Six Smart Summer Snacks for Kids

Six Smart Summer Snacks for KidsKids need a lot of energy to keep going during the summer.  As soon as the school year is over they are suddenly on the go, riding their bikes, swimming, playing sports, or off to the park to meet friends. Daily schedules are out the window, and it can be a challenge to make sure they are eating as well as they should.

It’s a good idea to stock up on small portable foods that pack a lot of nutrition. Kids, teens, and ‘tweens all tend to eat lots of small meals throughout the day and it’s a good idea to keep wholesome snacks on hand.

Whole grain waffles, pretzels, breadsticks, tortillas and pita pockets, hummus, granola, and trail mix are convenient foods for a quick pick-me-up that are healthful and satisfying.

Any snack a child makes is a snack that child is likely to eat, and younger children will especially enjoy being involved in choosing and preparing simple snacks. Having fresh and dried fruit, popcorn, nuts, nut butters, and a variety of raw veggies on hand can make quick and healthy snacking a breeze.

Here are six snack ideas that are healthful and economical. For healthy kids and a healthy planet, be sure to choose organic foods with little or no packaging.

Smart snack ideas:

  • Fruit kabobs are easy and fun. Chunks of fruit, such as apples, peaches, pineapples, bananas, grapes, and strawberries are tasty and colorful. Little ones will appreciate most any fruit threaded onto wooden skewers.
  • Spread almond or peanut butter on thick slices of apples, pears, and nectarines.  Cut fresh, crisp celery stalks into 3-inch pieces, fill with nut butter and sprinkle with fresh blueberries or raisins.
  • Smoothies are super-easy to make and a great way to get a chilled beverage packed with sweet fruit, vitamins, and minerals into your kids on hot summer day. Combine a handful of frozen strawberries, a medium banana, and a cup of fortified orange juice, soy, almond, or rice milk in a blender and buzz for a minute.
  • Combine whole grain, ready-to-eat cereal, and granola with dried fruit and nuts in a zipper-top sandwich bag for a tasty high-energy snack to go.
  • Carrot wraps are easy to make in advance. Spread a whole grain tortilla with hummus, top with carrot sticks, sliced avocado, and baby spinach. Roll up, slice in half, and wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Kids love dips. Hummus and guacamole in many styles are pretty convenient and widely available, but you can mash a ripe avocado with a dollop of your favorite salsa, too.  It doesn’t get much easier (or fresher) than that.

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