Nutrition-Bites-Smart-Summer-Snacking

Nutrition Bites: Smart Summer Snacking

Schools out for summer! That means busy schedules for parents, summer activities for children, and waking up every morning to the sweltering New Orleans heat. While its tempting to cool down with a snowball or popsicle, snacks like these can have up to 7 grams of sugar and offer little nutritional benefits.

Instead, try these healthy, budget-conscious, and kid-friendly twists on favorite summer snacks! (Note: The recipes below contain mostly natural sugar from fruit, not added sugar or artificial sweeteners.)

Fresh Fruit Popsicles
Combine 2 cups of fresh strawberries (may also use frozen chopped strawberries) with 2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt. Fill 12 three-ounce paper cups with the mixture. Cover cups with plastic wrap or tin foil, making a small slit in the middle. Insert a wooden popsicle stick through the slit. Freeze the popsicles for several hours or overnight. Gently tear away the paper cups from the popsicle before eating.
Click here for the recipe from the USDA.

Nutrition Information for 1 popsicle:

  • Calories: 40
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 6 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0 grams

One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream
Peel and cut 1 ripe banana into coin-size pieces and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight. Once the banana pieces are frozen, pulse the banana in a food processor or blender. The banana will change texture as it is blended. Continue blending until the last pieces of banana are smooth, and blend for a few more seconds to make it creamier. Incorporate protein with 1 scoop of peanut butter, which should be added when the banana's texture just turns smooth.
Click here for the recipe from www.thekitchn.com.

Nutrition Information for 1 banana + 1 Tbs peanut butter:

  • Calories: 202
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30 grams
  • Sugar: 14 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 2 grams

Go Green Smoothie
In a blender, combine 1 banana, 1 cup green grapes, 1 kiwi, 1 cup baby spinach, 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt, 4 tablespoons apple juice, and 6 ice cubes. Blend until well combined.

Nutrition Information for 8 oz smoothie:

  • Calories: 228
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 50 grams
  • Sugar: 38 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 0 grams

Homemade Popcorn
Make healthier popcorn by using kernels popped over the stove, or in a brown paper bag in the microwave. To make popcorn in the microwave, put 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag and fold the bag down 3 times. Microwave the bag for 4 minutes. Listen carefully, though, and stop the microwave when there are 2 seconds between each pop. Try different spices like chili powder or lemon juice with black pepper.
Click here for the recipe from www.thekitchn.com

Nutrition Information for 1 cup popped popcorn:

  • Calories: 56
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 7 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 2 grams

By Kelsey Shanklin, MS, RD, LDN

(Nutrition Bites is a recurring feature that will appear regularly in the Tulane PRC's e-newsletters and will cover nutrition and health tips from Kelsey Shanklin, MS, RD, LDN. If you have any suggestions for Nutrition Bites topics, please contact Naomi Englar at nking2@tulane.edu or 504-988-7410.)

Topics:   nutrition , diet , obesity , childhood obesity , food environment , early childhood health

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