Summer. For many of us, the word conjures up fond childhood memories of hanging at the pool, running through sprinklers and magical family vacations. Summertime can also bring us back to the time of Kool-Aid, watermelon and ice cream trucks. There’s just something about cold and sweet snacks that scream SUMMER to me!
Now, as a mom, I am constantly amazed at how often my kids get hungry, especially in the summer. It seems like I’m just finishing up cleaning up one meal and they are ready for the next. When I really look at the clock, it’s usually about every 2-3 hours, which is actually a healthy amount of time between meals.
Here’s what a typical day looks like for us:
Our four (sweet) early birds are ready for breakfast around 7. By 10 am they are ready for a snack, and lunch around 12:30. Afternoon snack is around 3 pm depending on what we are doing and we have family dinner at 5:30. By 7:30 (almost bedtime!) they are usually hungry again (or at least pulling on my mama guilt heart-strings), so I give them another snack. I don’t know if this is more or less than others, but I’m interested in hearing how often your kids eat too!
If you ever see me out in public with my kids, you’ll definitely see our snack bag with us.
I absolutely hate getting caught somewhere and being subject to whatever fast food or vending machine is around. I’ve learned, especially after being an obese adult for years, that this is exactly the kind of situation that sabotages my nutritional efforts. Being prepared is a HUGE part of staying healthy. Many times I find it easier to have wholesome breakfasts, lunches and dinners, but snacks can be a little more difficult especially when you’re on the go.
Don’t forget the protein!
In my nutrition-related research, I have found that it truly helps to have a good source of protein at every meal or snack. Eating sufficient protein assists in keeping us full longer, maintaining blood sugar levels and boosting our metabolisms. In the past, I used to simply grab some crackers or maybe just some fruit for my kids’ snack, but I’ve learned better! (Plus that would only last them about a half hour, ha!)
I put together a list of some of our go-to snacks, including minimally processed foods without a long list of ingredients.
As an aside, I have to give a shout-out to Aldi, one of my favorite places to buy many of these items. Almost 99% of the time, these items are less expensive there and I have found that it is a great place to purchase “clean” foods. Definitely still read the labels though!
- Apples with cheese OR peanut butter: This is our go-to mid-morning snack. I slice up some apples and cheese or natural (no hydrogenated oils!) peanut butter for my NO CHEESE EVER daughter. The fiber from the apples helps their digestion and the protein helps keep their blood sugar levels more stable as it reacts to the carbohydrates in the fruit. If we are out of the house, no-cheese daughter gets some almonds or other nuts.
- Greek yogurt with (fresh or frozen) berries: I buy plain Greek yogurt as I try to avoid added sugar in the flavored varieties. To sweeten, I either add raw honey or a tiny bit of stevia and add the frozen berries, and it’s such a treat! Frozen berries are also usually less expensive than fresh and are great for smoothies too.
- Rice cakes with a protein and fruit/veggies: My girls and I love brown rice cakes and I let them choose a protein (cheese, nut butters, deli turkey, etc.) and a fruit (mandarin oranges or grapes, for example) or vegetable like cucumbers or peppers.
- Banana or berry smoothies/popsicles: Every week I buy a bunch of bananas, but usually only 2 of them get eaten at room-temperature. The rest I end up breaking up into pieces and freezing in plastic bags for smoothies. As bananas are a higher glycemic fruit, I really try to make sure our girls have their protein with it. Their current favorite is one that really tastes like a banana cream pie: frozen bananas, cottage cheese for protein (Daisy brand has less than 5 ingredients), a splash of vanilla extract, a dash of stevia (you could also use dates or honey if preferred) and some almond milk. They love it and it really keeps them full. If there are leftovers, I just pour the rest into popsicle molds then into the freezer. This makes a perfect, easy snack for another day!
- Veggies with Ranch dip: Finding a “clean” Ranch at the grocery store can be tricky, but Bolthouse Farms makes one that is pretty good. You can find it in the refrigerated section at many grocery stores (not Aldi, though). However, I wanted to figure out a way to get more protein in there (as usual!), so I tweaked some recipes I found online and came up with this one. My 7 year old begs for it and the baby tries to eat it off a spoon! Jen's Ranch Dip2017-07-03 02:29:01Write a review391 calories30 g68 g23 g18 g11 g523 g5006 g23 g0 g11 gNutrition FactsServing Size523gAmount Per ServingCalories 391Calories from Fat 201% Daily Value *Total Fat 23g35%Saturated Fat 11g57%Trans Fat 0gPolyunsaturated Fat 5gMonounsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 68mg23%Sodium 5006mg209%Total Carbohydrates 30g10%Dietary Fiber 1g4%Sugars 23gProtein 18gVitamin A14%Vitamin C11%Calcium61%Iron5%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.Ingredients
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (can use non-fat or full-fat)
- 2 T mayonnaise (store-bought or homemade)
- 2 T parsley flakes
- 1 T onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly and adjust seasonings to your family's tastes. Enjoy with your favorite veggies!
betacalories391fat23gprotein18gcarbs30gmorePalm Beach Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
- (I thin this dip down with water to make my own salad dressing.)