Anne-Marie Nichols is a guest blogger for the DietsInReview.com special series on Healthy Summer Kids. Anne-Marie is a work-at-home professional blog wrangler and social media consultant. In real life she lives on Colorado’s Front Range with her husband and two children. Virtually you can find her at A Mama’s Rant, This Mama Cooks! On a Diet, and This Mama Cooks! Reviews, at several of the Mom Central blogs including Mom Central Food and Mom Central Goes Green, and on Twitter.
Summer’s the perfect time to inspire your family to eat more healthfully since seasonal produce is on sale and plentiful. It’s also an opportunity to get the kids involved in purchasing nutritious food. As a family, visit a farmer’s market or pick fruits and vegetables at a local farm. (LocalHarvest.org lists farmer’s markets and family farms by state or ZIP code.)
After you’ve shopped, get the kids into the kitchen to make frozen fruit popsicle treats.
Striped fruit popsicles
3/4 cup honey, divided
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
12 plastic cups or popsicle molds (3 ounces each)
6 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
12 popsicle sticks
1-1/3 cups sliced fresh cantaloupe chunks
1. In a blender, combine 1/4 cup honey and strawberries. Cover and puree.
2. Pour into cups or molds. Freeze for 30 minutes.
3. In a blender, combine 1/4 cup honey and kiwi, Cover and puree.
4. Pour over frozen strawberry layer and insert popsicle sticks. Freeze until firm.
5. Repeat with cantaloupe and remaining honey. Pour over kiwi layer. Freeze until firm.
Nutritional info for one popsicle:
Calories: 106, Fat: 0 g, Sodium: 1 mg, Carbohydrate: 27 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 1 g
For Fourth of July make red, white and blue popsicles using strawberries, low-fat vanilla yogurt, and blueberries.
Use other fruits like grapes, crushed pineapple, bananas, mangoes, papaya, raspberries, cherries and blackberries. Try combining the pureed fruit with low or no-fat yogurt or milk for a creamy popsicle. And if you’re really adventurous, add some pureed carrots, beets or zucchini to the fruit – anything to get those veggies in!
Instead of honey, use different types of sweeteners like agave nectar, barley malt, sorghum syrup, molasses, maple syrup – or no sweeteners at all. You can also add shredded coconut, pine nuts, granola, dried fruit bits, or sesame seeds for some crunch.
Experiment with healthy foods and have fun in the kitchen this summer with the kids.
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