Summer produce boasts various delicious fruits and vegetables that we (okay, I) wait all year to enjoy. Watermelon, juicy cantaloupe and berries bursting with flavor and nutrients are just a few of my favorite summer treats. The summer months are often filled with outdoor activities and travel in addition to our normal commitments which leave your schedule jam-packed.
For good reason, these summer months are what memories are made of, but a lot of time outside can leave less time in the kitchen. This is precisely why I commit to choosing a few simple, healthy snacks – for the kids or for myself – as we are out and about. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated, and a quick snack doesn’t have to default to a bag of potato chips. It can be much, much more delicious…
Here are a few of my favorites:
Fruit Kabobs. Slide any of your favorite fruits on a kabob stick, and you’ve got a portable snack with no guilt. Build them in the colors of the rainbow, and you have visual appeal (see above). Let your kids help build them! Some delicious fruit in season during summer include: blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and melons. All of these are excellent choices for fruit kabobs.
Apple Donut. No, not really a donut — but it’s quite delicious. Slice apples into rounds that resemble a donut and top with your favorite nut butter (try almond, cashew or sunbutter). You can even make a sandwich out of it by putting the nut butter between two slices of apple rounds.
Cucumber Rolls. Thinly slice cucumbers into long slices that you can then use to roll toppings inside. Use toppings such as tuna salad, cherry tomatoes, guacamole, hummus and a variety of veggies — whatever your heart desires. Think of them as a variation on sushi. These are great little bite-sized snacks for when hunger strikes.
Granola Bites. There are an endless amount of energy ball recipes you can choose from. They typically involve almond butter, raw cacao powder, granola, and dates. Energy balls are a perfect little snack to carry along, and with the cacao in it, it tastes like an absolute treat. Two or three energy bites later – the key is portion control – and you’re most certain to be tied over until dinner.
Celery, Nut butter & Grapes. An oldie but a goodie. You can bring along celery sticks with almond butter on the side for dipping, or you can fill the inside of your celery stick with nut butter and chopped grapes or raisins. Always a crowd pleaser!
Preparation is the biggest factor in eating healthfully. If you make the choice to not bring junk food into the house and have healthy food available, you’ll make healthy decisions. Setting yourself up for success is the biggest gift you can give yourself and your family. When there are options available – a bowl of berries or melon chunks, a container of cucumber rolls, snack bags of granola bites – you are far more likely to grab these. Plan for success, and include preparations in the activities for your summer. Let your kids be a part!
Each step you take to incorporate better nutrition provides the building blocks your body can use to refresh, rebuild and move toward wellness. If you need further support, reach out!