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Summer snacks: Healthy treats for kids

Jul 13th, 2010 | Category: Cooking

by Beth Porter

Bare feet and a bright blue sky makes for an ideal summer day for most kids. There is lots to be done, lots of ground to explore, and when the grumbles in the belly hit, lots to snack on. But before you open that box of easy freezer pops, consider joining forces with the kids to make an easy healthy treat you can all eat, and have fun doing so.
Some people think getting your children into the kitchen is a difficult concept during the summer months – they’d rather be outside than spend even 10 minutes in the kitchen. But go ahead and tell them you’re making a nice cold treat or cookies and you are guaranteed to capture their attention.
Having your child in the kitchen is an easy way to not only introduce them to the nutritional benefits, but you also show the preparation and care it takes when making food for the family.
Keep in mind kids can also help with shopping. Before you go to your farmers market or local store for your ingredient needs, talk about what you’ll be going to get and for what recipe. Your kids can help find what you need. Berry picking together is another great way!
Each week, as I go to the grocery store or local farm stands for food, I make it a point to bring my children so they understand where we are going and why we are supporting local farmers when possible.
Going to a farmers market is a great way to show your children about food; a good place to talk about it. They meet the farmer, pay for the produce, carry the produce home and help cut it, cook it or eat when we get home.
Summer time provides a lot of great fresh fruit options and healthy snack ideas. At this point, my kids will eat berries straight from the container. But being able to make something together, means more fun for us and it tastes good. Some recipes even make for learning experiences. When making the fruit kabob, for example, have the young kids count the fruit pieces.
Most of these recipes are healthy. The cookies are not low-fat, but every kid deserves a few cookies now and then, and they’ll need the calories with all their running around this summer!

Beth Porter enjoys baking with seasonal ingredients and feeding her family. She lives in Skagit County.

Very Berry Freeze Please

Ingredients
2 cups mixed fresh berries
(or just one kind of berry)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup crushed ice
whole berries for topping

Directions
Place all of the ingredients in the blender, process until smooth. Place in small bowls and top with whole berries.

Fruit Kabob
Ingredients
Gather various fruits you like, such as:
Strawberries
Watermelon chunks
Seedless grapes
Apples
Blueberries
Honeydew, etc.
Directions
Cut fresh fruit into pieces. Using kabob sticks, let the kids select and “design” their kabob. Then eat it!

Melon Boat

Ingredients
1 large watermelon
1 honeydew melon
1 cup blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup seedless grapes

Directions
Cut watermelon lengthwise, making 1 section deeper. Scoop out watermelon, making balls and removing seeds. Make melon balls of honeydew. In large bowl mix all melon balls and other fruit. Place in large side of watermelon shell.

Berry-Yogurt Popsicles
*This will make 4-6 popsicles, depending on the size of your molds
Ingredients
1 quart strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tblspns water
1 tspn lemon juice
1 cup vanilla yogurt

Directions
In a medium sauce pan, combine strawberries, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer for five minutes, or until strawberries are very soft. Pour into a food processor, add the lemon juice, and pulse until fruit is almost pureed but not liquified. Chill in the refrigerator until cool.
Stir the yogurt into the strawberry mixture until combined. Pour into molds and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight. To remove, run warm water over the outside of the mold and gently pull popsicle out.

Zucchini – Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
3/4 cup shortening (creamed) or
butter
2 eggs
1 tblspn vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn salt
2 cups grated zucchini
1 bag chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grate the zucchini. Mix together the shortening, eggs, vanilla and sugars, blend well. In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Combine dry and wet ingredients, mix well (I mix by hand). Drop spoonfuls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes. Let sit on cookie sheet for a few minutes before removing.

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One Comment to “Summer snacks: Healthy treats for kids”

  1. Snack-Girl says:

    Great post! My favorite website for healthy snack ideas is http://www.snack-girl.com/

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