Summer Snacks

Camps are winding down and the back-to-school lists are quickly building. With just a few weeks left before the new school year begins, many families are squeezing in late summer fun and travel. While enjoying these relaxed moments is so important for families, the lazy days of summer often can lead to extra snacking and on-the-go meals.

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Stay prepared and still enjoy the slower summer pace with a few quick and easy tips to keep the whole family snacking healthfully throughout the seasons.

1) Keep it Small, Keep it Simple:
Snacks should be small and simple, including just enough healthy food to tide over hunger until the next meal. Avoid making the mistake of offering too many options at snack time. Before grabbing the second snack, ask your kids to wait 10 minutes. This will help them recognize if they are still hungry or if they can wait until the next meal.
2) Fresh is Best:
Try to keep snacks centered on fresh produce. Not only will this help keep snacks light, but it provides another opportunity to familiarize kids with fruits and veggies throughout the day. Though the in-the-bag snacks sound tempting, if a fresh snack is out and available, kids will choose it! Keep sliced fruit and veggies available in containers in the fridge for an easy grab and go.
3) Calcium Counts:
Many of us don’t eat or drink enough calcium with our meals. However, growing kids require calcium for bone development. Did you know kids between the ages of 9-13 require 1300 mg of calcium per day?Considering an 8 oz glass of milk only contains 330 mg, and 1 slice of cheese only contains 200 mg, calcium is one of the most important sources of nutrition for our active kids. Try pairing fresh fruits and vegetables with a serving of calcium-rich foods, such as cheese, milk or yogurt. Check out these GoGo squeeZ YogurZ – a shelf-stable, low-fat yogurt great for road trips, beach days, or an anytime treat!
4) Aim for Whole Grains:
Fiber-rich whole grains keep us feeling fuller for longer, which is a winning strategy to help snacks last until the next meal. Try adding whole grain oats to a smoothie for a refreshing treat (check out our Green Machine smoothie recipe) or choose reduced-fat popcorn instead of your typical cracker-type snack.
5) Re-think your Drink:
Calories count in anything we consume, including what we drink. Rather than adding a calorie-laden beverage at snack time, stick with water or sparkling water without added sweeteners. For something a little more festive, try adding fresh fruit or herbs to naturally flavor your water and make it a bit more fun!

For more summer snack ideas, check out our recipes at!

Lara Field MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian and Specialist in Pediatrics with over a decade of clinical and client experience planning healthy diets. When she’s not actively working to keep her clients healthy, she’s a busy mother of two active and healthy boys and a love for testing new recipes in her kitchen.