The end of the school year can only mean one thing – summer vacation for kids everywhere! While enjoying endless hours of outdoor activities, kids require the right fuel to keep their bodies going during the hot summer days. Although everyone loves eating summer treats or drinking ice-cold lemonade, healthy snacks and other foods with higher nutritional values can be equally as satiating and even more fun to prepare!
However, before ditching the traditional fun summer treats altogether, try swapping or adding a few ingredients to make them healthier. For the quintessential on-the-go camp snack, GORP or “good old raisins and peanuts,” simply add a few more ingredients to create a range of flavors and textures. The crunchy, salty, sweet, and chewy things in GORP provide busy kids with that "right now" energy and filling power for their summer activities. Creating GORP is easy – simply combine dried fruits and nuts and then add some crunchy ingredients such as pretzels or unsweetened cereal. Once you have created your favorite GORP recipe challenge your kids to think of other healthy ingredients. By the end of the summer you may have a few new GORP recipes for the school year!
Of course it’s hard to eat GORP without reaching for something to quench your thirst. Instead of sugary lemonade packets, gather the kids to make Pretty Purple Grape Sparkler or Watermelon Agua Fresca. These drinks are fun to make with a group of kids and will keep them hydrated throughout the hot summer days while also adding to their fruit intake!
When it comes to other snacks throughout the summer, try to stick to nutritional foods to refuel your kids each day. Snacks high in protein paired with whole grain carbohydrates or colorful fruits and veggies, like Crunchy Celery Sticks, Pita Chips with Lemony Hummus, Watermelon Sandwiches or Summer Salsa are great choices for those busy summer days. Whether your family is at the beach, on a road trip, camping, or just relaxing, summer is a great time to experiment with new recipes!
- Mary Barber