Mom! I’m hungry!
School is out this week, so I thought it would be fun to talk about some ideas for healthy snacks. During summer, the two phrases I hear the most are “I’m bored” and “I’m hungry.”
Coming up with healthy snacks for our kids that provide fuel and keep them full can be a challenge. I love to have my kids' friends over for swimming, play dates and fun, so I know I need to have a fridge full of good healthy snacks, as there is always a hungry kid looming nearby.
The first suggestion is to keep tons of fresh fruit and veggies on hand. I love to make trays of fruit. Watermelon is easy: All you need is a knife, and it’s served. I will cut up mangos, throw in some berries, grapes and banana and top it with a little plain yogurt (my kids are really enjoying the Greek yogurt). You can even top this with a little granola, honey or agave. This can be a great dessert or breakfast.
My kids love a veggie tray—with carrots, red bell peppers, broccoli and cucumbers—around 5 p.m., when the hunger starts to hit. I use a great yogurt or humus dip to go with the veggies. I am always amazed at how kids devour these kinds of trays. If your kids like peanut butter, or any kind of nut butter, you can use that as a dip as well. Apples, bananas and whole-grain crackers with peanut butter are always filling.
One of my favorite things to make in the summer is smoothies. These can be a chock-full of ingredients that nourish kids and fill them up. Frozen fruit, yogurt and lots of ice make these a great treat on a hot day. Believe it or not, you can even sneak in spinach, flax seed and other super-foods. I use almond milk, but you can use any juice (just be careful of the sugar), milk or plant-based milk. You can also add in a high-quality protein powder (low in sugar and plant-based are best), and that can be a great breakfast or perfect snack after a busy afternoon of swimming or playing at the beach. Any leftover smoothie can be poured into plastic popsicle molds and frozen. Voilà! Another great snack is made.
Being on the go is a big part of summer, too. The snacks I pack for the beach are usually frozen grapes; homemade trail mix of nuts, pretzels and whole-food-based chewy treats; cheese sticks; and cut-up apples and bananas. Are all great on the go foods.
Hope some of these snack ideas are helpful. Please post your favorite, as I always love to get new ideas. Happy summer!