Healthy Summer Snack Ideas
Guest Post by Bonnie Pace, MS, CNS, LDN
Summer is a great time for snacking because of the wonderful, colorful bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You didn’t think the nutritionist was going to tell you to snack on anything else, did you?!
But if you’re looking to grab something other than a peach, here are some ways to spice up healthy snacks for you and your family.
Freeze your fruit
Frozen grapes are delicious and refreshing — plus, they can fill that desire for ice cream! Frozen bananas can be rolled in crushed nuts or chocolate chips, or blended with frozen strawberries or peaches into another ice cream alternative. Frozen watermelon is also a tasty and hyrdating option.
Slide blueberries, raspberries and chunks of pineapple onto a skewer and serve as a fancy snack or side dish. As a dessert, cover with a very light dust of powdered sugar. Fancy!
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Fruit guac or salsa
Add fresh summer fruit such as peaches into your guacamole mix. Pump up your salsa with mango and strawberries. Serve your dips with sliced veggies in addition to chips to squeeze in more nutrition and less fat.
Yogurt & peanut butter dip
The perfect dip for your fruit kabobs! Use a thicker fuller fat Greek yogurt and a peanut butter whose only ingredients are peanuts and salt. It’s a great dip for sliced apples or pretzel chips, full of protein and a dose of healthy fats.
Ants on a log
Fill a celery stalk with peanut butter and march raisins across the top, and you have a kid favorite and great poolside snack!
Open faced PB & marshmallow toast
Start with a piece of whole grain bread and top with a simple ingredient peanut butter. Sprinkle with marshmallows and toast open faced for a yummy snack that your kids will ask for over and over.
Chilled spaghetti salad
Another refreshing summer salad is a chilled spaghetti salad. Use your favorite spaghetti, including rice or other non wheat pastas. Chop up cucumbers, tomatoes, and any other summer veggies you like, and toss with oil and vinegar, fresh herbs and a seasoning salt for a delicious summer snack or meal!
Homemade granola bars
Granola bars are easy and fun to make with the whole family. Click here for a great recipe courtesy of Cookie and Kate.
More simple snack ideas
Looking for some more quick and low-maintenance options?
- Popcorn is always a healthy favorite, and can be packaged in sandwich bags for on the go snacks.
- Turkey and vegetarian jerkys are flavorful and full of protein.
- Fresh cherry tomatoes with small scoops of fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar can be served on skewers or tossed with fresh basil for caprese salad.
- Fresh cucumbers can be sliced with onions, olive oil, vinegar and sugar or Truvia/Stevia for a refreshing cucumber salad.
Finally, it has to be said: Sometimes, you just need ice cream. It’s okay to have an occasional splurge! If you can, plan a splurge day so you get lots of veggies and lean protein before you enjoy a sweet treat. There’s also lots of lower fat and dairy-free alternatives on the market, plus a machine called YoNana where you can make a great ice cream alternative with frozen peaches, strawberries, etc
Want more summer inspiration?
CA’s new web page is devoted to helping you have your best season yet — check it out here. Plus, you won’t want to miss the following blogs:
- 7 Ways To Stay Cool in the Columbia Sun
- Best Family-Friendly Hikes & Trails in Columbia
- How to Keep Mosquitoes Away This Summer
- 6 Family-Friendly Day Trips From Columbia
- 6 Great Places To Bring Your Pup in Columbia
- 5 Kid-Approved Spots For Summer Fun