Dietitian’s Corner: 4 Fresh Kid-Friendly (and Dietitian-Approved) Summer Snacks!

Created by: Sarah Koeninger RDN

Sunshine, buzzing bees, longer days - summer is here! This means you may be looking for quick and easy snacks to have available for your kids as the mantra “I’m hungry!” seems to be on repeat day in and day out. As kids are growing each day, snacking is a great opportunity to fill in nutritional gaps. Each snack is a chance to squeeze in an extra serving of fruits, vegetables or whole grains. Also, as kids are learning to try and enjoy new foods, there’s no better time to have fun with creative snacks. Read below for 4 fresh snack ideas for kids that will fill them up….without ruining their dinner or overdoing fat, sugar or salt.

  1. DIY crudité sandwiches: Top sliced apples, pears or cucumbers with a bit of hummus or light ranch dressing. Next, add cheese, lunchmeat, tuna or their favorite nut/seed butter. Feel free to top with another fruit or vegetable slice to make a sandwich. Not only are these bite-sized sandwiches refreshing and simple, kids can get creative combining their favorite ingredients. Keeping sliced fruits and veggies on hand allows kids to be independent as well.
  2. Fresh vegetable salsa: Combine black beans, corn, red onion, bell peppers, tomatoes and fresh cilantro for a filling and tasty salsa! And pair that with a food they maybe haven’t tried, like jicama. This mild-flavored vegetable has a slight crunch and is perfect for little ones. You can also put fresh salsa inside a tortilla or pita as a veggie-packed addition to their favorite cheese quesadilla. Add fresh avocado for even more flavor.
  3. Fresh fruit salsa: Expand your salsa horizons by combining fruits and vegetables. A little unsure of where to start? Try mixing tomatoes, cantaloupe, apples and a bit of lime juice. Another option is watermelon, avocado and fresh basil. Serve with cinnamon pita chips to ensure this one is a “win” with the kids!
  4. Sweet treat: Top a graham cracker square with vanilla yogurt and sliced strawberries for a simple dessert. Try a variety of topping combinations such as sliced apples and cinnamon, dried fruit and chopped nuts or lemon yogurt with blueberries. Want to get creative? Have the kids participate in a contest for the most colorful, creative cracker toppings!