This blog is brought to you by BYU Nutrition Student, Julia Brown.
It's summer time. That means the sun is shining, lawn mowers are going, and of course, the kiddos are out of school. With the family spending more time around the house, we know that means more snacking throughout the day. Here are some healthy summer snack tips for the family to keep you and your kids happy in the heat this year!
1. Keep fresh fruits and veggies on the counter throughout the day. Kids (and adults) are more prone to eat whatever is in front of them, so always provide nutrient rich options for them to grab.
2. Make your own fruit juice popsicles. After that trip to the swimming pool, everyone is going to crave a cold juicy snack. Why not cut down on the added sugar and freeze fruit juice to quench your popsicle needs?
3. Make garden salsa with the family. Fresh vegetables are in season this time of year, and nothing beats homemade salsa. If you enjoy gardening, get the kids involved in growing their own tomatoes, peppers, onions and cilantro. Or buy fresh ingredients and blend them up together in the afternoon. Try paired with low-sodium chips for a perfect crispy treat.
4. Try grilling kabobs for lunch or dinner. It's fun to mix and match meat and vegetables on your own kabob. Skewer a variety of steak, chicken, salmon, bell peppers, pineapple, zucchini, squash, onions, etc. and grill 'em up on the BBQ. The options are endless!
5. Ants on a log. It's a classic. You're craving something crunchy and you're eyeing the potato chips in the pantry. Instead, bust out the celery, spread it with some peanut butter or Greek yogurt, and top it off with raisins. You may even want to try it with avocado, blueberries, or almonds. This is a fun way to give kids something "crafty" to create to reduce the screen time.
6. Go out for Fro-Yo, or make your own. Everyone loves a little ice cream in the summer. However, eating ice cream on a hot day can quickly add up to too many sugary, fatty empty calories. Substitute with frozen yogurt for a healthier option, and top with fresh berries and nuts.
7. Carve watermelon. Who says Halloween is the only time to carve produce? Eat the delicious juicy melon inside, then compete to see who can carve the funniest face into the watermelon rind.
8. Freeze grapes. It's all about the finger food, and frozen grapes are the perfect touch to a summer's day. Poke grapes with toothpicks, stick them in the freezer, then eat later to cool down.
9. Make homemade granola bars. Buy ingredients in bulk, then combine your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit and yogurt bites. Go nuts!
10. Bake peanut butter banana cookies. Cookies don't have to be loaded with butter, sugar, and chocolaty goodness (although we love those desserts). Fuel up on potassium and protein by mixing 2 ripe, mashed bananas, 1 cup oats, and 1 cup peanut butter. Scoop and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Easy peasy!