Five healthy (and easy!) summer snacks for the whole family

School’s out for summer – hurrah! My kids are constantly asking for snacks and I like to make sure we have lots of healthy treats on hand so we make the right food choices. Here are my top five picks for easy healthy snacks that you will enjoy as much as the kids do!

1. Homemade microwave root vegetable crisps. These are so super easy to make and I wish I had realised sooner! My kids love them, especially the potato ones as they’re just like the crisps that come from a packet, only much healthier, as you can control the amount of salt (I don’t add any). Try this easy home-made potato crisps recipe from BBC good food. It’s ready in a few minutes!

2. Dried kiwis, melons, pineapple, papaya, berries or fruit leather. I recently invested in a food dehydrator and I am so happy I did. The kids and I have absolutely loved all the delicious dried fruit we have been making and it makes a convenient, portable snack that doesn’t need refrigerating. If you don’t want to buy a dehydrator, you can also dehydrate fruit in the oven. If you have a dehydrator, simply slice fruit into equal size pieces (this is very important so food dries evenly and is ready at the same time) and follow the manufactures instructions regarding temperature and time. If you would rather use your oven, this Taste of Home recipe tells you how to do it. It’s easier than you think!

3. Nice cream bowls. These are so…incredibly…delicious and the sky’s the limit in terms of flavours. Check out my raspberry nice-cream recipe and feel free to try different flavours and toppings!

4. No bake banana oat bars. These are simple to make and the kids go mad for them! They are perfect for the summer as there is no need to fire up the oven. Simply add 3 cups oats, 6 dates (pits removed), chopped, 1-2 very ripe bananas, chopped (add one first and if more moisture is needed, add the second a bit at a time) and 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional). When the mixture forms a ball in the food processor, it’s ready. If it’s too dry, add a splash of water and if it’s too wet, add more oats, a little at a time. Once the mixture is ready, I like to fold in a handful of raisins.  At this point you can either roll the mixture into small balls (do this if you prefer energy balls and you could even roll in desiccated coconut, seeds, etc.) or spread evenly on a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Pop in the fridge for at least an hour. Cut into rectangles or any other shape desired. Makes 16-20 bars. Keep refrigerated. These keep in the fridge for at least a week and can also be frozen. I like to keep a stash in the freezer at all times!

5. Old fashioned popcorn. Nothing could be easier – this healthy snack is ready in just a few minutes and you don’t need any fancy equipment; just a large pot with a lid will do. Add 1/2-1tbsp of olive oil to your pot over medium to medium/high heat. To test that the oil is hot enough, drop in a popcorn kernel or two. If it pops after a minute or so, the oil is ready. Add around 3 tbsp popcorn and put the lid on the pot and remove from the heat for around 30 seconds. Return to heat and popping should start almost immediately. Shake the pan briefly to move the popcorn around to ensure even popping. When popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove from the heat and your popcorn is ready! Feel free to add butter, salt, sugar, whatever you like! We eat ours plain as this makes the healthiest snack!

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