3 Healthy Summer Snack Ideas to Make with Your Class
Summer is here, but have no fear! We’ve come up with 3 (tested and approved) healthy recipes that you can make with your class. Not only are they good for you, but they’re easy and fun to make for small hands. Cooking with children can certainly be anxiety inducing, especially from the mess it might create, the time it takes, or a budget you might be on. We’ve worked hard to come up with recipes that you can feel comfortable and care free about getting the kids involved in, perfect for summer or any time of the year.
We suggest setting up “stations” with different ingredients, and talking about cooking basics like scooping, pouring, measuring, slicing, washing hands, and cleaning up beforehand. The best way to avoid a chaotic cooking environment is to plan ahead and have everything set up. Make sure children fully understand rules beforehand such as “we don’t lick the spoon that everyone shares” or “we don’t stick our fingers into the bowl” and you’ll have a smooth and fun experience for all.
1. Rice Cake Fruit Pizzas
We love this recipe because it can be gluten free or dairy free with an easy swap for sun butter (or any school safe spread) instead of cream cheese. We suggest using brown rice cakes (they’re loaded with healthy fiber to keep tummies full!) with a variety of choices for toppings such as strawberries, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, banana, apples and oranges. Spreading cream cheese or school safe butter spreads is an awesome opportunity for younger children to practice their fine motor skills, while older children can have fun being creative with different fruit combinations, or even making funny faces or designs. Children as young as 2 can practice cutting strawberries or grapes into halves using child safe knives under the supervision of an adult. When children lend a hand in preparing a healthy food, they’re more likely to ask for it again and again!
2. Lettuce “Tacos”
Children love any food they can eat with their hands. Fun variations like rolling and dipping increase the likelihood of a child trying a new and healthy food. Large romaine leaves rinsed and separated make a great “taco shell”. Children can use mashed avocado or sour cream as a base, add tomatoes, corn, black beans, cucumbers, shredded carrots, or any other vegetables that can fit on there.
3. Healthy “Lemonade” Water with Mint
Stay hydrated in the heat with this yummy treat! Children won’t miss all of the unhealthy sugars in lemonade with this ultra refreshing lemony drink. Start with one or two lemons depending on size. Children can take turns rolling the lemons between their hands and a flat surface (like a table) to soften them up for squeezing. Squeeze a half a cup of lemon juice, being careful to avoid seeds. Add to a tall pitcher of ice water. Add a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves, and a pinch of turmeric powder to give it a vibrant yellow color. Mix very well to release the oils of the mint and combine the flavors. Mint helps aid in healthy digestion, while lemon and turmeric are excellent anti-inflammatories.