The following post from the archives was written by editor Kara Fleck. It originally appeared in June of 2011.
The days are growing longer and hotter. This time of year, my family wants to to eat things that are lighter and I don’t want to spend a lot of time in a hot kitchen preparing a snack. The sooner we can get back to the Summer fun, the better! This is the time to enjoy while it lasts, afterall.
At our house, during the warmer months, I have two main ideas that I fall back on for simple Summertime snacks for the kids: the muffin tin of “nibbles” and popsicles.
The muffin tin of “nibbles”
Setting out a muffin tray of bite-sized snacks for the kids to nibble on is something that goes back to my own childhood. My mom used to prepare a muffin tin of snacks on Friday nights and leave it in the fridge for us to help ourselves to on Saturday mornings (so that she could sleep in one day a week, that wise woman).
At our house, a muffin tin, or “nibble” tray, is usually our mid-morning snack. Though, I’ll admit that sometimes on busy days, the muffin tins gets refilled and becomes lunch, too.
What I include in the muffin tin varies according to what fruits and veggies and bite-sized snacks that we have on hand. Sometimes I include something sweet like chocolate chips or vanilla wafers.
Here is a typical example of what I include for my three table food eaters to share:
A Recent Muffin Tin Snack:
Rice chips, almonds, chocolate chips
cherry tomatoes, strawberries, Colby Jack cheese,
We have a smoothie nearly every day, year round. I have found that this is a simple way for me, not only to get some extra fruit into the kids, but also to sneak in some spinach or kale for an extra healthful boost. We have a different colored smoothie, in a rainbow, for every day of the week.
For warmer days, when we are outside, I turn our smoothie mixes into popsicles. For Summertime popsicles, I just blend everything up in the morning, as I normally would for our afternoon snack, and then I pour it into a popsicle mold and freeze. They are usually ready in the afternoons for us to enjoy.
Here are some of our favorite mixes:
- blueberries, handful of baby spinach, frozen banana, splash of orange juice
- frozen cherries (no pits), yogurt, small handful of baby spinach
- banana, applesauce, yogurt
- orange juice, banana, yogurt
And, of course, much of our Summertime snacking involves treats of the kind we pluck from the strawberry or tomato plants and pop into our mouths, warm from the sun.
What are some of your kids’ favorite Summertime snacks? How do you keep snacking simple and light during the hotter days of the year?