Snack On All Summer Long
Whether you plan to embrace or dread the summer heat, you can count on one thing: needing to feed your kiddos’ sweet and sweaty appetites all summer long.
Maybe your kids will be out to play, traveling and on the go or they’ll be staying in at home. No matter their summer plans and activities, having nutritious snacks readily and constantly available remains important. Snacking is essential for children and teens because their smaller stomachs fill up fast and they burn energy quickly. Between meals, snacks give growing bodies the nutrients and hydration they need. So for optimal health, three meals plus two snacks per day are necessary. Plus, snacks can boost energy levels between meals and provide your kids with essential vitamins and minerals.
KC parents already have plenty on their plates getting healthy meals on the table. How does making snack time simple, creative and nutritious sound? Read on to discover how you can optimize your child’s health from the inside out!
Smart Summer Snacks
- 1 tablespoon nut butter spread on sliced apples or pears
- 3 cups air-popped popcorn sprinkled with 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Celery and carrot sticks with hummus
- Sugar snap peas, yellow pepper strips and cherry tomatoes with reduced-fat ranch dressing
- Small baked potato topped with salsa and low-fat cheese
- 1 cup tomato soup with whole grain crackers
- Yogurt sprinkled with berries or dried fruit
- Fruit smoothie made with low-fat milk and blended with frozen bananas and yogurt
- Toaster waffle topped with 1 tablespoon nut butter and a dash of honey
- Whole grain dinner roll with one slice deli meat, one slice low-fat cheese and mustard
- Whole grain crackers with low-fat sliced cheese
- Trail mix made with mixed nuts, dried cherries and granola
- Vanilla pudding with sliced bananas and crumbed graham crackers
Fuel Up Sweet Summertime Bars
2 c. quick oats
1 c. natural peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1 c. honey
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. dark chocolate chips
1 c. milled flaxseed
Mix all ingredients together and stir until blended. Spread mixture into an 8x8-inch pan and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 2x2-inch squares to serve.
Creamy Veggie Dip
8 oz. low-fat cream cheese
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 T. green onions, thinly sliced
¼ c. diced red pepper
1/3 c. finely chopped broccoli
1-2 T. fresh dill, finely chopped
In a medium sized mixing bowl, soften cream cheese by mixing with hand mixer. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Stir in chopped vegetables. Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving for best flavor.
Can be served on crackers, flat bread or used as a spread for sandwiches
Sources: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, KidsHealth.org
Amy Hundley is a registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed in both Kansas and Missouri, and a published freelance nutrition writer. She is currently practicing as a clinical RD and has been a resident of Olathe since early childhood