The summer is looking like it’s going to be hot. Real hot.
And with summer vacation in full swing, parents juggling work and unoccupied kids, there’s a lot of snacking going on at home: chips, crackers, sodas and more.
One summer, my grandchildren made S’mores for lunch in the microwave. Hey. They were creative.
So instead of fighting the pull of junk food, entice kids with these tasty, irresistible summer treats – easy to prepare and leave in the fridge . Summer can be delicious, healthy, and inexpensive.
- Go Dipping: Finger foods are what makes snacking … snacking. So get creative with healthy summer dips!
- Peanut butter and Greek yogurt, a perfect treat for cut up fruits.
- Chunky fruit salsa puts a sweet touch on our typical Mexican variety. Cut up strawberries, kiwi fruit, and shred mint leaves in them with a twist of orange juice. Use to dip your favorite baked crackers.
- Raspberries (or any other sweet berry) mixed with cottage cheese make a delectable dip for a mid-morning snack. Puree with cooked white beans for an extra protein punch.
- Guac out! Guacamole, with a twist of lemon or lime juice, is a favorite with many kids. Instead of using chips, find baked tortillas or even whole-grain bread sticks to scoop up the flavors. (And to make it extra special, try adding sweet watermelon to the guacamole mixture. Delicious!)
- Take a Twist on the Classics: We all want a cool, sweet treat. Thus, the allure of the Slurpee, ice cream and more. With these creative, healthy options, kids can fill up, satisfy their sweet tooth and still eat healthy.
- Yogurt Pops are icy and healthy. Blend your favorite yogurt with your favorite fruits (peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), add Chia or Quinoa for an extra nutritional push, freeze in cups and voila!
- In-season fruits make the best homemade popsicles. Blend fresh fruits with a little fruit juice (orange or lemon or lime) and freeze in cups. If you want a little extra decadence, add shredded chocolate to the strawberry and raspberry pops, or a drizzle of condensed milk.
- I loved this idea for watermelon slush to be spooned up for an icy treat.
- Frozen grapes are so so good. If you haven’t tried them, you should. And kids can even use them as “ice cubes” in their drinks.
- Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow … in summer. Make a fruit platter with cut up favorites sprinkled with coconut. Irresistible.
- Go savory: It’s not all about the sweets. Find that yummy, savory snack to keep your kids sated during the day.
- Make homemade trail mix with the kids using: dried fruits, nuts, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and more. What a fun activity, and each child can make her trail mix to fit her taste.
- Cut up veggies into finger food size for dipping: carrots, jicama, peppers, celery and more. Kids like crunchy textures. That’s the allure of the snack – the sound!
- Pizza is a great, healthy way to snack during the day. Kids can make healthy pizzas with cheese, roasted chicken (leftover from dinner!), and tomato sauce. Or try some favorite combos – broccoli and cheddar, apple and cheddar, sweet corn and more. Have kids prepare the using pita bread or tortillas for the crust.
- Chunks of cheese and baked chicken to spear on a fork are great options to keep snacking fun and healthy. Cube your kids’ favorite cheeses and leftover roasted chicken or turkey. Save in separate containers in the fridge for a quick snack.
- Creative Concoctions: Apple nachos, watermelon pizzas, fruit kebobs, healthy muffins … color, color, color! The more interesting the colors, flavors, and textures, the better!
Sure, summertime is about sundaes, root beer floats, sodas and some of our favorite traditions. But by making in-season fruits and vegetables part of our traditions, we can find healthy, inexpensive ways to snack.