The kids are out of school which means that parents are scrambling for healthy summer snacks for their little ones.
Let these 5 snack ideas for kids guide you!
Don’t get caught with your hand in the cookie jar! Combat the “I’m hungries” and future hangries with one of these healthy snacks for kids. With just a little prep and planning, you’ll be ready to tackle summer snacking! (If you are looking for hard and fast solutions to keeping summer snacking under control, you don’t want to miss my 6 Summer Snack Solutions to Tame the Snack Habit!)
Below are some favorite healthy summer snacks that Ellie and Frances have been munching on.
Did you know hummus is made from chickpeas? Maybe you did but many people don’t. AND by serving your child hummus, you’re helping him or her meet vegetable recommendations for the day because chickpeas fall into that veggie category (even though they’re a legume). My Smoked Paprika Hummus is an easy snack recipe that you can make at home that offers tons of flavor. (Skip the smoked paprika if you prefer the classic flavor.)
While Ellie isn’t a great bean eaters in the traditional sense, she and Frances both love hummus (Frances literally eats “hummus spoons” for a snack). Thankfully, I don’t stress about them not meeting their recommendations for beans since I know they are getting 1/4 cup chickpeas (or about 1/2 serving of vegetables) from 2 heaping spoonfuls of hummus. This provide them with plant protein, fiber, and healthy unsaturated fat.
Let hummus be a vehicle food to help your kiddos eat more veggies overall. Keep carrots, celery and cucumbers prepped in the fridge so they’re always ready for dipping or for making these cute Spring Hummus Veggie Pots. You can also spread hummus on whole wheat crackers or pretzels (or use those for dippers) or swap it out for mayo on sandwiches or in chicken salad for a protein boost.
Instead of a heavy sandwich that may fill your kids up before a meal, try Sweet or Savory Snack Crackers. With a little bit of prep work, it takes just a second to pull out the necessary ingredients to make these healthy summer snacks. Then, bring in your little helpers and let them get busy making their own stackers.
Here are some flavor combo that we like in our house:
Popsicles for BREAKFAST? ABSOLUTELY!! I completely blew Ellie’s mind the other morning when I offered her a breakfast popsicle. My child has a MAJOR sweet tooth and the thought of having popsicles — especially in the morning!– totally threw her. She gave me the “Is this a trick?” look but I assured her I was serious and let her dive in.
Think about it though…if you take the yogurt she was already going to eat for breakfast, blend it up with some fresh or frozen fruit and a splash of milk or juice and freeze it into a pop, what’s so unhealthy about that? I love Blueberry, Peach and Basil Cream Pops for an easy summer dessert with few ingredients. Whether you’re serving homemade pops for breakfast, snack, or dessert, when you make them yourselves (in the same way you would your smoothie), you win cool parent points and you can feel good knowing they’re adding protein, calcium, fiber, and other essential nutrients to their day.
Pre-made trail mix at the grocery or convenience store can be expensive and often filled with less-than-stellar ingredients. I like making my own trail mix at home using what I have on-hand like stove-popped popcorn, whole grain cereal, mini chocolate chips, raisins, almonds, and sunflower seeds. Trail mix is a fantastic snack option because you can let your child customize with his or her favorites, you can control the portion of each ingredient that goes into the mix (meaning more popcorn and fewer chocolate chips), and it is a good way to use up the bottom-of-the bag cereal or other foods that may not measure out to an entire portion breakfast or snack portion on its own.
Checkout my tips for how to set up a Gourmet Popcorn Bar to make a fun sweet and savory trail mix. It is easy and delicious!!
Pro tip: Keep some trail mix in your purse or diaper bag because you never know when a 30 minutes doctor’s appointment will turn into a 3 hour ordeal!
While it may seem obvious but if there is a whole cantaloupe, mango, pineapple or watermelon sitting on the counter, the likelihood of us eating it is much slimmer than if the pieces were already cut and in the fridge. Just today I filled a bowl full of watermelon and cantaloupe cubes and brought it outside to the girls for a healthy summer snack while they were playing outside with their babysitter. It took literally a minute to make their snack and I felt good that they were eating something nourishing and hydrating on such a warm day.
By taking just a few minutes on the weekend or in the evening before beginning the next day to prep your healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, you’re more likely to reach for those when hunger strikes.
Do you have favorite healthy summer snacks that you serve your child? I would love to hear about it–I’m ALWAYS looking for new ideas!
Here are some more snacks we love: