LiveSmart: Beat the Heat with Cool, Refreshing Snacks this Summer

Whether kids have been swimming or playing video games, they’ll soon raid the fridge this summer. And even if parents aren’t right on the spot, they can make sure the kids don’t take a vacation from healthy eating.

Children need nutritious snacks to help them to grow and stay healthy. Adults also require healthy snacks before dinner to keep them from overeating.

Summertime is one of the best times for having healthy snack options available, because of the wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables that are in stores and farmers markets right now. And you don’t have to be a star chef on the Food Network to prepare them quickly and easily.

A great option is to have a bowl of fruit washed and cut up in the refrigerator ready to go. Grapes just need to be rinsed and put into a bowl; apples can be cut up and rubbed with lemon juice to keep the cut edges from turning brown. Melons of all kinds can be made into cubes for a quick and handy treat.

Want to get a little protein in with your fruit? Apple slices can be dipped in peanut butter to provide a very filling snack that not only provides fiber, vitamins and minerals, but also that important protein, as well as a healthy fat source.

Cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, celery, sliced cucumbers, fresh green beans, and snow pea pods are a fast and ready-to-go treat. Clean and cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces so kids can grab them easily for dipping into ranch dressing or hummus. Adding cheese cubes or string cheese with whole grain crackers provides a healthy snack, and could also be a healthy, cool dinner on a hot summer night.

Finally, don’t forget to drink water. Staying hydrated is extra important in the summer, so keep easy-to-grab sugar-free beverages and full water bottles on hand all the time.

Try some of these simple ideas and climb aboard the healthy snack train. Eating healthier is never as easy and good-tasting as it is in the summer!

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