Eat Right: Stay Cool with Healthy Summer Treats

When the summer heat is on, New Jammies kids need to stay hydrated and cool. Moms and dads agree that as summer heats up, it helps if those cool treats are light and healthy, too.

Water is the first priority for hydrating kids. According to an article in Parenting magazine on keeping kids hydrated, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children drink six glasses of water on an average day.

“During activity, however, your child can lose up to a half-liter of fluid per hour,” says the article. “The AAP suggests about 5 ounces (or two kid-size gulps) of water or a sports drink every 20 minutes for an 88-pound child.”

Popsicle Dreams Forever
One way kids love to stay hydrated and cool in the summer is with popsicles. Many brands on the market that most of us would still recognize from our childhoods are often produced using sugary flavored water, colorful dyes, and preservatives.

Today, we’re lucky in that we can find low-sugar organic juices and hydrating ingredients, such as coconut water and fresh fruit-infused water, to help us get creative with ingredients while controlling what our kids consume. There are so many options for making your own ice pops using BPA-free molds and easy, healthy recipes. Why not treat the kids and save money with a healthier  homemade option? Yes, please!

The Coconut Mama food blogger, an Oregon mom named Tiffany, offers this recipe for Coconut Water Ice Pops that yields 6. She’s a self-described “true believer in the health benefits of coconut,” using coconut products in most cooking.

“These unconventional ice pops are healthy, super easy to make and can be very versatile,” reads the recipe description. “Coconut water is extremely healthy and restores electrolytes. You can use any mix of frozen or fresh fruit to make them. We used mango, pineapple and blueberry on this batch.”

Ingredients

Fresh or frozen fruit
Coconut water

Instructions

1. Fill popsicle molds (or cups if using) 3/4 way full of fruit of choice.
2. Pour coconut water into molds and fill the rest of the way.
3. Place molds in freezer. Allow popsicles to freeze completely before serving, about 5-8 hours.
4. Once your popsicles are ready to serve, run the bottom of the popsicle molds under warm water to help release them from the molds.

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Freezing ice pops this summer is made easy with the Lekue 4 Unit Stackable Ice Lollipop Mold, which can be ordered online on Amazon. According to the product description, making homemade popsicles in these stackable molds helps save room in the freezer, and they have an easy-to-fill design that comes with a lid to protect from unwanted flavors and smells in the freezer.

Included in the price are easy recipes that feature lactose and gluten-free options. “You can have healthier and more natural ice pops with no preservatives or dyes,” says Lekue. “Each mold comes with one stick and is dishwasher-friendly and BPA-free.”

Juice Up

We love this recipe for All-natural, Sugar-free Soda from The View from Great Island blogger Sue Moran, not only because it’s “refreshing, fun, and fizzy,” according to the foodie site Super Healthy Kids. But it also skips the artificial flavors, colors, high-fructose corn syrup, and chemicals found in many sodas, says superhealthykids.com.  “All you need is fresh fruit, and carbonated water.”

Ingredients

1 pound fresh ripe strawberries
Carbonated water

Instructions

1. Wash and trim the strawberries.

2. Place them in a food processor and pulse until they are rough chopped, then scrape down the sides of the machine. Purée until completely smooth. Let the machine run for a minute or longer to insure a nice smooth purée.

3. Push the mixture through a mesh strainer, using the back of a large spoon to make sure as much of it gets through as possible. Most all of it should go through, leaving just the small seeds behind. You should have approximately a cup and a half of purée.

4. To make soda, use 2 tablespoons of the purée for each 8 ounces of carbonated water. Mix and then serve immediately. You can adjust the amount of purée for a lighter or stronger flavor.

5. The fruit purée will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for a week.

6. If you like you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to perk up the flavor of any fruit soda, and conversely, if you find your soda is too tart, add a touch of honey.

Other fresh fruit-flavor ideas Moran suggests for this super-easy recipe include:

• Grape (choose the dark or red varieties for best flavor)
• Blueberry (be sure to strain this one)
• Guava
• Papaya
• Mango
• Peach
• Pineapple
• Kiwi
• Orange (try blood orange, if you can find them)
• Red or pink grapefruit

Enjoy these refreshing ideas all summer long, and year, if you decide to freeze the purée. Or add spring water to the mix, instead of carbonated, and freeze for a delicious ice pop.

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Eat Right: Snack Right with Healthy Summer Recipes

New JammiesPlaying in the sprinkler. Watching fireworks. Eating popsicles. New Jammies kids love everything about summer, especially the fun stuff.

