Healthy and refreshing summer snacks for kids
During the sweltering heat of the summer months, it’s more important than ever to provide children with hydrating and nutritious snack options. Here are some simple but satisfying suggestions.
Summer is a special time for kids, filled with outdoor activities and endless fun. While it might be tempting to reach for ice cream and other sweet treats, it’s essential to provide children with healthy, refreshing snacks that fuel their bodies and keep them hydrated amid the scorching heat. We look at snack options that are not only tasty but also nutrient-dense, ensuring kids stay fueled and healthy throughout their summer adventures.
Watermelon, with its high water content, is a great choice to help little ones avoid getting dehydrated. To add a fun twist, try creating watermelon ‘pizza slices’ by cutting the fruit into round shapes and adding toppings. These could include a dollop of Greek yoghurt, sliced berries or a sprinkle of granola. Kids will love trying out different things on top – there are no rules, so pick things your children will enjoy! This colourful and juicy treat is a lot of fun, and is also packed with vitamins A, B and C – a win-win for everyone!
VEGGIE SUSHI ROLLS
Veggie sushi rolls are not only a fun, quirky snack but they’re also a nutritious way to introduce kids to different vegetables. Spread a thin layer of sushi rice on a sheet of seaweed (nori), leaving a border around the edges. Add colourful strips of vegetables – cucumber, carrot, avocado and bell peppers can be good options. Roll the sushi tightly and slice it into bite-sized pieces. Serve these with low-sodium soy sauce or a side of wasabi and pickled ginger. These veggie sushi rolls are packed with goodness, making them a wholesome snack option for kids.
Say goodbye to shop-bought popsicles loaded with artificial flavours and sugars this summer. Instead, give making your own homemade versions a go, using fresh fruits and natural sweeteners. Blend fruits like strawberries, kiwis or peaches with a splash of fruit juice or coconut water. Pour this mixture into popsicle moulds, insert sticks and freeze them until they become solid. These fruity popsicles are a fantastic way to keep kids hydrated, provide them with a boost of nutrients and allow them a sweet ‘treat’.
Yoghurt parfaits are not only visually appealing, but also make for a versatile and nutritious snack that kids will love. Layer Greek yoghurt, fresh berries (such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries), and granola in a clear glass or jar. You can also add a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of chia seeds for extra flavour and texture. The combination of creamy yoghurt, juicy berries and crunchy granola provides a balanced snack, rich in protein, fibre and antioxidants. It’s a refreshing and filling option that can be enjoyed as a snack or even as a light breakfast on hot summer mornings.
FROZEN BANANA BITES
Frozen banana bites are a tasty way to satisfy your child’s (and your own!) sweet tooth while sneaking in some nutrients. Simply slice ripe bananas into bite-sized pieces and dip them in melted dark chocolate. To keep things interesting, you can roll them in crushed nuts or shredded coconut, depending on your little one’s tastes. Place the banana bites on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze them until the chocolate hardens. These simple little treats are not only refreshing, but also a good source of potassium, fibre and antioxidants – and they feel like a delicious indulgence too!
This is a summer snack that comes all the way from Spain and goes down very well there with kids and adults alike. On hot summer days, a chilled gazpacho soup can be a very refreshing and nutritious snack option for kids. All you have to do is blend ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, garlic and a splash of olive oil in a food processor until it becomes smooth. Season it with salt, pepper and a hint of lemon juice.
Refrigerate your gazpacho for a few hours to enhance the flavours even more! If you like, you can serve it in small bowls or cups, garnished with fresh herbs like coriander or basil. This tangy soup is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it a hydrating and flavorful snack, or cooling summer lunch for kids – ideal after a morning playing in the sunshine!
Sometimes the simplest snacks are the most enjoyable. Frozen grapes are a wonderful bite-sized treat that are perfect during the hot summer days. They’re also exceptionally simple to make – just wash and dry seedless grapes and freeze them for a few hours until they are firm and icy. These frozen jewels can be a healthy alternative to sugary treats, delivering a burst of natural sweetness alongside some much-needed hydration. Grapes are also rich in antioxidants, including resveratrol, which is anti-inflammatory and good for many of the body’s functions. Keep a stash of frozen grapes in the freezer through the summer for an easy, guilt-free snack option for your little ones.
Cooling and hydrating, cucumber sandwiches are a British staple that make a lovely snack on hot afternoons. Use thinly sliced cucumbers as a filling between whole-grain bread slices, spread with cream cheese or hummus. Adding fresh herbs like basil or mint can make this delicate snack even more refreshing. These light sandwiches are hydrating, rich in vitamins K and C and can be a quaint lunch option too.
RAINBOW FRUIT SALAD
A vibrant and enticing fruit salad can be a really appealing snack for kids, especially if you combine eye-catching fruits such as watermelon, pineapple, grapes, kiwis and oranges. Toss them together in a bowl for a refreshing, nutritious and very easy treat. A rainbow fruit salad offers a wide range of nutrients for little ones, it can be changed up depending on what you have in your fridge and it’s sweet enough to be considered a ‘treat’ but is also very healthy and quenching. Ideal!
Getting kids excited about vegetables can be a real challenge, but veggie skewers with a tasty dip can make eating vegetables fun. Simply thread bite-sized vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, bell pepper chunks and carrot sticks onto skewers. To add in a little protein, you can include cubes of cheese, prawns or grilled chicken. It can be even better to serve the skewers with a child-friendly dip, such as hummus, tzatziki or a yoghurt-based ranch dressing. The combination of colourful veggies and a delicious dip not only provides essential vitamins and minerals, but also encourages children to enjoy their vegetables in a playful and interactive way.
HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX
Sometimes kids find it harder to eat large amounts in one go when the weather is very hot. It can be good to have a snack that little ones can graze on throughout the day so that they still get the nutrients and calories that they need to fuel all their summer activities! A trail mix is a great solution and creating a custom version allows you to tailor the ingredients to your child’s preferences and dietary needs.
All it takes is to combine a variety of dried fruits such as apricots, raisins or cranberries, nuts such as almonds, cashews or walnuts, and a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips or pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Mix everything together in a bowl and portion them into small resealable bags to make easy grab-and-go snacks. This homemade trail mix offers a mix of healthy fats, fibre and antioxidants, providing children with sustained energy and a crunchy delight to snack on during their adventures.
When it comes to summer snacks, it’s crucial to strike a balance between nutrition and enjoyment. These healthy, refreshing snack ideas offer a range of flavours, textures and nutrients that will keep your child satisfied and hydrated during the hottest months of the year. From watermelon pizza to homemade fruit popsicles and cucumber sandwiches, these snacks will not only keep them cool but also nourish their growing bodies with essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. By saying goodbye to sugary treats and embracing these homemade snacks, you can ensure your little ones have a fun-filled, healthy summer, while instilling good eating habits that will benefit them for a lifetime.