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Healthy Summer Snack Ideas for Kids

  • Summer is a time to loosen the schedule and relax with your kids. If you have two growing children like I do, however, that relaxed schedule could mean frustration when it comes to keeping track of what they’re eating during those warm days.

    A Snack Schedule

    Even though summer provides time for your family to take it easy, a schedule that details meal and snack times will help keep you from hearing from your kids about their hunger. Write up meal and snack times on a piece of poster paper and hang it up where everyone can see it.

    Add a list of acceptable snack choices – like a handful of grapes, a granola bar, a cheese stick – and guidelines regarding how much your children can have; for example, my children can have two snacks each during morning and afternoon snack time.

    A Wide Variety

    It might be tempting to have a stockpile of processed food for snacks, but few of them are healthy. There are many ways to use fruits, vegetables and whole-grain crackers, or bread to make some healthy snacks that kids will love. You should also serve nuts, dried fruits, cheeses, and lean meats along with fresh fruits and vegetables.
    Snack Ideas


    Keep snacks light, healthy, and easy to grab for those last-minute picnics or hikes this summer!

    *A Twist on the PB&J – Use different combinations of foods to avoid the usual peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Serve up a strawberry and cream cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread or small bagels for a cool change.

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    *Mix it - trail mix may traditionally be raisins and nuts, but there's a wide range of choices to combine into a yummy trail mix of your own creation. Portion them out into small sandwich bags or reusable containers for easy transport. There are several ingredients you can use, including:
    -Granola

    -Carob chips or banana chips

    -Shredded coconut

    -Ginger (crystallized)

    -Marshmallows

    -Nuts, such as almonds or pecans

    -Legumes, such as peanuts or baked soybeans.

    For example, you can add dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, apples, or candied orange peel

    -Chocolate: chips, chunks, or M&M's

    -Breakfast cereal

    The seeds of pumpkins, cashews, or sunflowers are good sources of protein

    *Keep It Cool - Freeze peeled oranges or bananas and blend with juice or yogurt for a cool treat. For a change, use blueberries or strawberries or a combination of fruits. Freeze them after blending and combine them with chopped nuts and chocolate shavings as a substitute for high-fat ice cream.

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    *Dip It – Kids love to dip! Use fat-free Greek yogurt to dip carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli, and tomatoes, and use low-fat or fat-free flavored yogurt to dip fresh strawberries, orange slices, or banana pieces.

    As you relax with your kids, enjoy your time together as you feast on a variety of fun and healthy snacks!

    *Wrap it – For a change from sandwiches, use different flavors of tortillas - including whole wheat varieties - to combine ingredients for tasty wraps. Start with an open tortilla and grated or cream cheese. Pile on veggies and lean meat and roll for an easy snack.