Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

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by Katie Eliot, SLU Dietician

KMOV.com

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 16 at 1:25 PM

Looking for some fun ways to keep kids fueled this summer without indulging in added sugars and unhealthy fats? 

Stick to these three snack preparation principles and you're on your way to some tasty, healthy treats:
· Include at least a fruit, vegetable or whole grain in each snack
· Rely on sweetness from sugar that is naturally found in foods
· Let kids help make their snacks as often as possible

Here are some great ideas using these principles:

At the Pool
Even though kids are playing in the water, they still need to drink plenty of water.  To make it fun and tasty without all the added sugar of a juice drink or soda, try adding these fun ice cubes to water for a sweet, hydrating treat:

· Pour 100% fruit juice into an ice cube tray. 
· Put a small piece of fruit (blueberry, raspberry or watermelon cubes are great) into each slot.  Freeze until solid.
· Fill up tall glasses with the ice cubes and add water on top.  The water will become cold, sweet and fruity while the ice melts.  Sip from a fun straw and enjoy!

At the Park
Banana-pops are an easy to transport treat that will have kids eating their fruits and grains on the go.

· Slice banana into 2 inch bites.
· Spread peanut butter onto banana slices
· Roll banana slices in crushed up whole grain cereal
· Stick a pretzel rod into banana slice and it's ready to eat.

On the Road
Let kids put together their own healthy trail mix before you hit the road.  Set out bowls of each of the following ingredients and let kids go through and pick what they want

· Dried fruit: pick lots of different colors
· Whole grain cereal: choose a low sugar variety
· Nuts or seeds: almonds and walnuts are a great choice

At the movies
Or when it's just too hot to go outside - make a fun and healthy twist on fried cheese:

· Combine 10 oz. frozen broccoli (thawed) with 2 eggs in a blender, stir in 8 ounces of reduced fat cheddar cheese
· Spread whole wheat bread crumbs out on a cutting board and spread broccoli cheese mixture over bread crumbs. 
· Top with more bread crumbs and roll out like cookie dough
· Cut into fun shapes and bake until browned. 

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