School’s out for summer! For some families that might mean lazy afternoons spent reading in the sun, family vacations and long nights playing in the yard. Other families, however, might have a summer schedule filled with swimming lessons, summer day camps, sports camps, practices and games and much more.
Whether your summer months are long and lazy or filled with endless activity fun, there’s always time and a need for healthy and refreshing snacks to fuel your fun. Hot days call for ice cold snacks while morning activities might require food on the run and then there’s snacks kids can make on their own to curb bouts of boredom.
Here are my favorite summer snack ideas. For more, visit Cheap Summer Fun on Pinterest.
I firmly believe that summertime is meant for ice-cold popsicles. In fact, I have fond memories of my grandpa arriving at family barbecues with a perfect watermelon in one arm and a bag of popsicles in the other! Brightly colored, fruity-flavored popsicles are the cure to any hot summer day. Sure you can snip open a bunch of those favorite Otter Pops or grab your favorite grape or root beer popsicle.
This year, try making your own popsicles for your crew and the neighbor friends who inevitably come over to “chill.” Better yet, get healthy with these Green Smoothie popsicles. In a food processor, puree 1 large banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1/2 cup orange juice until smooth. Fill popsicle molds half way. Put the rest of the mix back in the blender and add in 2 handfuls of spinach. Blend and pour into molds. Freeze overnight.
Treats on the run
Racing from swim practice to the library for the latest batch of books to the summer children’s movie series to tennis practice to the evening’s baseball game can make mealtime awfully difficult. While it may seem tempting to make a run through the drive-thru for a quick refuel, there are some great, healthy and completely tasty alternatives to snacks on the run this summer.
Instead of simply grabbing some fruit, try making this Fruit Wrap Snack. In a bowl, beat 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Spread on six flour tortillas. Layer with thinly sliced fruit like strawberries, mango, kiwi, bananas, grapes, blueberries, raspberries and more. Carefully roll up tortilla as tight as possible. Slice in half and serve right away, or refrigerate before you head out the door.
Boredom busting bites
For me, summer break as a child always meant loads of time trying out new recipes in the kitchen. I loved baking brownies, lemon bars, homemade tapioca pudding and even working on my favorite cookie recipes. Then I was able to treat my entire family to my latest successes. Apart from heating up the kitchen, it was one of my favorite summer activities that everyone loved — as long as I cleaned up my mess!
This year let your kids practice their baking skills with a recipe like this Apple Dump Cake. Pour 40 ounces of pie filling in a 9-by-13 pan. In a bowl, combine a 15-ounce spice cake mix with 1 cup one-minute oatmeal. Sprinkle over the filling. Pour 1 cup salted melted butter over the top. Bake cake for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown and crisp.
— Jennifer Durrant