Hello Summer! There are so many wonderful things about summer. The warm weather, the flowers, the butterflies, the days by the water, the s’mores, the family togetherness it inspires. There are also things that are less cool about summer. Like the kids being hungry every five seconds and bored the rest. It doesn’t have to be that way. This year we are going to move into summer prepared with two important lists. Here is the second one, ten summer snacks your kids can make themselves. Also ready to save your sanity is this collection of over forty family-friendly boredom squashing ideas and activities to keep kids busy all summer long.
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A few quick tips before we get started on the actual snack ideas.
- Designate a very small area of your kitchen as their food preparation area. It’s amazing what even one kid and a single peanut butter jar are capable of doing to your kitchen if given free rein. So, assign them a clearly defined food prep area.
- Set rules. They should know that they are expected to put back everything they took out to prepare their snack before they eat the snack. Also, they should be required to wipe down the area they worked in. You can make this easy by providing cleaning wipes and a little chalkboard checklist listing the rules and maybe even the snack options that are available to them.
- Designate a single shelf in the refrigerator and a single basket in the pantry with approved snack essentials. This way they won’t ask you a hundred times if they can have something else and they won’t eat some critical ingredient you needed to make supper. But more importantly, boundaries have been established and everyone is on the same page.
- If kids will be getting snacks without asking first (say you are working from home and need not be interrupted) it’s still important to maintain some control over their intake. Set a number. You can have two or three snacks today. You can even write their names on that number of popsicle sticks and have them turn one in each time they get a snack. A little cup or empty mason jar at the prep station works for that too.
Ten Summer Snacks Your Kids Can Make Without You
- The PB&J – Never underestimate the protein-packed power of a simple PB&J sandwich. By adding a few fun options you can have your kids excited about this classic choice. Have some nut bread, pita bread, or bagels available as white or wheat alternatives. Allow them to add bananas or thinly sliced apple slices. Encourage some crunch by having a Tupperware container of granola they can sprinkle in there. And, if they will soon be heading to Grandma’s leave some mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips at the sandwich prep station. Check out this post for more fun ways to shake up your PB& J Game.
- Veggie Cups – A sectioned airtight container pre-filled with sliced vegetables, some paper cups, and some salad dressing are all you need for a simple and quick veggie snack. Show the kids how far to fill the cup with dressing or mark the paper cups for those too young to remember where you showed them, and then allow them to fill the cup about 2/3rds of the way with veggies. Bam! A do-it-yourself healthy snack station.
- Yogurt, Fruit, and Honey Cups – This is much the same concept as the veggie cups. Swap the veggies for fruit options in your sectioned airtight container, swap the salad dressing for yogurt, and maybe also offer some honey and granola. Show them how far to fill the cups with yogurt and how far to add fruit and they are good to go. For a fun twist, offer them an ice cream cone instead of a cup.
- Taco Salad Tubs – Put some of the little tortilla bowls into the pantry bin and fill another sectioned airtight container with shredded cheese, olives, tomatoes, guacamole dip, salsa, and prepared shredded rotisserie chicken. You can also include onions, jalapenos, and even black beans if your kids are into those options.
- Graham Crackers + Nutella + Bananas – This was one of T’s very favorite snacks when he was little and he was happy to fix it for himself. Mix it up by swapping the bananas for strawberries or jam later in the week. Nutella can be swapped to your nut butter of choice.
- BLT Wraps – Flour tortillas, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, pre-cooked bacon crumbled, and a dollop of ranch dressing and you have a BLT wrap. Pre-load your airtight container and kids will thank you for this yummy snack.
- Toast – For kids old enough to use a toaster you can offer a ton of options. Some of our favorite combos are toast with a layer of ricotta, a layer of strawberries, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with pistachios. Or, slather on some fig jam, cover that in brie, layer with super-thin apple or peach slices, and drizzle with honey. So good! Or mascarpone cheese, fresh berries, and a drizzle of Hershey’s syrup (they offer an all-natural version now). Find out what your kid’s favorite flavor combinations are and then add them to the snack fixings.
- Popcorn: Popcorn can be dressed up to make it so much more interesting and delicious. Into the pantry box with some mini m&m’s, some gummy bears or fruit snacks, trail mix, marshmallows, crushed up cookies, or dried fruit. You can pop the popcorn and put it into brown paper bags in the pantry pre-portioned with a dixie cup scoop marked to show how much of the sweet stuff is acceptable to add to their serving.
- Deli-Roll Ups – Into the fridge with some deli slices and some deli cheese options. Show your kids how to lay down the meat, add the cheese, and veggies and how to roll and hold with a toothpick. Simple and yummy.
- Pretzel Sticks and Dipping Sauce – A bag of pretzel sticks can go a long way. Offer them mini cups or small sauce dishes to put in their choice of dipping sauces. Hummus, nut butter, yogurt, and nacho cheese are all yummy options.
OK, so there we have them – Ten summer snacks your kids can make themselves. For younger kids, you will have to do some of the prep work but it can be done quickly especially if you have the kids help wash the fruit and veggies and put sliced items into containers. Teens can be a great help and even independently handle the slicing and organizing. Let them help. Kids are more likely to eat the things they had a hand in preparing. Plus, these are all important life skills.
Before you go, check out this great Summer Activity Packet we have for you! It has over forty fun, family-friendly summer activities and ideas, everything you need to make a Summer Fun Jar, a scavenger hunt, summer writing prompts, and more.
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