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Great Summertime Snacks!

School is out and that means you will have hungry children looking for something to snack on. Nutrition shouldn’t take a vacation just because school is out.

Nashville, Ark. – School is out and that means you will have hungry children looking for something to snack on. Nutrition shouldn’t take a vacation just because school is out. When kids get hungry, they should reach for nature’s fast foods – fruits and vegetables.

            Quick, convenient, nutritious and delicious, fruits and vegetables are the perfect summer snack for hungry children and families on the go.

            Snacking is a major pastime for many American children – so much so that nearly one-fourth of a child’s daily energy intake comes from nibbling between meals. Much of this nibbling is on prepackaged snack foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. The popularity of these empty treats may be one factor responsible for the country’s childhood-obesity epidemic.

            Providing healthy snack choices such as fruits and vegetables will help your children learn to make healthy food choices in the future. Fruits and vegetables provide several key nutrients including vitamins A and C, carbohydrates and fiber.

            It is important that children meet a nutritional goal of four servings of fruit each day and five servings of vegetables each day. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? When you consider that a small orange or apple and ½ cup of fruit or vegetable are considered a serving, it really isn’t that much.        

            Here are some tips that may help make snacking on fruits and vegetables easier for you and your family:

  • Keep an easy-to-grab, pre-washed bowl of fruit on the counter or already prepared in the refrigerator.
  • Make a quick smoothie using low fat yogurt and fresh or frozen fruit. Combine fruit and yogurt in a blender and process until smooth.
  • Serve raw vegetables with low-fat dip. Keep a bag of baby carrots and cut up broccoli and celery in zipper type plastic bags in the refrigerator.
  • Add apple slices to sandwiches. Other fruits work well too.
  • Add apple, raisins, grapes, or pineapple chunks to salads like chicken, tuna or pasta.
  • Make up fruit bags by putting slices of apples, oranges and pears along with grapes in a snack bag in the refrigerator. Be sure to soak apple slices in a solution of salt water after slicing to prevent them from turning brown.

            When you think about it, it really is pretty easy to get all the fruit and vegetables you need each day. If you would like some information on eating healthy following MyPlate guidelines, contact the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. You can also check us out on line at www.uaex.edu or check out the website www.choosemyplate.gov to learn more about eating healthy fruits and vegetables. There are some pretty cool games and activities that your child will enjoy on this website.

Recipe of the Week

            Here is a recipe that features fresh fruits!  It is easy to make and tastes great!

Rainbow Fruit Salad

Green – 2 kiwis (or 1 green apple, or 1 bunch green grapes)

Yellow – 1 cup apricot halves (or 1 banana)

Red – 1 cup strawberries (or 1 red apple)

Purple – 1 bunch purple grapes

Dressing:

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup honey

2 Tablespoons coconut flakes, optional

Directions:

            Wash and drain all fruit before beginning to make the salad. Peel and cut the kiwis and place in the large bowl. Measure the apricot halves and add to the kiwis. Peel and section the orange and add to the kiwis and apricots. Slice the strawberries and add to the other fruit. Stem the grapes and add to the fruit salad.

            Squeeze the lime into a small bowl. Add the honey to the lime juice and stir until the mixture is well blended. Add the lime juice mixture to the fruit salad and mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.

            Sprinkle salad with coconut or save the coconut until serving time to sprinkle over individual servings. Serve in small bowls. Yield: 6 servings.

*Note: This salad can be made several hours in advance, but should be made at least 30 minutes before serving so that the flavors have time to blend.

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517
jince@uaex.edu

 

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