I don’t know about in your house, but in my house summer is also a time of voracious eating! The kids are so active whether at home or at camp that they get really hungry. Really hungry. With that kind of clamoring for snacks, it can be tempting to just fall back on the pre-packaged snack foods that are so convenient.
In trying to figure all of this out for my family, I have decided that it is important to try to maintain the snack and mealtime structure we have during the school year. I try to stick to our snack routine to make sure that the mealtimes are still the main focus. For us that means a small mid-afternoon snack (now that my kids are older the mid-morning snack has disappeared– at least on most days), which always includes either a fruit or a vegetable, or both. Recently, that hasn’t been cutting it for my 9-year-old in the late afternoons, so I have told him that he can eat as many fruits and vegetables as he wants between afternoon snack and dinner. That way, he can munch away and I don’t need to worry about empty calories. Win-win! That being said, however, I do think it is important not to get so bogged down in the rules that we forget to have fun and relax. Afterall, we want our kids to have a healthy and happy relationship with food, rather than a rigid one, so there is definitely a time and place for flexibility and ice cream!
Here are some of our fun, favorite, simple snacks that help us make it through the summertime snack attacks:
Watermelon: In slices, in chunks, or quickly pureed for watermelon water. This cooling, refreshing, and rehydrating treat is a go-to in our house.
Frozen smoothies: Make a batch of your family’s favorite smoothies but instead of pouring them into glasses, freeze them in popsicle molds. Then you’ve got fun popsicles for an afternoon treat!
Summer Fruit Kebabs: Grab a skewer and load it with your favorite summer fruits! Berries, melons, chunks of stone fruit, it is all delicious! Plus you can dip them in the sweet yogurt dip below!
Sweet Yogurt Dip: Cut up some of your favorite summer fruits and dip away in this healthy and easy mixture.
Juice and fruit popsicles. Next time you make juice popsicles, throw some blueberries, raspberries, or small pieces of cut up summer fruit into the molds as well. Your kids will flip for these fun treats!
Homemade Granola Bars: These are fun to make with kids and very portable, great for picnics and day trips.
Kale Chips: Kale is incredibly plentiful in the summer, so kale chips are a great salty, crunchy snack.
Popcorn: Popped on the stove and then seasoned with nutritional yeast, parmesan, garam masala, chili powder, or just salt.
What are your favorite summertime snacks? Do you have favorites from your own childhood?