The sun is out and the temperatures are rising! And, oh yeah, the kids are home for the summer. During the summer, parents have the challenge of finding snacks for hungry kids that are healthy, cool and filling. Here are eight options for some tasty treats that are perfect for summer living.
Three Bean Salad – Beans have amazing health benefits on their own and as a part of many healthy recipes. Not only are they high in fiber, but they can be a good source of protein too. This healthy treat is a traditional summer picnic food because it is light, crisp and filling. The three bean salad includes cannellini beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and other veggies like celery and red onion. Add some seasonings (parsley and rosemary, to name two) and you’ll have a healthy side dish for your next summer get-together.
Caprese Salad – This one might sound fancy, but caprese salad is incredibly easy and tasty! This recipe counts on using the freshest and tastiest ingredients, and includes ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar. The salad can be presented many different ways – sliced, stacked or on skewers. The result is a light, satisfying treat with something for everyone.
Salad Skewers –Summer is prime time for grilling. While we may think of burgers and hotdogs, veggies can be delicious when grilled, and served as a tasty snack or side. Salad Skewers consist of your favorite vegetables and wooden skewers! Try combinations with mushrooms, red onions, cherry tomatoes and zucchini.
Yogurt and fruit – Ice cream isn’t the only “it’s hot out there” treat! Consider yogurt and fruit as a nice alternative to ice cream snacks. Use plain or flavored yogurt (vanilla or honey flavored greek yogurt is a great base to keep your family filled) and add fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries or apples. For an extra treat, freeze the yogurt first.
Frozen grapes – Frozen grapes are a simple, tasty way to add a little vitamin C to your summer snacking schedule. All you need is a bunch of your favorite type of grapes and a freezer! Wash off the grapes, drain and separate them, then leave the grapes on the bunch in the freezer, checking them regularly.
Roasted chickpeas – In the mood for some munchies? Roasted chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are an easy, healthy snack with an added benefit – they are portable and also a high quality protein! Think of these as a different kind of roasted nut. Try this recipe, which includes a mixture of curry, Moroccan and Mexican spices, for a spicy version of this snack.
Tuna-Stuffed Tomatoes – Tuna salad is tasty on its own, but added to fresh, juicy tomatoes, it becomes a low-carb, protein-packed snack that’s perfect for the pool or beach. Use a light tuna salad recipe, then core the tomatoes and add a dollop of salad inside.
Pineapple salsa – Chips and dips go with summer like hot dogs and pool parties. For a different twist on the standard salsa, try pineapple salsa. This recipe includes fresh diced pineapple, sweet red pepper, red onion, cilantro and other fresh ingredients, and it’s as easy as chopping, stirring and cooling! Try it with peppers or carrots for a healthier substitute for tortilla chips.
Amanda Austin is a social media manager for a health care organization by day and a blogger and freelance writer by night. She's also a mom to an amazing 2 year-old boy and wife to a great guy who indulges all her celebrity gossip. Amanda loves coffee, fashion, Twitter, makeup, nail polish, and cats (not always in that order.) Her work has been published on family.com and blogher.com. For more celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty and DIY, visit Amanda's blog, It's Blogworthy or follow her on Twitter and Google+.