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 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.
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 Eating 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.
Ellen Thomsen, MS, RD, LMNT, CDE is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health, working in Oncology and Functional nutrition. Ellen helps patients improve nutrition habits during cancer treatment and beyond. She is a group fitness instructor at the CHI Health Lakeside Wellness Center and enjoys helping people of all fitness abilities be active. Ellen is passionate about helping patients improve their lives through nutrition, activity and stress management.