It's (finally) getting hot out—and along with long afternoons outside and mornings in the splash pool, my kids have already started begging for popsicles. And ice cream. And anything else that's cool and loaded-with-sugar-and-coloring. And, as much as the occasional sugary treat is fine, I would prefer not to load my preschoolers up with sugar every time they get hot and thirsty. So, I asked my sister who is a registered dietitian to give me 10 supercool and refreshing kid snacks that are healthy, too. Best of all, all of these take less than 5 minutes to make so you can stay outside as long as possible.
1. Watermelon Agua Fresca: Chop 1 seedless watermelon into small pieces and then have your kids smash it in a big bowl with a potato masher. Put smushed watermelon into the blender with crushed ice and a squeeze of lime juice and blend until smooth.
2. Blueberry Yogurt Pops: Blend 2 cups plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup frozen blueberries. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
3. Fruit Sparklers: Finely chop oranges and strawberries (or any other fruit) into a large glass. Cover with chilled sparkling cider.
4. Fruit Kabobs: Rinse strawberries, grapes, apples, pears, peaches and melon then chop into bite-sized pieces. Have your kids string the fruit onto wooden skewers.
5. Chunky Monkey Smoothies: Blend 1 cup milk with 2 tbsp. peanut butter, 2 tbsp. chocolate ovaltine and a banana. Add a few ice cubes and blend until smooth.
6. Orange "Julius": Blend 8 ice cubes with 1 cup milk, 1 cup orange juice concentrate and a splash of vanilla.
7. Homemade Lemonade: Have your kids squeeze the juice out of 10 lemons into a pitcher. Add ice, water and sugar (or if you want, honey or agave nectar) to taste and stir.
8. Frozen Banana Dippers: Slide popsicle sticks into whole bananas and freeze 2-3 hours. Have your kids dip the frozen bananas into yogurt and then into crunchy toppings like chopped nuts or granola.
9. Fruit Dip: Mix softened cream cheese with 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Add milk until it's a smooth consistency. Then, set out dip with various summer fruits and let your kids dip away.
10. Frozen Grapes: Just wash and freeze whole grapes. Or, if you want to make them extra special, roll the wet grapes in a small amount of sugar before you freeze them.