Summer can either be the perfect season for healthy snacking — all that fresh, readily available and inexpensive produce — or for perfectly unhealthy snacking.
“For kids who aren’t enrolled in structured activities like camp, summer can be a time of unsupervised and excessive snacking,” says Elizabeth Coover, RD, CSP, LDN, a clinical dietician with CHOP’s Healthy Weight Program. “Vacations and day trips may also present as an obstacle, filled with frozen treats and fried foods,” she adds.
While an occasional indulgence is fine, regularly reaching for unhealthy snack options can add up. To help steer your family toward healthier choices, we asked Coover to share a few of her favorite snack recipes. Both of the following can be made ahead of time so they’re ready to serve whenever snack time strikes.
Makes 12 ounces (or 1.5 cups) of hummus
Making your own hummus at home helps limit added salt and preservatives. The classic chickpea spread pairs perfectly with cut up vegetables for a quick and tasty snack, or as a sandwich spread in place of mayonnaise. While most hummus recipes include tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, ours is tahini-free, so even kids and families with sesame allergies can enjoy it.
1 15.5 ounce can of low sodium garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Drain and rinse the beans under cold water.
- Add the beans, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper to a food processor or blender. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons; Calories: 60; Fiber: 2 grams; Protein: 2 grams
Makes 1 serving
Smoothies are maintaining their reign as a popular and "healthy" way to pack in plenty of fruits and vegetables for breakfast or a quick snack. But beware of store-bought drinks, which may have so much added sugar that you might as well be drinking a milkshake!
Skip the calorie-laden smoothie and try our nutrient-packed version, made with whole fruit. The only sugar you'll find in this shake is the natural kind.
1 sliced banana (small to medium)
4 ounces of 1% milk
4 ounces (or 1/2 cup) fat free plan Greek yogurt
3 or 4 ice cubes
Vanilla extract to taste (if desired)
- Add all ingredients together in a blender.
- Blend on high until smooth.
Calories: 225 calories; Fiber: 3 grams; Protein: 15 grams