Methodist Healthcare July 24, 2019

Looking for summer snacks the whole family can enjoy? Consider a couple of strategies that make snack time delicious and healthy then fill up on my top 10 go-tos!

First, you’ll want to choose a snack that includes both fiber and protein - these are the keys to feeling fuller longer, i.e., your kids won’t be asking for snacks all day long. Secondly, try to include a fruit and/or veggie at every opportunity. Not only do we not eat enough of them, but fresh fruits and veggies can also be the perfect way for cool off in this summer heat. Plus, buying fresh and in-season produce also makes snack time more affordable.

Ready to start snacking? Here are 10 ideas that fit the bill and fill hungry tummies:

  1. Frozen grapes + PB: Buy seedless grapes in any variety and de-stem, wash, and allow to dry thoroughly. Then, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the grapes on the sheet pan and into the freezer (this will prevent them from clumping together). After freezing, toss in a freezer bag and store until snack time. I like to dip the grapes in peanut butter for a fun summer take on peanut butter and jelly!
  2. Raspberries and chocolate chips: fill the raspberry pit with almond slivers and dark chocolate chips (I like Lily’s brand sweetened with Stevia) for a treat your kids can help prep and the whole family will enjoy.
  3. Jicama and guac: Chips aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be! Enjoy a fresh guacamole with jicama chips (simply slice jicama in thin rounds or matchsticks), and to up the protein and healthy fat game, mix in some hemp hearts into your guac (they’ll never know!). Substitute carrots, cucumber and peppers for the jicama (or all!) and keep it colorful and interesting.
  4. Fresh fruit paletas: Take your favorite fruit like watermelon, melon or pineapple and blend with plain Greek yogurt. Pour into popsicle molds and toss in smaller pieces of fruit like berries. Freeze and enjoy these creamy treats by the pool!
  5. Hummus pizza: Lightly oil and toast a whole grain pita by placing in a 300-degree oven for 5-10 minutes. Spread a roasted red pepper or other favorite hummus and top with fresh tomato and basil.
  6. Chickpea chips: Drain a can of garbanzo beans, a.k.a. chickpeas, and toss with olive oil, salt, and a little chili powder (you can also add red pepper flakes or cayenne for a little kick). Roast on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes until crispy and start munching. Chickpea chips are chock-full of protein and fiber and such a yummy snack while watching your favorite summer movie.
  7. Banana pops: You’ll want to freeze these in three easy steps. First, peel ripe bananas and cut in half horizontally so you have two mostly even pieces. Insert a wooden popsicle stick in each and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze until just partially frozen (about 30 minutes). Remove from freezer and dip each banana into a glass filled with vanilla or chocolate Greek yogurt and place back on the baking sheet and into the freezer for another 30 minutes or so. Remove and press chocolate chips into the yogurt and freeze one last time. Kids love prepping these fun and healthy banana yogurt snacks!
  8. Edamame: Proof that snacking doesn’t have to be complicated - simply steam a bag of frozen edamame and top with a little sea salt. Rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants, the soybeans are wonderful in salads, stir-fries or as a stand-alone snack.
  9. Orange you nuts: Section an orange or mandarin or clementine and top with walnut pieces (rich in heart healthy omega-3 fats) and a drizzle of honey for a perfectly refreshing and filling afternoon pick-me-up. Place them a cup with a fork and watch your family dig in.
  10. Apple almond butter sandwich: Slice a large, firm apple in thin to medium slices. Top one slice with almond butter and another apple slice. You can also substitute cheese for the almond butter because no matter how you slice it, this is a fun and healthy take on a sandwich, no bread required.

Happy summer snacking!