Our 100% organic cotton pajamas and boys and girls short sets make sleeping through those summer nights a blast. And New Jammies kids stay healthy and active with summer snacks that keep kids energized with vitamins and protein while they play away the summer.

Peach Strawberry Popsicles

This fruity and fun recipe from angiesrecipes.blogspot.com helps you create naturally sweetened, refreshing and healthy popsicles right in your own kitchen. Additional sweetener other than a very ripe banana is not necessary, but sugar, syrup or honey can be used per individual tastes. She also notes that peaches can be replaced with mango, apricot, or pineapple or a mix of all.

Ingredients:
4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 tsp lime juice
1 very ripe banana
3 strawberries, diced

Directions:
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Gently lower the ripe peaches into the boiling water. Leave it there for 30 seconds or until the skin splits. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice water bath. After 10 seconds or so, remove them and peel. Roughly chop the peaches and place them in a blender together with lime juice, and banana. Process until smooth. Pour half portion into the 8 ice moulds, add in diced strawberries and top with the remaining. Insert sticks, then freeze at least 4 hours or until firm.

New JammiesTovolo Ice Cream Pop Molds
This novel set of four popsicle molds is a clever way to make healthy and homemade frozen treats at home using the recipe above or fresh juices and low-fat yogurt. Create your own healthy ice cream-shaped pops with easy-to-use, custom molds. Fill top of the mold with favorite ice creams, juices, yogurts, mixes or beverages, twist on the cone-shaped handles and freeze. The cone handles catch drips to keep hands and clothes clean and stain-free. And better yet, these dishwasher-safe molds are made from durable BPA-free plastic.

New JammiesTropical Coconut Green Ice Cream

The super food kale is once again the super veggie of the summer, and this easy and healthy recipe for homemade green ice cream features both fruits and vegetables kids will love. One cup of chopped kale and other leafy greens contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and 684% of vitamin K as well as minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

This ice cream recipe from superhealthykids.com includes coconut milk, kale (or spinach), hony pineapple and banana. Summertime perfection!

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup frozen spinach or kale
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana
Flaked coconut for garnish

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender. Pour into a container and freeze at least 4 hours. After frozen, remove from freezer and wait about 10 minutes to make scooping easier.

 

Image courtesy pbs.org

Image courtesy pbs.org

Kid-Friendly Hummus
Recipe courtesy of Arthur: Postcards From Buster

Arthur is not only a beloved cartoon character on PBS, but he also likes to eat healthy. This kid-friendly Middle Eastern hummus recipe from pbs.org can teach kids to cook at home and eat healthy. PBS says: Try it with pita bread strips, or with fresh carrots, peppers and cucumbers. It’s great on a sandwich, too!

Ingredients:
3 cups canned chickpeas (1 28 oz. can) drained and rinsed
2 large cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water
Pinch of chili pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions:
Check with a grownup and wash your hands before you begin.
Put all the ingredients in a blender (except the water and paprika.)
Use the puree setting on the blender to mix everything until it is smooth and creamy. If it’s too thick, turn off the blender, and drizzle in a little water (up to 1/2 cup) and puree again until it’s the right texture for dipping.
Turn off the blender and wait until it has completely stopped. Use a spatula to scrape all the hummus into a shallow bowl.
Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top, and sprinkle it with paprika.
Clean up the kitchen before you dig into your yummy hummus dip — or as I call it, yummus!

Tips/Techniques
Utensils: Blender, spatula, and a shallow bowl

Easy Snacks for Kids

Every mom loves s simple snack when kids are on the go or busy with summer activities. realsimple.com is to the rescue with these 12 Easy Snacks for Kids by Liz Welch.

Sliced TurkeyBest of all, she says these after-school snacks are easy enough for kids to make for themselves, but healthy enough to be Mom-approved. Try the first on the list, sliced turkey:

Option 1: Top celery with vegetable cream cheese and turkey.
Option 2: Wrap pretzel rods with turkey and serve with mustard for dipping.
Option 3: Top multigrain crackers with turkey and dollop with ranch dressing.

Sliced CheeseOr why not sliced cheese:

Option 1: Top multigrain crackers with sliced cheese and dill pickles.
Option 2: Top a slice of whole-wheat bread with cheese and sliced avocado.
Option 3: Wrap apple wedges with sliced cheese and ham.