Warm weather brings many opportunities for outdoor activities—soccer games, afternoons on the playground and BBQs in the backyard. One of our favorites is picnicking. From an impromptu breakfast to an early afternoon lunch or dinner at sunset, picnics are a delightful way to get the family outside together—and it doesn’t have to be complicated. A…Read more
The dog days of summer can be the best of the season—think endless afternoons by the pool and enjoying fun summer activities around town or in your own backyard! But the long summer days can also be brutally hot, and to beat the heat with kids this summer, a cold pick-me-up is a great antidote. Before running to the ice cream truck, consider a fun treat that’s easy to whip up and has some added nutrition: popsicles. From tried-and-true favorites to creative new twists, here are our favorite healthy popsicle recipes for kids to enjoy in the summer heat.
How to make popsicles for kids
The easiest way to make your own popsicles? Silicone molds. The soft silicone makes it easy to pop your treats out once they’re fully frozen, and they come in a variety of fun sizes, shapes and characters. Look for molds with sturdy plastic handles that won’t break when it’s time to get the popsicles out.
Generally, popsicles take about 4 hours to freeze. Be sure to let them freeze thoroughly before trying to pop them out of the molds. After they’re frozen, run the top and bottom of each mold under warm water for about 30 seconds. This will help loosen the popsicle from the mold without melting its center. Typically, single-serving molds are easier to loosen than molds that come in a tray.
Looking for popsicles that more closely resemble an ice cream treat? Add lightly-sweetened Greek yogurt to almost any recipe to make your popsicles creamier. It’ll also add a boost of calcium and protein.
All-natural fruit popsicles
One of the best things about all-natural fruit popsicles is that many recipes include just 3 or 4 ingredients. They’re easy to make, which means even younger kids can get in on the fun. With strawberry puree, mango puree and orange juice, this 3-ingredient recipe is a crowd pleaser (and also quite pretty).
Kids will also love the way these kiwi-melon popsicles look, with full slices of kiwi frozen right into the mold. If the tropical theme is a hit, go for strawberry-pineapple popsicles with chunks of pineapple and strawberry that offer a great texture. For a creamier popsicle with a tropical twist, papaya and unsweetened almond milk make a delicious combination.
The simplest popsicle recipe that also packs a big punch of summer? Frozen grape popsicles. Simply blend three cups of grapes in a blender until smooth, pour into the molds and freeze.
Kid-friendly popsicles with veggies
Popsicles with veggies? You bet. Combine your kids’ favorite vegetables with a touch of fruit for a cool summer treat that’s nutritious, too. Try these recipes for strawberry-beet, mango-orange-carrot and lime-spinach pops—each in a vibrant color that kids will love. Another fun, brightly colored popsicle is made with mangos and carrot juice.
Looking to introduce more greens into your child’s diet? Try these grape, green apple and kale pops, which are basically a green drink frozen in a mold. Also, this simple 5-ingredient recipe has punchy bursts of raspberry red among vibrant cucumber and mint green.
Creative popsicle ideas for kids
Older children—as well as those with a more adventurous palate—will love whipping up creative popsicle combinations. Here’s one of our favorites: Peel ripe bananas or plantains and place them in the freezer. Once fully frozen, dip each banana or plantain in dark chocolate and sprinkle with toppings like chopped nuts, seeds and roasted coconut. Then, lay out on waxed paper and refreeze.
Making homemade popsicles with your kids is a fun and creative way to cool down on a hot summer day. Incorporating simple fruits and veggies in a range of combinations satisfies their sweet tooth in a bright and healthy way.