It’s Summer break for most families, which means the kiddos are home and asking for ALL the snacks all day long! We homeschool so my son is home every day anyways. So my list of snack ideas is long and printed out and hanging on my fridge. Sometimes I just cannot think of something to make for him, so glancing at this list and taking a quick inventory of what we have in the fridge/cupboard helps me not give my son animal cookies every single day. Most of these have little prep but some recipes are best made in advance (such as muffins or popsicles). Now I am not the Mom who makes perfect Bento lunches and little animal shaped snack creations every day. Most days I am throwing something together in under 5 minutes. But even quick snacks can be fun and an impressive presentation once in awhile still thrills my son. Most days for lunch we do a combo of some of the snack ideas listed below. We are big on the snack boards to share. (Though ours are not the perfect Instagram-worthy boards you may see). Chopping up some fresh fruit and veggies, sliced cheese and crackers, and a hummus dip will do. Here is my list of 25+ summer snack ideas for kids!
Kebobs– Kids love anything on a skewer! Chunks of cheese, fruit, veggies, deli meat, marshmallows, veggies… To make it even more fun you can serve the skewer with a dip. Yogurt for a fruit skewer or ranch for a veggie skewer. If your kids are younger and a pointy skewer isn’t safe, cut the point off with a heavy duty pair of scissors after you’ve skewered on your food. This is also the only way I can get my son to willingly eat veggies that aren’t his favorites, such as cherry tomatoes or peppers!
Apple Cookies– Core a whole apple and slice it into circles. Cover one side with peanut butter and top with raisins or mini chocolate chips.
Cheerio necklace– Is there anything more fun than an edible necklace? These are so fun to bring with to drive-in movie theaters, to a picnic, or just for munching on in the backyard. Simply thread string cheerios on a string and tie in the back to make a necklace.
Fruit and Yogurt Pops– Fill popsicle molds or small paper or plastic cups with yogurt, crushed fruit, and fruit juices. Insert a popsicle stick and freeze until solid. The options are endless with these! My son’s favorite popsicle recipe is vanilla yogurt, strawberries and bananas.
Ants on a log– a classic Summer snack for kids! Spread peanut butter over a slice of celery and place raisins or mini chocolate chips on top to be the “ants”. (This is the only way my son will eat raisins.)
Apple Toast– Peel and thinly slice an apple. Butter a slice of bread and place the apple slices on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake on a cookies sheet at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. We call this one a dessert and only have it occasionally. This is an amazing afternoon snack in the Fall too, when our local apples are in season and we crave cinnamon everything!
Muffins– I try to make a batch of mini muffins every week or every other week so that we can just grab them as a quick snack. My Mini Garden Muffin recipe has been enjoyed for years and is packed full of veggies. We also love my Mom’s Mini Raspberry Almond Muffins and my Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins. If I am short on time, I reach for a boxed muffin mix. My favorites are the Kodiak Cakes Muffin Mix and the Krusteaz Protein Muffin Mixes.
Cheese and crackers- To save time I buy the ore-cut cheese because it is already the perfect size for crackers. But if I don’t have that, I use sliced cheese and cut it up into quarters. If I am feeling generous, I use fun cookie cutters to cut out shapes. My son is 8 and still really enjoys seeing all the fun cheese shapes.
Naan Bread and Hummus- This combo is a favorite in our home. I toast the naan bread for a bit and then cut it up into triangles. I always keep some classic hummus in the fridge. Slice up some cucumbers and carrots to dip in the hummus too!
Garlic Bread Pizzas– This is more of a lunch than a snack but a very quick recipe and a crowd-pleaser. Afternoons that we are all really hungry, I make these. Using frozen garlic bread, top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and whatever toppings you want. Bake on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
Crackers, Nutella and banana slices- This is another “treat” snack that we only occasionally have. Smear a generous amount of Nutella on a graham cracker or a Ritz cracker and top with thinly sliced bananas.
Parfaits– Yogurt topped with lots of granola and fresh fruit is usually a hit and takes just a couple minutes to throw together.
