Check out these healthy summer treats that are not only healthy, but fun! Your kids will love helping you make them as much as they’ll love eating them.
Goat’s Cheese & Pears
Don’t underestimate your kids palate. If you introduce them to different foods while they are young, you are opening up a whole new world of tastes for them. There are so many varieties of goat’s cheese available. Our boys love herbed goat cheese. They also love plain with honey drizzled on top – if you choose this route, prepare yourself for sticky fingers!
Celery, Cream Cheese & Dates
Although my kids still adore good ole “Ants on a Log”, there’s a new sheriff in town. Your kids will love the crunch of the celery, the creaminess of the cheese and the sweetness of the dates. You will love that your kids are getting antioxidants and vitamins from the celery, protein from the cheese and tons of vitamins, minerals and fibre from the dates. It’s a win-win, really!
Hummus, Veggies & Pitta Hummus
Really easy to make, but it can be time consuming. Thankfully, if you’re crunched for time, there are lots of healthy options at your local grocery store. Because hummus is made with beans (traditionally chickpeas, but also delicious with black or white beans) it is loaded with protein. Tahini, another common ingredient in hummus is made from ground sesame seeds and is full of vitamins, minerals & calcium. Add a ton of yummy veggies and toasted pitta to the mix, and you’ve got a seriously healthy snack!
Frozen Fruit Lollies
Nothing says summer like ice lollies! Sadly, so many shop-bought lollies are loaded with junk like glucose syrup and food colourings. Thankfully, this much healthier version is super easy to make using just a few simple ingredients. Just blend one cup of your favourite fruit and one cup of 100% pure fruit juice, pour into moulds & freeze. If you don’t have moulds, then ice cube trays work just as well. You might want to try these adult versions too.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to smoothies. They are a healthy way to add not only fruit and vegetables but also proteins to your kids’ diets. There is truly no wrong way to make a smoothie, but a good rule of thumb is 1 cup of frozen fruit + 1 cup of liquid + 1 tablespoon of good fat (flax seed oil, nut butter, etc). We always stock our freezer with fruit for smoothies on the fly. Smoothies are also a great way to “sneak” foods into your child’s diet. For example, our younger son LOVES hard boiled eggs, but typically only eats the white part. So, I save the yolks and throw them in our smoothies!
This summer, our family has decided to make a HUGE batch of trail mix at the beginning of each week, so that all of us have a yummy snack to grab whenever we’re on the go. Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cereals and maybe a few chocolate chips are our typical go-tos, but I’ve told our sons that they will be able to work together to decide what goes into each week’s batch. This could get interesting!
No-Bake Energy Bites
Energy bites are another great way to add protein. There are a ton of great recipes available. Like smoothies, the possibilities are endless. Our favourites lately include ¼ cup peanut butter, ¼ cup honey, ½ cup oats and ¼ cup chocolate chips; adding oats until rolling consistency and then rolling in oats OR ¼ cup almond butter, ¼ cup coconut flakes, ⅛ cup coconut oil and ⅛ cup maple syrup; adding oats until rolling consistency and then rolling in coconut flakes. Each recipe makes about a dozen energy bites. Yum!
Fruit & Cheese Kebabs
♪ ♫ You say kebabs, I say kabobs ♪ ♫ Either way, the little builders in your family will love making these snacks. Fruit and cheese on a stick combines fun, entertainment and nutrition. It’s also a great family activity. Parents or older children can be in charge of cutting the cheese up into cubes, while little fingers can work on the assembly. Grapes, berries and bananas work great. Melon and pineapple chunks are always fun too. If you want to get super creative, you can even cut your fruit into shapes with cookie cutters!
Muffin Tin Picnics
My all-time favourite! In fact, we’ve been known to host them all year round and in all kinds of crazy places…like our trampoline!
I usually include an array of food from crackers and cheese, to fruits and veggies. The best part? Muffin tins give you the opportunity to create a smorgasbord for your little ones while only dirtying one dish. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to spend all summer doing dishes.
Make the most of the summer and try some of these healthy summer treats with your kids. Share your creations and any other healthy summer treats you may have with us on Facebook.