When it comes to summer snacks for the family, smiles no longer have to be synonymous with foods that contain excessive amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates. There are plenty of healthy, cool and refreshing treats that are easy and affordable to make. Here are a few of our favorite dentist-friendly choices that the kids and the adults in your house are guaranteed to enjoy.
An assortment of frozen fruit is the perfect health-conscious replacement for traditional hard candies that are loaded with cavity-causing sugars.
Rinse or peel your fruit of choice. Then simply fill a serving-size storage bag or container with your pre-determined portion and place it in the freezer. Once it is frozen, you have a delicious and refreshing treat.
Fruits that are commonly frozen include:
Clementine pieces (peeled and separated)
Banana chunks (peeled and cut)
Mango (peeled and cubed)
Another variation of this same idea is inserting popsicle sticks into the rinds of watermelon wedges and freezing them.
This spin on yogurt will quickly become a popular household favorite. Yogurt bark is ready in four easy steps:
Line the area of a cooking sheet with parchment or wax paper
Spread an even layer of yogurt over the entire surface
Top the yogurt with blueberries and chopped strawberries
Place the sheet in the freezer and wait for it to properly set. This typically takes about three hours
Once it is frozen, use a knife to cut this calcium-rich refreshment into any shape or size.
For a summer snack that is as healthy as it is refreshing, give chia pudding a try. You can make it by combining chia seeds, milk and a sweetener like honey. Mix them well in a jar until the concoction is clear of any clumping.
Once the jar has sat for at least two hours in the refrigerator, it is ready to be topped with some fruit and embraced for the protein, fiber and healthy fats that it will provide for the family.
Key lime is a versatile dessert flavor. It also might just become your next favorite healthy snack. Use a food processor to pulse almonds and cashews into small pieces. Do the same with dates until you see their paste form. Throw everything back in the processor one more time and combine it with unsweetened coconut flakes.
Follow this by pulsing coconut oil, salt, lime zest and lime juice into the nut mixture. Your key lime energy mix is now ready to form into balls. You can sit back and savor them for their flavor and their healthy fats, fiber and vitamins.
If you own a blender, then you have the luxury of an infinite supply of smoothie options probably without even needing to make a trip to the store. A refreshing mix of yogurt, frozen fruit and natural fruit juice can make even the hottest summer day a bit more bearable.
However, if you need to add some extra protein into your diet, try a chocolate-peanut butter concoction. Just drop in the following ingredients and blend them into a creamy consistency:
Vanilla soy milk
Plain Greek yogurt
One tablespoon of cocoa powder
One tablespoon of peanut butter
Summer is the best time of year to dabble with new recipes that are healthy, cool and refreshing. It is also a great time to focus on your dental hygiene by scheduling an exam with one of our doctors. Let our team at the Pediatric Dental Group help support your family's health, function and beauty.