The 9 Worst Summer Snacks and Treats for Kids
Warm-weather treats to avoid, plus 9 healthy snack alternatives.
Healthy Snacks for Summer continued...
"Eating at regular intervals discourages kids from grazing, which is that near-continuous nibbling or drinking, or both, throughout the day," says Sothern.
That's not to say that healthy snacks don't have their place in a child's diet. Whether you're on the road, spending the day at the beach, or hanging out in the backyard, Sothern recommends keeping healthy, low-calorie snacks on hand and doling them out in reasonable portions.
And just what constitutes a healthy snack for kids? Snacks should offer vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and should be enough to take the edge off a child's hunger, but not squelch it.
Remember that liquid calories count, too. Keep water handy to avoid buying soda, lemonade, or fruit drinks. Or, concoct a refreshing, low-sugar spritzer with equal parts 100% fruit juice and club soda.
Here are nine simple summer snacks that offer good nutrition for the calories:
- Any frozen treat under 150 calories per serving, such as fudge bars, fruit bars, "light" and "slow-churned" ice creams and sherbet (you can also freeze yogurt sold in tubes).
- Homemade frozen fruit pops made with 100% fruit juice and frozen berries.
- Fruit and yogurt parfaits: Layer low-fat vanilla yogurt with fresh fruit.
- Frozen fruit, such as chunks of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew with low-fat fruit yogurt for dipping.
- Homemade smoothie made with milk, fresh fruit, and crushed ice.
- Homemade trail mix: Mix single-serve low-fat microwave popcorn with shelled pistachios and dried fruit, such as raisins or cranberries.
- Mini whole-wheat bagels spread with peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter.
- Sliced red and green bell peppers, baby carrots, and hummus for dipping.
- Whole fresh strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate.