Between the hot summer sun and long, warm summer days, reaching for an ice cream cone or a soda can be a tempting way to cool off, until you check the ingredients list. Luckily there are several alternatives to keep you and your kids healthy and refreshed throughout the summer!
Made with simple ingredients you can find at home, these five recipes are quick and easy to whip up, so your kids can help prepare the tasty treats!
Fun, Fresh, Fruit Parfaits
For this sweet snack, all you need are berries, low-fat yogurt, low-sugar granola, and a spoon and bowl. Start by spooning the yogurt into the bowl. Cover this with a layer of granola, add a handful of berries on top and voila! You’re done! With an easy treat like this, your little ones can help out with the food prep or follow along with their own parfait as you make yours.
Individualize the parfait by choosing you and your children’s favorite berries, yogurt, and granola flavors. If you are unsure of where to start, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are always crowd pleasers. As for yogurt, simple flavors like plain, vanilla, and honey are a safe bet. When it comes to granola, there are lots of options to choose from, but it is important to check the label as some have a lot of added sugar. If you don’t have any granola at the house and aren’t feeling up to an outing, cereal makes a tasty substitute.
On a hot summer day, nothing is more refreshing than an icy cold, fresh fruit smoothie. Pull out your blender, your favorite fruits, ice, and some form of liquid (low-sugar juice, plain yogurt, milk, and water all work) and get ready for some fun! Combine all chosen ingredients into the blender and blend until frothy. Then, just pour and enjoy!
- Use ice, or better yet, frozen fruit, to make your smoothie extra frothy.
- We know that kids can be picky sometimes, so if you have any ripening fruits, neglected because of bruises, feel free to throw those in!
- If one of your kids is allergic to cows milk, you can always substitute almond, rice of soymilk. Juice is always a good bet as well, or you can use water to minimize sugar. Either way, you just need a little liquid to loosen the consistency.
- To pack in some extra nutrients without changing the taste too severely, try adding 1 tbsp. of chia seeds, ground flax seed, wheat germ, or flax seed oil.
Feel free to whip together your favorite ingredients, or try out our top choices!
Strawberry Banana Swirl (makes one serving)
½ cup plain yogurt
1 cup strawberries
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup vanilla yogurt
½ cup milk
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 cup frozen raspberries
1/3 cup blackberries
Fruit Salad – it’s a summer time classic that will never go out of style! Choose virtually any fruits that you love, chop them up, toss them in a bowl and you’re set to go. It’s a dish best served cold, so try refrigerating your fruit before or after chopping it up for the tastiest results.
Try our favorite fruit combo, Rainbow Fruit Salad. Rainbow Fruit Salad is a concoction of watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, bananas, pineapple, kiwi and fresh lemon or lime juice. Slice all the fruits then squeeze a little lemon or lime juice on top and serve. Your kids will love that, true to it’s name, Rainbow Fruit Salad has all the colors of the rainbow!
As summer rolls around, we know how tempting a chilled scoop of ice-cream can be on a hot day. Luckily, Do-It-Yourself Popsicles are not only just as tasty, they’re also healthy and a fun activity! This snack is a little more complicated, so be sure to set aside 15-20 minutes to help your kids tackle it.
Materials you need include molds and sticks. Craft stores sell molds specifically for making popsicles, but you can use Dixie cups for molds as well. Popsicle sticks from your arts and crafts can be re-purposed for your DIY popsicles.
Fill your molds about ¾ of the way full with your choice of low-sugar fruit juice, as the liquid will expand as it freezes. Feel free to add chunks of fresh fruit to make your snack extra tasty! Molds bought at a craft store will have a cap with a built in lid, so if this is what you are working with, simply put on the caps and pop it in the freezer.
If you are using Dixie cups, grab a clean piece of paper or cardboard and cut out a circle slightly larger than the opening of the cup. Cut a slit in the center of the circle. Tape the circle over the opening of the cup, insert the popsicle stick into the slit, and you are all set!
Spritzer – A Healthy Soda Substitute
As delicious and refreshing as sodas are, they are also full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and caffeine. A healthy alternative is a fruit juice spritzer. Choose your favorite natural fruit juice and a bottle of sparkling water. Mix together, add ice, and be refreshed!
With tempting refreshment promised by ice-cream shops and soda machines, keeping yourself and your kids healthy in the heat of the summer can be challenging, but with these five recipes, cooling off will be fun, easy, and fresh. Enjoy!