Summer is here with its usual splash of sweltering heat. Even with the unpredictable weather and occasional showers, summer is still a time for some different foods. Which other time of the year would you rather have your kids enjoy a cooler or a frozen treat. While it’s easy to think of ice cream only every few hours, (and that’s completely okay) how about we use the weather to our advantage. Summer is the best season for a variety of fruits that don’t come year-round. They are found in abundance and can be transformed into mouth-watering treats. Not only are they healthy but can also be very enjoyable, especially for younger children. If your children eat a lot of fruits on their own, that’s great, but if you’re looking for innovative and quick treats to entice your slightly picky eater, I might just be able to help you.
Fruit Skewers: I’m starting with the most basic but healthiest treat. If you think your child will find these boring, trust me, children find something oddly inviting about fruits on a skewer. Ok, I agree, it’s mostly the skewer than the fruit. Either way, these are super simple and healthy too. Chop your favourite seasonal fruits into bite-sized pieces and put them on little toothpicks. You can add watermelon, strawberry, pineapple, kiwi, grapes or muskmelon. If you’re making these ahead of time, avoid using bananas, apples and pears, because these get squishy and brown too quick. If you want to step them up a bit, you can serve these with plain yoghurt or unsweetened peanut butter. Check this page for a complete guide to making fruit skewers.
Fruit popsicles: These are the most fun and also easiest. Kids love popsicles and I secretly think it’s the mess of the popsicles they enjoy the most. These are so versatile because you can make them with a variety of fruits. You’ll find plenty of popsicles moulds online and at reasonable prices. To make your popsicle, all you have to do is first pulp your fruit, then strain it and finally let it set in your popsicle mould. You can make these with watermelon, muskmelon, oranges, papaya or mangoes. Most fruits are sweet enough on their own although if you’d like to, you could use honey to sweeten as needed.
Cucumber mint cooler: Staying hydrated in the summer months is most important and there’s only so much, kids might enjoy drinking water. Apart from offering them fresh tender coconut water which is a great source of nutrients, you can also offer fruit juices. An interesting mix is this cucumber mint cooler that is very simple to make and extremely refreshing. To make this cooler, you’ll need to peel and chop a cucumber. Blend it with a handful of mint leaves, sugar and water in a food processor. Strain the pulp and your juice is ready. You can find a detailed post here.
Fruit salad: This is a great dessert and pretty much the healthiest it can get. The great thing about a fruit salad is that you can use fruits that your kid enjoys. Bananas, mangoes, apples, grapes, oranges are the usual favourites. You can add litchis, strawberries and avocados too. Wash the fruits, chop them into bite-sized pieces and mix them together. To make sure fruits like avocados and apples don’t brown after being cut, sprinkle a dash of fresh lime over the fruits. You can serve these as they are or with a swirl of honey/maple syrup. For times, you want to let your kids indulge, serve with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
Frozen yoghurt: This is like ice cream but only healthier and just as tasty. To make this treat, you’ll need some hung curd, honey and frozen fruit. You can use fruit like bananas, mango or strawberries. Cut into pieces and freeze until solid. Blend the frozen fruit with some honey in a food processor and mix with the hung curd. You can have it right away or refrigerate it for a couple of hours before serving. Get creative with it. You can add a sprinkling of chocolate chips, muesli or roasted nuts to make it more exciting for your kiddos.
I hope this list has given you a few ideas to work on. Think of all the fruit you can get your little one to have while also making it a treat for their eyes and taste buds. Summer can be tough to get through with record high temperatures and the harsh sun. But it’s also a time for enjoying some of the best fruits nature has to offer. We might as well make the most of that.