When Summer hits, kids are extra busy outside and burning more energy than ever. They need yummy snacks and cool drinks to keep them going strong. Having a consistent snack time helps to minimize the constant asking for food, but be sure to make liquids available as much as possible on those really hot days. The bonus of these summer snacks is that parents can (and will want to) join in, so make sure there is enough for you too.
Sometimes you need snacks that are easy to take on the go and don’t create as much mess. Sticky hands and drippy chins can be difficult to tackle at times. Here are some snacks that create less mess and are easy to pack.
- Popcorn is the perfect snack to take along to the park or sporting events. It’s simple, cheap to make at home, and easy to clean up after. We love our stirring popcorn maker.
- Making your own trail mix or energy bites is a great snack for a boost when you’re out exploring on family adventures. For trail mix, try 3-4 kinds of nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews are crowd pleasers), golden raisins, craisins, and some M&Ms for a sweet addition that won’t melt.
- My kids also love dried or freeze-dried fruit. It’s less messy without the dripping juice, handy for in the car as a tidy snack. Dried apricots and banana chips are easy and less mess.
- Dry cereal can make a great snack on the go. It’s so simple, but the kids love to each pick a kind they want to try. It’s easily tossed into a snack bag to let them munch on it at the park or taking a break at the pool. Reusable snack bags are absolute perfection when packing any of these handy snacks.
Summer calls for cooling off in the shade with a great chilly snack. Making some cool snacks with the kids is also a fun activity to do together. These ideas are great for chilling out on those extra hot days.
- Ice cream is our top chilly summer snack. We like to make our own to control the contents, plus it just tastes so much better! You can make it with real fruits, less sugar, and lower dairy fat content if you want it a little healthier (Haha, healthy ice cream!) We love the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence Ice Cream Maker.
- Frozen yogurt tubes are a simple and easy option. Just toss them in the freezer and cut the top off when ready to eat.
- Homemade popsicles made from smoothies are a hit here. If you want to keep it really quick and easy, just pour drinkable yogurt into the molds instead of blending your own fruits and juices. The Zoku Mini Pop Molds are perfect for little ones — they minimize the choking potential with the shape style that can’t go too far into the mouth.
- There is always the frozen banana snack. Cut bananas in half and put on a stick. Dip or cover with peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, or anything your kiddos like. Then freeze on wax paper.
My last summer snack suggestion is the ultimate healthy and a bonus learning experience, but it does take some effort. If you have space, plant a garden with your kids! We have two small box gardens that can overflow with healthy snacks all summer. Even a few large pots can do the trick if you don’t have a yard. Kids love to learn about planting seeds (or little plants from the greenhouse to get a head start), learn to water them and get to pick them. All my kids are very excited to eat fresh veggies outside because they have been apart of the process of growing them. This is the one snack option I allow them to take from any time outside the designated snack time.
The items that kids seem to enjoy the most from our garden are…
- Snap Peas
- Tiny tomatoes
So pack a few handy snacks for your park date this week, have a chilly snack break in the shade on the weekend, or try your hand at helping the kids tend a garden for the season. Enjoy making memories together, and watching your kids seemingly grow twice as fast in the summer sun. It’s going to be a great adventure!
Rhonda Doerksen lives in Manitoba, Canada with her husband Dan and three kids. She is a survivor of HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) with her singleton pregnancy, then had twin boys 4 years later. She is the creator and manager of a non-profit support group for parents of multiples. She finds adventure and joy in her personal art creations. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.