By Sarah Scribner
Summer is the perfect time for indulging in fun foods. From homemade ice cream at local stands to buttery lobster rolls along the shore, there are countless treats to eat, and of course, share with family and friends.
Although summer foods can be tempting, it’s also important to make healthy eating choices. And, when it comes to kids, eating nutritious foods during the summer can be difficult. To help make this chore easier for you, Pretzel Kids has compiled a list of 5 tasty, affordable, and healthy summer snacks that will leave kids feeling energized and ready to beat the heat!
1. Fruit Kebabs (with yogurt dipping sauces!) Easy to make and fun to eat, fruit kebabs allow kids to mix and match their favorite fruits, including strawberries, mangoes, bananas, kiwis, and pineapples. While randomly placing fruit pieces on the sticks can be fun, you can also make a game out of this by arranging different colors of fruits next to each other in interesting patterns. Vibrant kebabs better reflect beautiful summer days, and the patterns even make for great pictures!
To make fruit kebabs pop with even more flavor, try putting blueberry and strawberry yogurt in serving bowls to use as dipping sauces. Voila! You’ve got yourself a colorful and healthy spread of fruit kebabs. Here’s a Pretzel Kids pro tip: If it’s a barbecue kind of day, grill your kebabs!
2. Homemade Granola Bars. We all know that store-bought granola bars often crumble when pulled from their packaging, creating a big mess rather than enjoyable snacks. So, why not make healthy granola bars at home - the kind that won't fall apart on your living room floor! You can do this by using various oats and fill-ins of your choosing. For starters, try this granola bar recipe:
- Two cups rolled oats
- A half cup of shredded coconut
- A half cup of honey
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter
- One teaspoon of vanilla extract
- An eighth teaspoon of salt.
3. Frozen Bananas. Bananas are versatile and delicious, making them the ultimate healthy snack. They are also good sources of potassium and fiber. Before freezing bananas, decide what toppings you’d like to use to make your banana treats taste even better. For example, chocolate covered frozen bananas with nuts (or alternatives for those with allergies) are yummy!
To make bite-size frozen banana treats for your kids, peel a fresh banana and cut it into roughly 12 pieces. Melt either dark, milk, or white chocolate, and dip each banana slice halfway, leaving one side or the bottom of the slice uncovered. Sprinkle nuts, chocolate chips, granola, or even rainbow sprinkles onto the melted chocolate. Place the bananas in the freezer until the treats are frozen, and you have a cool, easy-to-eat snack!
4. Baked Sweet Potato Fries. French fries are undeniably the perfect companions to summer sandwiches, especially lobster rolls and hamburgers. Unfortunately, they’re rarely healthy and are often too heavy on hot days. So, instead of french fries, try making your own baked sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes are high in several different vitamins, including A, B5, and B6. And, baking is much healthier than frying.
To make your sweet potato fries, peel and slice sweet potatoes into wedges, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 425 degrees. When the sweet potatoes are crisp and golden brown, take them out of the oven, let them cool down, and eat them with your favorite sandwiches or barbecue dishes. Yum!
5. Tortilla Pizzas. Pizza is always a kid’s fan favorite. To turn pizza into a healthy meal, try making tortilla pizzas yourself. To do this, all you need to do is place your favorite pizza toppings on a whole wheat tortilla! You can even prepare tortilla pizza for snacks by using individual tortillas that create smaller personal pizzas for your kids.
To turn making tortilla pizza into a fun activity, let your kids add their own toppings, including tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, various vegetables, and even pineapple! Making healthy personal pizzas allows your kids to get active and interactive in the kitchen. Not only that, but you'll save money on ordering pizza from your local pizza place.
Are you ready to start cooking up a healthy summer storm with your kids? Keep these fun summer DIY meals and snacks in mind for your next family barbecue, picnic, or day at the beach!
Sarah Scribner is a content writer and social media intern at Pretzel Kids