Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5 easy summer food ideas for kids

The kids are out of school for summer vacation. Keep them focused on healthy food choices. Take the kids to the farmers’ market and talk about what you’re purchasing and what you can do with it. Gear up for summer with some healthy and easy-for-kids-to-make ideas.

Parfaits

Wash, dry and cut up some strawberries. Toss together with some raspberries or blueberries. Greek yogurt is a super-healthy food for children and adults. It might taste a little bland to young kids; you can always pair with fruit to add some sweetness. If the kids need something more, you can add a little honey and stir it into the yogurt. Have the kids layer the ingredients in tall glasses and serve.

Granola Energy Bars

Getting granola bars and taking a long hike is a fit idea for the whole family. The hike is a great idea for you physically, but the granola bars and energy bars you get from the store are loaded with added sugars. Make your own and add the ingredients you like. Bake up a batch from this Eating Well recipe.

When the granola is cooled, slice and tuck into individual sandwich bags for a snack that’s good for you and ready to hit the trails for the afternoon.

Macerated Berries

Macerated berries are a tasty way to get a serving of fruit. Kids can sprinkle some granulated sugar over washed berries in a bowl. The sugar draws out the natural juices of the berries to create a syrup for the berries. This takes about 20 minutes. You can add a citrus taste to the berries too; have your kids mash some lemon or orange zest into the sugar. They can use the back of a spoon to muddle the sugar and the zest together.

Granita

This dessert is cool and refreshing and can even help your kids with telling time. Pour some lemonade in a 9×12 baking dish to the depth of about 1 inch. Allow to set in the freezer for 2 hours. Tell your kids to keep an eye on the clock and that every 30 minutes they are going to scrape the top of the granita. Repeat scraping 3 or 4 more times. This creates the crystals that are the signature texture of a granita. Puree some watermelon and make a watermelon granita. Read about one from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, here. Try flavor combinations that sound good to you and your kids and serve in a bowl or a waffle cone, or pick up some paper cones at the store.

Cheese Balls

What partygoer doesn’t love a cheese ball? Author Michelle Buffardi offers ideas for a cheese ball for everyone or individual portions in her book Great Balls of Cheese. Summertime is the perfect time of year to have family movie nights. Throw a movie night, maybe have some friends over, and get the kids making some of the creations in Buffardi’s cookbook. Kids will have fun in the kitchen making cheese creations with black olive eyes and almond slice ears and so much more.

 

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Alice Knisley Matthias
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