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Healthy Summer Treats

The long days and warm weather of summer means memories, fun, and family time. Unfortunately, no school and less access to friends can also lead to listless, bored children and teens. And every parent knows that a bored kid is a snacking kid. Luckily, there are some simple, delicious, and kid-friendly recipes available to keep your little ones happy and healthy through those summer munchies. Keep some on hand for long summer afternoons or–even better–pack some up as an on-the-go snack to get kids up off the couch and moving in all that glorious summer sunshine!

Peach, Strawberry, and Banana Smoothie Pops

Coming in at under 70 calories each, these deliciously creamy fruit popsicles make a great alternative to high fat and sugary ice creams and store-bought popsicles. You can mix up the fruit–using whatever is on sale and freshest at the moment.

3 ripe peaches, pitted, peeled and chopped

1 banana

1 cup strawberries, hulled

1 ¼ cups plain Greek yogurt

4 tablespoons honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, mixing until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds, paper cups, or ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Remove frozen smoothie pops and enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Banana Bites

Another frozen treat to beat the heat with, this delicious snack or dessert will take you right back to your favorite amusement park and the frozen bananas on a stick they used to sell there. Dark chocolate has tons of healthy antioxidants, and peanut or almond butter are both excellent sources of protein–just don’t let your kids know that it’s actually a healthy ice cream alternative!

3-4 bananas, sliced into about ½ inch rounds

½ cup low fat peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter

¾ cup melted dark chocolate

(optional) chopped peanuts, almonds, or cashews

Sandwich two banana slices together using the nut butter in between. Place on wax paper or a baking tray and freeze for an hour. Melt the dark chocolate using a double boiler or the microwave, and remove the banana rounds from the freezer. Dip each round into the chocolate and, if desired, sprinkle with chopped nuts. Return the rounds to the wax paper and freeze for another hour. (In an airtight container, these will last up to 2 weeks–but they’re so delicious that we doubt you’ll be able to keep your hands off of them for that long!)

Spicy Siracha Popcorn

Popcorn is the ultimate summer movie night snack. But those oil-popped kernels, drenched in butter and salt, can be a sodium and fat bomb if you’re not careful. If your kids like their snacks on the spicy side, swap out that theater popcorn for this equally delicious version with tons of flavor and much fewer calories. And be sure and check out sites like Pinterest for more healthy summer snacks your kids will love.

1 bag microwavable air popped popcorn, salt and butter free

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon Siracha sauce (or other hot sauce)

Pop the popcorn according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan or microwavable container, combine Siracha and butter, melting and stirring together. Drizzle the Siracha butter over the popcorn and toss to combine.

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