Memorial Day is right around the corner and with it will be the official start of summer. Soon children will be home from school for the summer break. A challenge for many parents is how to ensure that the kids get proper nutrition during the summer with lunches and snacks. This is especially challenging if one of the parents is not around during the day. So what are some healthy lunches and snacks that children can have during the summer? What are good summer foods and bad summer foods?
Dr. Keith Kantor, a leading nutritionist and CEO of the Nutritional Addiction Mitigation Eating and Drinking (NAMED) program. Dr. Kantor has list of healthy snacks and lunches for the summer that are both nutritional and tasty, and they aren’t the usual suspects.
Summer is a time of year where schedules are more relaxed, the days are longer and cooking can often be an after thought. It’s easy to get off track with unhealthy summer foods, that will pack on the pounds if you are not careful. Consider keeping the oven off with these easy “outside of the box” kid friendly grilled options.
GRILLED TORTILLA PIZZA
A twist on traditional grilled meals like hot dogs and burgers. This is also a kid friendly way to sneak in some veggies while still being healthy and quick.
Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 5 min.
Serving Size- 1 tortilla
4- 6” wheat or gluten free tortillas
1 c marinara sauce
8 oz. cooked meat of your choice (pepperoni, sausage, chicken, ham, etc.)
1 c veggies of your choice (peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, etc.)
16 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1. Lightly brush both sides of your tortillas with olive oil. Get your toppings organized. Pre- cook desired meats if needed. Preheat grill to medium.
2. Gather all of your toppings, tortillas, tongs, spoon (for sauce), brush, metal spatula and cookie sheets (to transfer after cooking) near your grill within easy reach.
3. Lay your oil brushed tortillas on the grill – leave the grill open, as it will only take 1 to 1-1/2 minutes to grill the crust.
4. Check on them and when you can see the grill marks, flip them over with your tongs.
5. Now, sauce and top your pizzas quickly with sauce, meat, cheese and veggies. Have everything ready to toss on quickly to avoid burning the crust. Once you’ve got your pizza topped, close the grill lid so heat can reflect down onto the top. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, checking after about two minutes for cheese to melt. Remove each pizza with a metal spatula- place on tray to transfer.
A healthy grilled snack or meal free of refined sugar and high in protein. Use fresh pineapple and chemically pure ham.
Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 5 min.
Serving Size- 1 skewer
1 lb. Nitrate free deli ham
3 cups fresh pineapple cut into large chunks
6 long skewers for grill
Poke ham and pineapple onto skewers leaving approximately 1.5” on each end. Each skewer should have approximately 3 oz. of ham and ½ c pineapple. Grill until marks appear and serve right away.
GRILLED BANANA BOATS
This is a healthy alternative to S'mores. Same great flavor with less guilt.
Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 5 min.
Serving Size- 1 banana
¼ c shredded coconut
1 c dark chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips
1 c mini marshmallows
Peel banana and slice down the middle. Stuff with approximately ¼ c marshmallows and chocolate chips. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil and place on grill for 3-5 minutes or until chocolate melts slightly. Eat with spoon and ENJOY!
There are simple options off of the grill that are also perfect for summer.
ALMOND BUTTER APPLE SANDWICHES
Prep- 5 min.
Serving Size- 1 apple sandwich
Sneaking in an extra serving of fruit will not be hard with these treats, this is perfect for a might lunch or snack option.
· 2 small apples, cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
· 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
· 3 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
· 2 tablespoons dark semi sweet chocolate chips
· 3 tablespoons rolled oats or granola
Spread one side of half of the apple slices with peanut or almond butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches. Transfer to napkins or plates and serve.
The Hulk Smoothie
Prep- 5 min.
Serving size- 1 shake (12-16 oz.)
This is a great way to sneak in both veggies and fruits.
1 handful spinach (fresh)
1 kiwi (peeled)
¼ - ½ cup berries
½ cup coconut or organic yogurt
½ c unsweet vanilla almond milk
¼ c pure pomegranate juice
5 ice cubes
Directions: Blend till smooth and serve
Playing at the pool, lake, beach or anything outside in the summer can dehydrate children without them even realizing. They need to drink at least half their body weight in ounces or more of water per day. Avoid juices and sports drinks due to high sugar and sodium content, unless they are extremely active in sports, not simply playing. I recommend drinking hydroxide rich alkaline water. AQUA OH! is the best one I found through my research (www.aqua-oh.com). The OH- from the hydroxide water searches for the H+ proton that causes the acidity and binds to it forming water which is eliminated from the body. The acid causes acidosis which causes inflammation which is very bad, In the case of kids, most of the acid comes from the sugar they consume. Drinking one half their body weight in ounces will keep them hydrated, reduce cravings for sugary snacks and help get rid of the acid and thus inflammation. It comes as a concentrate so it is 250% less than other alkaline waters and works better. It has no taste but you can add a little Stevia if you need to make it more enjoyable.