Cool, Refreshing, & Easy Healthy Summer Snacks

By Kari Hartel, RD, LD
Program Coordinator, Cooking Matters, Operation Food Search

Summer is in full swing and the typical Midwest heat and humidity are back with a vengeance. During this sticky summer season, you probably don’t feel like firing up your stove to cook. Instead, why not whip up some of these cool, refreshing, and easy healthy summer snacks?

Fruit Pops—In a blender, combine fresh or frozen fruit pieces, water, and a small amount of honey or sugar. Blend together until smooth. Pour the mixture evenly into empty ice cube trays. Stick a popsicle stick into each cube. Leave in the freezer about two hours or until frozen. Enjoy!

Cucumber Sammies — Cut cucumber into thin slices. Top half of the slices with small pieces of turkey and cheese (reduced-sodium if available). Cover each one with another cucumber slice. Cucumbers high water content will help hydrate and keep you cool!

Avocado Crunch — Mash a ripe avocado in a small bowl. Add the juice of half a lemon, 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds, and a pinch of salt. Spread the mixture over whole wheat crackers or eat with vegetable slices. Yum!

Fruit Sodas — Fill a pitcher or glass half with 100% fruit juice and half with seltzer water. Cut a lime in half and squeeze the juice into the pitcher. Gently stir and enjoy. This beverage has half the calories of soda or fruit juice alone!

Flavored Waters — Cut up fresh fruit slices – you can use lemons, limes, oranges, watermelon, or cucumbers. Pour a pitcher or water bottle of ice water, add fruit slices and stir. For a different flavor, add chopped fresh herbs like mint or rosemary to your water. Staying hydrated has never been so yummy!

Watermelon or Cantaloupe Slushies — In a blender, combine watermelon or cantaloupe chunks, a little water, and some honey or sugar. Pour into glasses and enjoy a delicious, refreshing fruit slushy!

Pineapple Sorbet — In a food processor or blender, combine some pineapple, sugar, water, and a squeeze of lemon, and then freeze. Spoon into a bowl for a delightful treat!

Go Bananas — Start by selecting bananas that are ripe, but not over-ripe. Peel and stick a popsicle stick into the bottom of each banana, place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet, and pop them in the freezer for an hour. Next, dip them in some chocolate dipping syrup, then roll them in nuts, toffee, peanuts, or coconut. Who doesn’t love chocolate and bananas?!

Frozen Grapes — Simply, rinse and freeze grapes for a refreshing afternoon snack. Or, put frozen grapes and a cup of yogurt into a bowl and stir for a real cool treat!

Most children welcome summertime with open arms. However, hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation. When children have empty stomachs, summertime can bring mixed emotions. The oppressive heat during the dog days of summer, coupled with hunger, is a combination most would find unbearable. Thanks to the generosity of friends like you, summer doesn’t have to be the hungriest time of the year for kids in need.

You can help close the nutrition gap kids face while school is out by making a donation today at www.OperationFoodSearch.org. Your gift will help heal the hurt of hunger for local kids. Together, #WeFeedKids!