Summer Foods & Good Nutrition
Well summer is nearly here and with it, the want for lighter eating. Luckily, summer is a great time for beautiful stone fruits and melons as well as lots of salad and stir fry greens. Asparagus and beans at the moment are amazing!
During the warmer months we tend to venture out more as a family, to the beach or the local pool and playgrounds to name a few. We all know that we should never leave home without snacks at the ready as a hungry toddler/child/teenager/mum/dad is not much fun to be around! So I have put together some simple snack ideas both for at home and when you are out and about. As is always the way, look out for seasonal produce, it will be the cheapest and freshest and usually is at its most tasty. Locally grown is a bonus and organic will have the most vitamins and minerals.
Frozen fruit blocks,
Simply mash or blend your favourite fruits, place into a mould (a small cup lined with glad wrap is fine. Pour over a little fruit juice then place a Popsicle stick or fork into the middle and freeze.
Fruit platter and
Cut up as many different fruits as you have on hand and arrange on a large plate, give each child their own small bowl of plain yoghurt and a plate and allow them to choose what fruits they want to dip. Strawberries are particularly good. Never forget that children choose food with their eyes just as we do, if we make healthy food choices look appetising they are more likely to choose them.
Fruit & veg
Basic muffin mix is 2 ½ cups SR flour, ½ cup sugar, 1½ cups milk, 2 eggs lightly beaten, 1tsp vanilla essence and 150g melted butter. Mix together dry ingredients and wet ingredients seperately then combine wet into dry along with your chosen fruits & vegies. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until they are slightly brown and spring back when you touch them lightly. This is a great way to get non vegie eaters to eat veg. Zucchini is especially good to sneak in as you can peel it and then it is almost invisible. Great combos are banana & zucchini, carrot and pear, blueberry & zucchini. Experiment and add dried fruits as well.
Out and About
If you don't have ice bricks in your freezer simply fill an old soft drink or water bottle up to about ¾ full and freeze the day before you go out. Pop this in your bag along with the food and it will stay cool for hours.
Chop up watermelon, rockmelon and pineapple and put into a lunchbox for kids to snack on when they get hungry.
Put soft stone fruits into one lunchbox together so they do not get squashed in a bag.
Make homemade popcorn and mix with a little melted butter or a combination of melted butter and warm honey. Carry in an airtight container.
Make a dip out of Philadelphia cheese, one spring onion, a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Kids love this with carrot sticks or healthy crackers.
I never leave home without corn/rice cakes and a knife for spreading. I either have avocado with me or nut butter or the dip above. Kids will often eat them plain too, especially toddlers.
Nuts and sultanas or dried apricots are another essential in my back of snacks, as long as there are no allergies and they are not being given to children under 1 where there may be a choking risk.
See you next Month!
Lucy - Nutritionist, Yoga teacher and Mum of three J