Cooking School

8 refreshing, healthy treats for kids

By: Martha Uniacke Breen

© Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©

Cooking School

8 refreshing, healthy treats for kids

By: Martha Uniacke Breen
The long, hot days of summer are here, and all your kids want to do is cool off. But rather than just letting them line up for the ice-cream truck or fill up on sugary pop or other non-nutritious treats, why not make your own? Many of these healthy treats can be made together with your kids and some are easy enough for kids to make by themselves. Now, that's refreshing!

8 healthy treats for kids

1. Smoothies
A good fruit smoothie tastes as delicious as a milkshake on a summer day, and it's a lot better for you, making it one of the best healthy treats for kids.

Place 2 cups (500 mL) milk, 2 cups (500 mL) yogurt, 2 cups (500 mL) fruit such as raspberries or blueberries (larger fruit can be cut into chunks), 1/4 cup (60 mL) wheat germ or oat bran, and 6 ice cubes in a blender; blend until smooth. Makes enough for 4 to 6 servings.

2. Frozen fruit
Many kinds of fruit, such as grapes, strawberries and banana and pineapple chunks freeze quite well. Insert toothpicks in fruit pieces; place in the freezer and freeze overnight.

3. Orange juice float
Here's a variation on an old-fashioned Coke float that's healthier and just as refreshing. Fill a tall glass two-thirds full with orange juice and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You and your kids can create your own variations, using different juices and different flavours of ice cream -- try chocolate instead of vanilla. Yum!

4. Watermelon punch
Cut a whole seedless watermelon in half. Scoop out the flesh of one half, leaving the rind intact. Cut into small cubes and add flesh from second half, if needed, to make 6 cups (1.5 L) total.

Make sugar syrup: Heat 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar with 1 cup (250 mL) water over low heat till sugar dissolves; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer one minute; cool completely.

Combine 1/3 cup (75 mL) syrup with watermelon in a blender and process till smooth. Strain through a fine sieve; discard solids. Return to blender and add one 12-oz (375 mL) can frozen lemonade concentrate and 2 cups (500 mL) unsweetened pineapple juice; blend well. Cut a horizontal slice off the bottom of half-watermelon rind, if needed, to stabilize it; serve punch in the rind with ice cubes.

Page 1 of 2 -- From fruity ice cubes to delicious slushies, discover four more great treats you're kids are sure to love on page 2. 5. Fruity ice cubes
Fill ice cube trays with flavoured water (like Mio) or juice. Place a fresh strawberry or other berry in each one and freeze till firm. Serve in flavoured water or juice, or enjoy by themselves.

6. Ice pops
You can find ice-pop moulds in dollar stores or in the housewares section of most department stores.

You can make pops out of fruit juice; or puree fresh raspberries with heavy cream and sugar to taste, pour into the moulds, insert handles and freeze. Smoothies also make great frozen pops.

7. Slushies
Pulverize 6 ice cubes in a blender or food processor; add another 6 ice cubes and repeat. Place in a glass and pour in juice or flavoured water such as Mio.

8. Easy banana ice cream

This is not only the easiest homemade ice cream recipe you'll ever try (it has only one ingredient: bananas!) but it's delicious. Slice bananas no thicker than 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) thick.

Freeze in a single layer on a tray lined with plastic wrap, waxed paper or parchment paper -- or in one layer in a resealable freezer bag, laid flat -- until solid, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Transfer to food processor (do not use a blender). Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes.

These healthy treats will keep your kids cool and refreshed on hot summer days, leaving them begging for more!

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Cooking School

8 refreshing, healthy treats for kids