Any time of year is snack season for kids, but summertime can pose a bit of a conundrum when it comes to serving healthy nibbles.
With school (officially) out, life is supposed to switch to vacation mode, but we all know that isn’t always the way it rolls. Loads of kids are off to day camps or athletic training sessions. Recreation and travel sport teams ramp up their schedules. Child care centers brim with attendance, and community education offers a wide variety of programs from art to Zumba (so hard to choose!). The clock is ticking for kids to get here and there, but there has to be enough time to offer them a healthy snack to fuel their endeavors—from here to there.
Deephaven’s Kate Doubler understands the importance of proper nutrition even when it comes to snacks. In 2013, she launched realfoodrn.com as a hobby to share healthy recipes. “I never knew it would become my future career path,” she says. The site strives “to help people live a healthier life through education and awareness around: good nutrition, toxin-free living, detoxification and many other aspects that bring balance to life,” Doubler says.
To understand Doubler’s passion, let’s start from the beginning. “I went into nursing in the pursuit of helping people get healthy, but I found that much of what I did at the hospital was Band-Aid medicine,” says the registered nurse. “It was not making people well, so I went back to school for nutrition to find a better way. This led to starting a food blog to share healthy recipes, and eventually blossomed into an entire platform where I can share everything I am learning about healthy living. I am always, always learning more about how to live a healthier lifestyle.”
Doubler describes her cooking vibe as “classic recipes, comfort food favorites and things kids and families will eat—all with a healthy twist,” she says. “I love to take some of my childhood favorites and swap out the unhealthy ingredients for healthy ingredients. This makes healthy eating enjoyable. I am also a firm believer in the family table, so I like to make meals that bring families together at mealtime.”
Healthy Fudge Pops
[These are] super easy to make and loaded with nutrients. Your kids will have no idea these are not ... from the store.
- 2 avocados
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- pinch of sea salt
Put all the ingredients into a food processor, and process until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture into frozen treat molds. Freeze until solid.
Make big batches of this and freeze half. I like to divide it up into individual grab-and-go bags ... for when we are on the go.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- zest and juice from 1/2 medium orange
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 300°F. Rough chop the almonds in a food processor. Add cashews, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Pulse until all ingredients are roughly chopped. Add the mixture to a medium bowl with remaining ingredients, and stir well. Spread mixture on a Silpat baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven, stir the granola, and return to oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes and break into kid-sized clusters. Store clusters in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Homemade Gelatin Cups
We juice fresh fruit to make these gelatin cups—full of vitamins, minerals and gut-healing gelatin!
- 1 cup fresh juice (fruits or vegetables)
- ½ cup kombucha (adds probiotics)
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1 Tbsp. gelatin
- fresh fruit (optional)
Juice fruits and/or vegetables. Pour fresh juice and kombucha into a medium bowl. In a Mason jar, add cold water and gelatin, and stir until combined. Add hot water, and stir. Pour contents of the jar into the juice mixture. Stir and pour into individual gelatin cups. Add fresh fruit to the cups if you desire. Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.
Store bought cheese crackers are filled with not-so-great ingredients, so I made up a healthier version. (Get little goldfish cookie cutters, and make them into the kid favorite goldfish crackers.)
- 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 Tbsp. cold grass-fed butter, cut into pieces
- 2 Tbsp. cold water
- sea salt for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine flour, cheese and butter. Pulse until mixture is crumbly but well combined. Add water, and process until a dough forms. Divide dough into two balls, and chill for 15 minutes or until firm (not longer than 30 minutes). Roll one ball out on a Silpat until about ¼-inch thick. Place Silpat (dough included) on a baking sheet. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into small squares, and trim off uneven edges. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Poke little holes in the top of each square with a toothpick (to look like store crackers). Bake for 10–15 minutes (bubbly and slightly brown around the edges). Take out of the oven, and recut the crackers along the original cuts with a pizza cutter. Cool completely before breaking them apart. Repeat with the second dough ball. Store crackers in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to one week.
... easy and loaded with vitamins and minerals. The electrolytes are exactly what busy kids need in the hot summer months.
- 2 large green apples (lower sugar)
- 5 large leaves of purple kale
- 2 celery stalks
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- small piece of fresh ginger
Core the apples. Remove kale spines and white section of the celery. Liquify the ingredients in a blender. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer over a bowl to catch the juice. Pour into glasses.