Sweet summertime! School is wrapping up for our family this week and we are looking forward to a summer filled with family time, a few vacations, swimming, and so much more. School breaks (especially summer) seem to bring about insatiable hunger cues for my boys. They still eat great meals, but the desire/need for snacks seems to be constant… I don’t think I am alone in this! The increased appetite may be a combo of playing outside more and warmer (hotter!) days but sometimes it is may arise out of boredom or mindless eating. Some summer days are slower than the norm, triggering many kids and adults to eat more subconsciously out of boredom or filling time.
The start of the summer is a great time to commit to structured meal and snack times, making it a habit from the beginning! Mid-summer, although it can be done, is often much harder to implement new habits. Sticking to three set meals per day doesn’t always seem to be the tricky part. Snacks tend to be where the mindless eating/grazing comes in. Committing to 2-3 snack times per day is a great way to break up the day, offering predictable structure and routine for your kids.
The key to these snacks will be choosing nourishing and FILLING options to leave everyone satisfied. A rule of thumb for us it to structure snacks with a filling protein source combined with a high fiber carbohydrate source. Not sure what I mean? Here are a few easy, nourishing, KID-FRIENDLY options:
- Cheese stick or sliced cheese with a piece of fruit (apples, banana, grapes, pears, berries, plums, etc.)
- A slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and banana
- Homemade trail mix (low-sugar cereal, nuts/seeds, dried fruit, pretzels)
- Apple with peanut butter (almond butter, sun butter, etc.)
- Cheese quesadilla triangles
- Veggie pita pocket
- Raw veggies with hummus dip
- Hard boiled egg and a piece of fruit
- Popcorn and nuts
As we all know, in the heat of the summer, there is nothing better than a cold and refreshing treat. Ice cream or popsicles can certainly be enjoyed from time to time, but for a refreshing treat more often, try these Vanilla Berry Yogurt Bites. I assembled them in 10 minutes or less, popped them in the freezer and within a couple of hours, they were ready to be enjoyed! They are completely customizable to what you like most and/or what you have on hand! The perfect afternoon treat!
Vanilla Berry Yogurt Bites (makes 6)
- 1.5 cups Greek yogurt*
- ½ - 1 cup fresh fruit of your choice (berries, banana, pineapple, etc.)
- ¼ cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
*I used Oikos Triple Zero yogurt- ½ strawberry and ½ vanilla. I prefer this yogurt as it is a great source of protein, no added sugar and good flavor to where additional sweetener is not needed. Some variations may call for plain Greek yogurt sweetened with honey.*
Line muffin tins with parchment paper or muffin cups. Evenly distribute Greek yogurt among cups. Place toppings onto yogurt by gently pressing in so they will stick. Place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from tin and enjoy! (These are best enjoyed same day or within 1-2 days to keep the bites from getting too icy.)
Needing more ideas for your family? The dietitians at Lemond Nutrition are licensed professionals who can help you with making the necessary diet and lifestyle changes you need to get on track to a healthier you! Please do not hesitate. Give us a call today at 972-422-9180. Now serving Plano | Rockwall | Lubbock.