Getting your kids to eat healthily can be hard at the best of times, but during the summer holidays there are even more obstacles when you consider the abundance of sweets and sugary foods and drinks, the warmer weather and the longer days that mean more activities and resistance to sleep= aka hungry grumpy kids!
Here are some simple summer recipes that you can make in 5 minutes or less to help fuel little bodies with fresh, healthy and delicious nutrients.
I know it might not sound that exciting, but you can make fruit smoothies that are bright, fun and entertaining for kids to decorate.
There are also ways you can sneak some greens into these using either a greens powder or some baby spinach (which doesn’t have a strong taste when blended).
Using different fruits will create fun colour themes and get kids involved by letting them choose the colours:
Purple or blue: Blueberries, banana, yoghurt, crushed ice and coconut water with coconut flakes and fresh blueberries to decorate on top.
Pink: Strawberries and milk or yogurt, blended with chia seeds for extra goodness. Decorate with fresh strawberries and coconut flakes or edible flowers.
Chocolate: Cacao and yogurt or milk of choice – decorate with a dusting of cinnamon or chocolate chips!
Green: Celery, banana, kiwi fruit, apple and baby spinach or kale. You can decorate with some pepitas or a slice of round kiwi fruit or apple on the rim.
Red: Watermelon and raspberries with coconut water. You can decorate with some coconut flakes or a slice of watermelon on the rim
Homemade fruit icy poles:
If you don’t have icy pole moulds then you can just use ice block trays, you can use the fruit smoothie recipes above to make icy poles or mix any of your kids favourite fruits.
Fruit skewers or fruit art:
Once again, so simple but also so artistic! You can get kids involved with making the skewers by naming the colours and counting the fruits as you put them on (be careful not to make the ends too sharp for little ones) Or you can create art with fruit. Think of a caterpillar with a body of grapes or a watermelon pizza, with the watermelon triangle as the base and blueberries, kiwi fruit, apples and strawberries as the toppings! Banana pepperoni anyone?
This is such a simple and fun treat for hot days. Instead of filling little bellies with sugary icy poles, use a stick or spoon inserted into a thick slice of watermelon and freeze for when they need a refreshing, cooling treat.
Not every kid will be as excited to have vegetable sticks but making some guacamole or using their favourite dip can help entice them. Encouraging your little ones to appreciate the crunch of vegetables instead of chips will do them wonders in the long run. Some vegetables that make great dippers are, carrots, celery (remove the strings), cucumber, capsicum, broccoli (little trees!), cauliflower and green beans.
Plain ol’ fruit
Every had a gorgeous looking fruit bowl that goes untouched? (Oh it hurts) When all else fails, you’re pressed for time or the kids are desperate to get to the beach just grab a cool bag, chopping board, a knife and your favourite fruits.
There will always be a picnic table or park bench that you can use to prepare one of the simplest summer tasting plate. You can’t really beat summer fruits so we may as well take full advantage on what is seasonally on offer. The variety, the sweetness … the mango juice dripping down my forearms. Yum!