On the set of WBAL.
Schools out for the summer! But that doesn’t mean our learning gets put on hold. Now that your kids are home, it’s the perfect opportunity to bring them into the kitchen and teach them the importance of preparing balanced and wholesome meals. By including your children in cooking meals, they begin to establish a sense of appreciation for what food they are eating and become more aware of what they are putting into their bodies.
My latest segment on WBALTV’s ‘Healthier Youth‘ reveals tips and recipe ideas for balanced lunches, nutritious snacks, and most importantly, how to keep your kids hydrated in the summer heat.
A simple way to get your kids and family to eat healthier and snack smarter this summer is to start with familiar foods and add in nutrition wherever you can.
Use Chips as a “Vehicle” for Healthier Veggie Dips
We all know that chips are a summertime staple. If you’re serving chips, choose quality – check the ingredients label. Does it look simple? For example, well-known Ruffles potato chips are simply made with only 3 ingredients: potatoes, oils, and salt.
By pairing these dips with this Zippy Zucchini dip– made with Greek yogurt, one whole zucchini, and garlic, you can add veggies and protein to your meal.
Make Your Own Healthier Hamburgers
Forget the drive through. Making hamburgers (or veggie burgers) at home is simple and something fun to do with your kids. Introduce avocados (a fruit!) to your family by using 3 slices of avocado as a topper. With only 50 calories, the good monounsaturated fats, nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, and lots of flavor, avocados make the perfect topping to your burger.
This versatile fruit can be used in a multitude of ways from dips to salads, or even ice cream! Try this Green Goddess Dip, as a spread on top of your burger otherwise, you can serve it as a side with veggies. It is so simple to make – made with Avocados from Mexico, Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and several herbs and spices- it is the perfect topping to any of your favorite foods. To try this recipe and more like please visit www.theamazingavocado.com.
Make Your Own Snacks at Home and Recruit Your Kids to Help
These banana snack bars by Great Grains are delicious. These bars are sweet & crunchy so your kids will love them, but made with just 4 ingredients in 30 minutes so you will love them too!
Great Grain’s line of protein blend cereals provides 7-8 grams of protein, a good source of dietary fiber, and at least 30 grams of whole grains.
This cereal contains wheat flakes from wheat berries balanced with nuts, seeds, or fruit creating a crispy & flavorful balance. Try having Great Grains with milk or soymilk, top onto Greek yogurt or ice cream, or add peanuts, raisins, and dark chocolate chips to make a trail mix that you can take on the go!
The reccipe for the banana crunch bars, homemade granola, and more can be found at
In addition to eating healthy this summer, I cannot stress how important it is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Now that your kids have free time to run around and engage in outdoor activities staying hydrated is essential to their health. Switch out those sugary juice boxes and sodas with Vita Coco cocnut water to replenish your body with electrolytes, vitamin C and potassium for only 35 calories. Now, Vita Coco has released their new kid-friendly product, Vita Coco Kids, including very cherry beach, apple island, and paradise punch. Vita Coco Kids coconut water is enhanced with natural fruit flavors and no artifical sweetners.
Put the time back into your summer. Remember to get cooking with your kids and invite them to join you in your kitchen. Take this opportunity to teach your children about the importance of nutrition and to care what goes into their bodies. Extend the positive experience from the kitchen to the table, and encourage your whole family sit down to have a family meal together while enjoying the summer heat!
Disclosure: I worked with Great Grains by Post Foods, Vita Coco, Avocados From Mexico, and Ruffles by Frito-Lay for the TV segment, but did not receive compensation for writing this blog post.