June 2018 - Easy Summer Snacks

Summer time!  Ahh, for some parents those words cause joy and excitement, for others they can cause dread and fear! I feel equal parts excitement and fear at the prospect of having all my kids home this summer.  Why fear you ask??? For me, it’s two-fold… 1. extra bickering (are my children the only ones???) and, 2. hearing, “I’m hungry” an average of 75 times a day. So for any other parents out there who know this struggle, here are a few easy, yummy snack ideas (sorry, I have nothing to offer on the bickering ☹).

Yogurt Parfait

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Ease is my main objective with these snacks and you can’t get any easier than a good yogurt parfait.  Get your favorite yogurt, and add in some delicious ripe summer berries and voilà, delicious, healthy snack. Our favorite fruits to use are strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and bananas.  Oh, and don’t forget some yummy granola, or “crunchers” as we call them at our house. Another great thing about a parfait is that it’s easy to customize to different children’s preferences. Better yet, it’s so easy, they can probably make it themselves!

Rainbow Fruit cabobs

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I can’t get enough of all the gorgeous fruit you see in summer.  A fun idea is to make a fruit cabob for the kiddos.

Take it up a notch by offering a dip.  You could use a simple yogurt or our family favorite:

Fruit Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese

  • ¾ c. brown sugar

  • ¼ c. white sugar

  • 1 t. vanilla

Mix together and enjoy!

Granola Balls

These are little yummy balls of deliciousness! And, again, you can play around with the ingredients so that it’s customized to your liking.  This recipe is one my kids made at Becky’s Mindful Kitchen:

Easy Granola Bites

Author: Becky's Mindful Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c peanuts-blended to make peanut butter or 3/4 c peanut butter

  • 1/3 c honey

  • 1 1/4 c oats

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla or other flavor extract

  • optional: 1/2c raisins, chocolate chips, cranberries, other dried fruits, chia seeds

Instructions

Mix together peanut butter, honey, oats and vanilla plus any additional ingredients and form into balls.  Store in fridge and enjoy!

Smoothie

I love a good smoothie when I’m on the go.  It’s easy to make, put in a travel mug and drink while driving.  No crumbs in the car = a happy Mama. Another nice thing about smoothies is you can throw in whatever you have on hand.  I like to use a base of frozen fruit, add some coconut milk (regular milk works fine too), some crushed pineapple, yogurt if I have some, and then some fresh fruit. Do your kids ever complain about fruits that are too “mushy” or maybe a bit past their prime???  I find that these are the BEST fruits to throw into a smoothie. You can also add some spinach or carrot juice for an extra veggie helping, but without the veggie taste. Sneaky!

Cucumber Sandwiches

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These are cute little sandwiches that are both easy to make and fun to eat.  Use cucumbers as the bread, then throw in your favorite sandwich fixins. Meat, cheese, tomato, yum!

 

Caprese bites

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hese delicious morsels just scream summer to me.  Fresh mozzarella, a basil leaf, cherry tomato and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Perfection!

Nuts and dried fruit

Talk about healthy…mix together your favorite nuts and dried fruits for a yummy snack.  I have one child who likes almonds and dried blueberries, and another that loves cashews and crasins, and yet another who skips the nuts and just eats all the dried fruit.  Below is one of our favorite Gorp recipes that has become one of our Road Trip staples.

Gorp

Ingredients

  • ¼ c. butter

  • ¼ c. packed brown sugar

  • 1 T syrup

  • ½ t. ground cinnamon

  • 2 c. craisins

  • 2 c. almonds

  • 2 c. pretzel nuggets

Instructions

  1. Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and syrup.  Add cinnamon.

  2. Pour over cranberries, almonds and pretzels. Toss to coat.

  3. Spread mixture onto greased cookie sheet.

  4. Bake 15 minutes at 300 degrees.

All things Peanut Butter

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We are luckily a family without any food allergies, which means we use peanut butter in lots of different ways.  PB and apples, PB and celery sticks with raisins, PB and banana in a tortilla, PB and pretzels, PB on crackers and PB on rice cakes. So many options and all so good!

Freezer Pops

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You can find popsicle molds in almost every store in the summer time.  Grab some and make your own popsicles. I’ve had really good luck with these Zoku molds.

There are many fun and easy ways to customize your popsicles.  We like to make parfait pops by simply adding a little milk to the above parfait idea and then freezing.  The same goes for smoothie pops. Make a smoothie and freeze. I grew up loving pudding pops, but I never see them in stores any more.  So…I made my own. Simply make up some instant pudding and freeze! Yum!! Another great option is to freeze any of the Naked juices. I like that those juices are a little thicker than a regular juice.  And if you’re really in a pinch, I’ve been known to buy GoGurt and throw them in the freezer. My kids think it’s fun and you can’t get any easier!

Hopefully these snacks will give you some new ideas and maybe even an extra ounce of sanity.  Happy Summer-ing!