How is it almost August already? Seems like just the other day we were counting down to the last day of school, and the new school year seemed only a faint blink in the distance.
On the one hand summertime laziness has crept in, with less regard for strict bedtimes, wearing shoes and television watching. On the other hand, there are commitments that keep us busy like doctor and dentist appointments, vacations and summer reading lists.
I also know after seeing dozens of posts scrolling through my Facebook News Feed that summer camp is high on the “to do” list right now. Some older kids are venturing off to sleep-away camp (related – I wish there was a grown up sleep-away camp!), and others are headed out to day camp.
The great thing about day camp is that typically the kids arrive with boundless amounts of energy (SO. MUCH. ENERGY.) and after a day of activities, games, swimming and other projects… and they return home a hungry, sweaty mess. It’s wonderful!
Taking care of the “sweaty” part is easy: a dunk in the pool, a quick cool shower, or maybe a run through the sprinkler. The hungry part can be a bit trickier, however – kids can be ravenous after lots of playtime outside on hot summer days. Plus, even though we’d like to think lazy days leave us with time to come up with clever after camp snacks, it’s just not that simple, is it?
Here are six (kid approved!) healthy and simple after camp snacks that can be ready on the fly:
HOMEMADE FREEZER POPS: It’s so easy to make your own freezer pops; I often wonder why we don’t do it more. The simplest and quickest way to make these treats is to freeze your kids’ favorite juice into freezer pop molds. Voila! BUT, you can also get really creative by making homemade frozen fudge pops or by swirling plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and honey to make healthy frozen yogurt pops. Delicious and healthy strawberry ice pops, why not? The frozen possibilities are endless!
FRESH CUCUMBERS WITH RANCH: My kids could live off of cucumber if I’d let them, and add in some ranch dressing for dip-ability and you have the ultimate refreshing and tasty cool down snack. Carrots, snow peas, cherry tomatoes and bell peppers work great too and I love that you can prep them in advance – little baggies in the fridge work great for a grab-and-go, “help yourself” snack!
CHEDDAR AND GRAPE KABOBS: What child doesn’t love a kabob? Stagger cubes of cheddar cheese with big, sweet grapes on a skewer for a fun after camp snack that also packs a punch of protein.
SMOOTHIES: Fresh fruit, coconut milk, honey and a touch of vanilla are all it takes to create a winning smoothie for your little camper. We love them because it’s a healthy snack; kids love them because it tastes like a dessert treat!
GRANOLA WITH BLUEBERRIES: It’s easy to find a granola that’s just sweet enough without added sugar – look for one that uses honey. Throw in some in-season local blueberries and you’ve got a great treat for the kids. Bonus: check out these pick your own farms in Maryland to get the freshest berries, peaches, cherries and other goodies around!
ZUCCHINI BREAD SANDWICHES: This part of summer is when zucchini plants run wild, mass producing the green veggies like rabbits. If you’re like me you have too many to know what to do with. One of my favorite ways to use it up is to make zucchini muffins and bread, and one of my 9-year old’s favorite snacks is a zucchini bread sandwich: two thin slices of zucchini bread filled with cream cheese. Make zucchini bread the classic way, or dress it up with something fun like chocolate chips and lime juice! Simple, filling and delicious.