Our family joined a new pool this year, which has a snack bar that opens for 15 minutes on the hour. This coincides with “adult swim” and I’m guessing it’s so that the adults who opt to take advantage of those peaceful 15 minutes in the pool don’t have to do it with a few dozen pairs of eyes staring at them.
The snack bar is stocked with the usual array of snack foods–chips, candy, soda and ice cream. While most of the kids who were at the pool stood in line to get something, I did notice a few moms who pulled out mini coolers and provided their children with healthier versions of snacks from home. Not only did the kids eat a more nutritious snack, I’m sure the moms spent less than what those snacks at the snack bar cost. Plus, when the 15 minute adult swim was over, I noticed there were still kids waiting in line at the snack bar. The children who had snacks from home were finished eating and ready to hit the pool again.
Bringing a cooler from home whether you’re at the pool, on the beach or at the park is definitely the way to go. You can control what your kids are eating and you’ll save money. You can pack the obvious healthy treats like fresh fruit or cut up veggies, but I started thinking about fun and creative snack options that kids would really go for. Here are a few ideas you might like to try:
- Make a peanut butter and banana sandwich and cut into quarters for snack-sized bites.
- Use a cookie cutter and cut fun shapes out of melon slices. Store in resealable plastic containers on ice in a cooler.
- Make fruit juice ice cubes for a refreshing treat by filling an ice cube tray with 100% fruit juice and freezing. You’ll have to pack this well into your cooler and on ice to keep frozen. Pop them out of the tray when ready to serve and try interesting juice combos like orange/strawberry/banana for a different taste twist.
- Slice a banana and put on toothpicks. Dip into melted chocolate and freeze. Again, you’ll have to store in the cooler on ice to keep frozen, but this treat will satisfy any sweet tooth!
- For a crunchy treat, try creating a mix of almonds, peanuts, dried peas and sesame sticks. These items can typically be found in bulk at your grocery store.
- Celery sticks with either peanut butter or cream cheese (depending on your child’s preference) is another good choice. Make them ahead of time and store in a resealable container in your cooler.
- Be sure to check out the Fruits & Veggies–More Matters “Healthy Cooking with Your Kids” section of their website for additional kid-friendly recipe ideas.