The summer is upon us. One of the biggest concerns for parents are healthy meals and snacks for the summer. What are some healthy meals that even the kids can make while they are home for the summer? What are some healthy snacks that the kids will like?
To help us with some healthy summer meal planning, we chatted with Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and author of the new children’s book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice who shared some easy, simple, and healthy meals that are ideal for children this summer and they can even make. Enjoy a fun and healthy summer with snacks that everyone will love.
Momtrends: What are some of the best healthy snacks for kids?
Dr. Keith Kantor: The healthiest snacks for kids are vegetables and fruits. These promote optimal weight, and will ensure that they will meet their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Sneaking fruits and vegetables into snacks like yogurt parfaits or smoothies is a great way to encourage your kids to consume more plant based snacks and enjoying it! Also, instead of chips and dip provide veggies and dip (hummus or guacamole) for a healthy snack.
What are some healthy meals that kids can make while they are home for the summer?
Summer is a great time to enjoy lunches that are outside of the normal school lunch sandwich, crackers and fruit. Here are some simple ideas for lunches at home during the summer….
Tacos- Keep seasoned cooked ground turkey in the fridge and make tacos on corn tortillas, with cheese, salsa, lettuce, peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc.
Pizza- use a pita or tortilla as crust and put sauce, cheese, veggies and turkey sausage on it for a personal pan pizza as a healthy alternative to traditional pizza.
Momtrends: How can kids get more involved in the kitchen?
Dr. Keith Kantor: The first step to getting kids more involved in the kitchen is having them help plan meals, then go grocery shopping with you and finally ask them to help prepare meals. Small children can simply stir or fetch rubber utensils, they can push the buttons when setting the oven temperature, etc. Older kids can help measure, chop foods and set the table before meals.
Momtrends: What are some fun summer recipes that kids will love?
Dr. Keith Kantor:
Mandarin Orange and Spinach Salad
Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: none
Number of servings: approx. 8
3 c peeled and sliced mandarin oranges
1 bunch of mint leaves (approx. 10 large leaves)
5 c fresh baby spinach
1 large chopped cucumber peeled and seeded
1 chopped red pepper
1 chopped fennel bulb
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in large salad bowl and serve, the juice from the grapefruit acts as dressing, no need for extra dressing.
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Prep time: 10 min.
Cook time: none
Number of servings: 6-8
Serving size: ¼ – ½ c
Can be served with fresh veggie, and/or corn chips
3 ripe avocados
¼ c chopped red onion
1 bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
1 chopped jalapeno (keep seeds in for extra “heat”)
Juice of 1 lime
Dash of high quality salt
Combine all ingredients with spoon for a chunky texture or in a food processor for a more smooth texture and serve with fresh vegetables like carrots or cucumbers!
Berry Spinach Smoothie
Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time: none
Number of servings: 1
Serving size: 16 oz.
1-2 c almond and or coconut milk
1 c frozen or fresh berries (we used an organic frozen berry medley on the show, blue berries, black berries and raspberries)
1 large handful of fresh or frozen spinach (we used fresh on the show)
1 tbs. ground flax seed
4 oz plain yogurt
Combine all ingredients. Add ice, if desired. Blend on high and serve!
Banana Dairy Free Ice Cream
This is a great alternative to traditional ice cream, there is no refined sugar but still sweet in taste.
6 frozen bananas
1 c unsweetened almond or coconut milk (more if needed to provide smooth texture)
½ c walnuts
Blend all ingredients together in blender and serve immediately and/or store in freezer.
Enjoy with a little organic butter if you wish!
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