I guess that means that we're technically still in the 'spring season', however the temperature is 96 degrees today, and I'd say it sure feels like summer! This is the time of year that most kids are finally out of school and at home. More time around the house often leads to increased snacking. Warmer weather can also lead to the urge to splurge on less healthier foods, such as ice cream or popsicles.
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Prepare for your next snack attack with these healthy summer snack tips
1. Make Snacking Fun: Let the Kids Help Prepare their Snacks
Get the kids involved! Encourage your children to help prepare the snack. This may look different depending on their age level. For some kids, it may mean watching you and putting on the finishing touches. Other children may be able to make the entire snack independently. Here are some snack ideas that are fun to make and eat!
- Fruit Kabobs: cut favorite fruit into bite sized pieces and line up on a skewer (bananas, grapes, strawberries, raspberries). Serve cold.
- Fruit Pizzas: spread peanut butter evenly on a tortilla. Place slices of banana on top
- Yogurt Parfait: Top yogurt with frozen blueberries or strawberries
- Banana Split: top a banana with strawberry frozen yogurt and whole grain cereal
- Ants on a Log: Spread peanut butter on top of celery sticks. Top with raisins
- Healthy Waffle: Toast a whole wheat waffle. Top with low fat yogurt and banana
2. Choose the Healthier Option
Look for healthier options of your favorite snack and keep moderation in mind.
- Look for ‘baked’ chips instead regular chips. Follow portion control (1 serving is usually about 12-14 chips)
- Look for the low fat version of fruit/veggie dip; substitute chips for carrots or cherry tomatoes
- Choose low fat frozen yogurt over ice cream
- Encourage 1 serving of fruits or vegetables before eating a sweet treat
3. Sip Smarter
Drinks can sneak in a lot of extra sugar and calories into your daily intake without noticing. Here's some tips to quench your thirst in a healthy manner.
- Encourage water as much as possible. Drinking soda loaded with caffeine can have a dehydrating effect.
- Purchase juices labeled as “100% fruit juice” and watch the serving sizes. Avoid juiced titled “juice cocktail,” “fruit drink” or “fruit punch” as these will usually have added sugars.
- Encourage skim milk in place of soda. Skim milk is packed with protein, low in fat and a great alternative to most high sugar drinks.
Healthy Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles
Store bought popsicles can be packed with hidden sugars. The recipe below is a great alternative to store bought popsicles. It combines healthy fruit with yogurt to make a delicious treat.
These popsicles are super easy to make. I combine all ingredients in a blender (my favorite blender --it purees food in less than 30 seconds and has "to go" cups for my smoothies).
I also used these reusable popsicle molds to make my popsicles. They helped prevent any excess mess and I was able to pop them in the dishwasher and reuse again! You can get them on Amazon or make your own!
Blueberry Yogurt Popiscles
- 1.5 cups blueberries
- 1.5 cups vanilla greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp honey
- Combine the blueberries, Greek yogurt and honey in a food processor.
- Puree until the mixture is smooth and no large pieces of blueberries remain.
- Add the blueberry mixture to popsicle molds.
- Insert the sticks and freeze for 5 hours minimum.
- Prior to eating, run the popsicle molds under warm water until the popsicle loosens.