Healthy Children - July 2016

This summer let's keep cool, and give our bodies healthy fuel!

Summer takes us to the park, to the pool, and outside for all kinds of great physical activity. What a wonderful time for the while family to get out and have fun together.

One thing to remember for all members of the family is to enjoy our bodies’ favorite beverage, WATER! Beverages with lots of sugar not only have extra calories we don’t need, but they don’t really quench our thirst. To make it more fun, try including colorful fruits in a pitcher of water such as citrus, berries, or grapes. Mint and cucumber can also make water a tasty treat.

Fruit is nature’s perfect snack food, giving us energy to move and play. Whole fruits give us vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber which keeps us feeling full longer. Berries, grapes, melon, cherries, kiwis, plums and apricots are all at their best during summer. When fruits are in season, they taste great, and are more affordable than at other times of the year.

There are many ways for families to enjoy these fruits:

  • Frozen Fruit Pop – Blend low-fat yogurt with your choice of fruit. Pour into a 4 ounce paper cup and insert a Popsicle stick. Freeze and enjoy!
  • Fruit Kabobs- Include all colors of the rainbow. For example, try slices of kiwi, watermelon, grapes, and bananas put together on a stick to create an appetizing snack.
  • Fruit Salsas- In addition to tomatoes, limes, and peppers, try including strawberries and mangos into your salsas
  • Fruit Smoothies- Blend frozen fruits with low-fat milk for a healthy shake

Below are recipes for your family to try. Young children can help by picking out fruit at the grocery store or farmer’s market, washing fruit, and mixing. Older school aged children can help with slicing, peeling, measuring, and reading the recipe. So get out in the sun and play together, and enjoy nature’s perfect snack fuel, FRUIT!

Mango Salsa:
Serves 8 - Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Ingredients:

  • 1 Mango (peeled, pitted, and diced)
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix, serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.

How to Cut a Mango: Holding the mango with one hand, stand it on its end with the stem side down. With a sharp knife in your other hand, cut from the top of the mango down one side of the pit. Then repeat with the other side. You should end up with three pieces – two halves and a middle section that includes the pit. Take a mango half and use a knife to make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in it. Try not to cut through the peel. At this point you may be able to peel the segments right off of the peel with your fingers. Or you can use a small paring knife to cut away the pieces from the peel. Lay the mango pieces with the pit flat on the cutting board. Use a paring knife to cut out the put and remove the peel.

Tips:

  • Serve as an appetizer or a snack
  • Also try adding or substituting tomatoes and/or peppers.

Fruit Smoothie
Serves: 1 – Serving Size: 1 cup
Ingredients:

  • ½ bananas
  • ½ cup berries, frozen
  • 1 container (6oz) strawberry yogurt

Instructions:  Blend all the ingredients well in blender. Pour it into your favorite glass and enjoy!

Apricot Pops

  • 1 Can (15 ounces) apricots (packed in juice or light syrup)
  • 2 cartons (6 ounces each) vanilla yogurt (low fat and sugar free)

Instructions:  Drain apricots.
Combine the drained apricots and yogurt. Blend until smooth with a blender or food processor. Pour mixture into 8 small paper cups and put in freezer. Stand a wooden stick or plastic spoon in pops after half an hour (when they start to freeze). Freeze 3-4 hours or until pops are solid. Remove from cup to serve. Place bottom of cup under hot running water for 20 seconds. Peel off paper cup.

Tips:

  • No blender? Mince apricots on a cutting board.
  • Make pops with plain Greek yogurt.
  • Optional additions might be honey, sugar, or sweetener.
  • Serve like ice cream. Pour mixture into plastic container, cover and freeze 3-4 hours or until firm. Thaw 10 minutes before serving.
  • Try with other canned fruits.
  • Save leftover apricot juice and mix with other juices.

Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 small fruits of your choice (such as apples, pears, bananas, clementine oranges, kiwi, grapes)
  • 1 can (8 ounces) chunk pineapple
  • 1 container (6 or 8 ounces) fruit yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons low fat whipped topping
  • 30 toothpicks

Instructions:  Wash fruit under running water. Peel bananas, clementine oranges, and kiwi. Drain pineapple juice into a bowl. Cut fruit in wedges or chunks. Dip fruit that turns dark (such as apples and bananas) in the pineapple juice. Thread fruit on toothpicks or skewers and arrange on a platter. Stir together the yogurt and whipped topping. Pour into a bowl for dipping and refrigerate any leftovers. 

Tip:

  • Threading fruit onto the toothpicks is a fun activity for children