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Family With Friends Camp By Lake On Hiking Adventure In Forest

Summer Snacks For Kids

SUMMER! Warm weather is on the way and that means tasty treats and fun times.  The summer months are a special time for kids –camps, sleepovers, outside activities and no school! What are your kids eating during those steamy summer months? Among the parties and vacations, kids will be at home and looking for things to eat.  Stock the house with better-for-you summer snacks for a more nutritional summer.

Healthy Chilled Summer Snacks

Need something to cool you down? Try a chilly treat!

  • Homemade smoothies – great way to sneak in extra vegetables.
  • Yogurt parfaits – look for yogurt with no added sugar.
  • Fruit popsicles – buy molds and make your own.

Refueling Your Kids

Kids can burn off a lot of energy during the long summer days – swimming, running, climbing, jumping and the list goes on.  Nourishing them with protein and carbohydrates will provide them with the best recovery and energy after a long day of play.

Summer snacks perfect for refueling:

  • Chocolate milk and a small banana
  • Apple wedges with peanut butter
  • Hummus with pretzel thins and baby carrots
  • Low-fat string cheese and peanuts

Summer Barbecue Side Dishes

What will you bring to the soccer team’s grill out after a long day of games?  Don’t fear! These simple yet tasty options are perfect.

The quick and easy barbecue side dish:

  • Grilled fruit – pineapple and peaches are a delicious side or dessert. Brush fruit with oil and place directly on the grill or wrap in foil.  Take it up a notch and top warm fruit with scoop of frozen yogurt.
  • Toss shredded cabbage and shelled edamame with peanuts and Thai dressing for a crunchy side salad.
  • Roasted veggies & pasta: mix whole grain pasta with roasted veggies and drizzle with olive oil. Transfer to crock-pot and keep on warm setting. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese when ready to serve.  Broccoli and grape tomatoes are perfect for this recipe!

Healthy Summer Snack Habits For Your Kids

Kids will be exposed to lots of food choices, both good and bad.  How can you instill healthy habits over the summer months?

  • Get kids involved in planning and preparing meals. Let them help, even if that means a bit of a mess.
  • Check out local farmers markets and try new items.
  • Plant a garden.
  • Model the desired behavior! Your kids are watching what you do, say and even eat. Use this summer as chance to enhance nutritional habits.

Originally Published May 2019. Updated January 2023. 

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE, IFNCP™

Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and Integrative and Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner. She is the diabetes education program coordinator at CHI Health and sees patients at the Millard Clinic. She works with patients to identify root causes to health conditions and make changes to improve overall health. Ellen’s passion is to help others develop lifestyle habits that allow them to feel their best.

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