By Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD
Summer is officially here. Like a lot of people, I will be outdoors more than usual. And since I’m a parent, my kids will be with me much of the time. That means more time at the pool, trips to the beach and afternoon picnics.
We usually have something to eat mid morning and in the afternoon a few hours before dinner. During the summer, I look for snacks that are refreshing, nutritious and tasty. Below are 5 of my favorites that hit the spot on a hot day.
1. Smoothies: I love to make smoothies when relaxing at home in the afternoon. My favorite right now is a peanut butter smoothie. It contains 2 Tbsp. peanut butter, half of a pear or apple, 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal, 1/3 cup blueberries, a small banana, 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup low fat milk and a handful of ice (this is not needed if the banana is frozen). Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. It makes about 3, 1 cup servings.
2. Frozen Yogurt Tubes: I like to freeze low fat yogurt tubes to have in place of popsicles. Sometimes I’ll stuff them in a small cooler for outings and even though they are not frozen by the time we reach our destination, they are really cold and refreshing.
3. Make Your Own Trail mix: While trail mix isn’t a cool treat, it’s good for summer because it stands up to the heat. I make it ahead of time and put it in small plastic baggies. I include part whole grain cereal, nuts and/or seeds and dried fruit.
4. Fresh Fruit: The best part about summer to me is the fresh fruit — juicy strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, peaches and apricots. If we are at home I will make fun fruit kabobs adding some pieces of cheese to the mix. I always bring fresh fruit to the pool to have as snack after swimming.
5. One-ingredient Ice Cream: This is a surprising refreshing treat that is just like ice cream. Take two bananas and slice them up and put on a dish to freeze for 1-2 hours. Pulse the bananas in the food processor until it turns the consistency of ice cream. You can add a little honey or chocolate to jazz it up.
What is your favorite summer snack?