Cottage Cheese and Peaches– I remember eating this combo a lot as a child and now my own kiddo loves it.
Cracker and Fruit Pizzas– Spread a layer of plain whipped cream cheese on Ritz crackers and top with fresh diced fruit. This is a fun snack for kids to make themselves. They can spread the cream cheese on the crackers and top with their favorite fruits. I like to have a few bowls of finely diced fruit out on the table for my child to create his own. Kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, grapes and banana are our favorites.
Banana Sushi- Spread peanut butter and Nutella on a flour tortilla. Place a peeled banana in the center, roll up the tortilla and then slice into 1″ pieces.
Snack Board- We usually have these for lunch but in smaller portions can be just a snack. This popular way to snack is all over Instagram and Pinterest! We are big grazers in our home, so this is a perfect option for us. We are usually snacking on these fresh ingredients while doing a craft, reading a book, watching a show, or just sitting out on the porch. I never plan these out and just use whatever I have. Fresh fruits and veggies, hummus, ranch, naan or pita bread, crackers, deli meat, cheese…. It really doesn’t have to be fancy or a lot of prep. Just throw it all on a tray or a cutting board and set it out for little hands to serve themselves.
Teddy Bear Trail Mix- If you are looking for a fun activity with your kids, set out a simple trail mix buffet and let them create their own special trail mix. We mix it all up in this large bowl and then store ours in brown paper bags because it doesn’t last very long before it’s all eaten. Ziploc baggies would work too. I would make this when my son was a preschooler and we would have a big snack cup full for car rides and grocery store runs. Here are some ingredient ideas you could throw in your trail mix: pretzels, honey Teddy Grahams, chocolate Teddy Grahams, honey nut cheerios, yogurt covered raisins, Honeycomb cereal, M&Ms. marshmallows, Golden Grahams, Bugles, chocolate chips. Use whatever you have on-hand!
Watermelon Slushies- These are so refreshing on a hot summer day! Dice about half a large watermelon and place in freezer for several hours. We use about 5-6 cups of the frozen watermelon pieces, 1/2 C sugar, 1 C + a few TBS of very cold water, and 2 TBS of lemon juice. Blend it all up and garnish with a slice of lime.
Cinnamon Graham Crackers & Applesauce- This was one of my favorite snacks as a kid. Dipping cinnamon graham crackers in cold applesauce just reminds me of Summer.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Crackers– put out small bowls of peanut butter and jelly to top Ritz crackers with. This gets messy with kids but is a fast and easy snack.
Frozen Yogurt- Last Summer my son put some Go-Gurts in the freezer and it quickly became one of his favorite treats! He treats them like popsicles but it’s just yogurt. Win-win !
Popcorn– Nothing fancy here, just good ole’ fashioned popcorn made in a pot on the stove! We had a bit of melted butter and salt but you could emit that to make it healthier. Kids love hearing the popcorn popping on the stove and the delicious smell filling the whole house… it’s always a hit! I cook 1/2 C kernels with a few TBS of oil and it makes a good amount of popcorn. You could add this to a trail mix, too!
Teddy Bear Rice Cakes- Spread peanut butter over a plain rice cake. Top with banana slices and chocolate chips to make ears, eyes, and a nose.
Mini Cucumber Sandwiches- My kiddo isn’t crazy about cucumbers until they are made into little tea sandwiches. Spread veggie cream cheese on two slices of white bread. Thinly cut cucumber into slices and top over the cream cheese. You can sprinkle on some dill or Italian seasoning or skip the seasoning. Cut the sandwich into quarters and serve.
Baked Apple Chips– Homemade apple chips are just SO much better than the store bought kind! Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Wash and core 3 large sweet apples (I like honeycrisp) and slice with a very sharp knife into ⅛ inch-thick rounds. Place the apples in a single layer on the baking sheets and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for about 1 hour. Remove the baking sheets and switch the pans’ position on the upper and lower racks. Continue baking for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I keep checking to see if the apples are crisp enough at this point. If they are crisp enough, take them out to cool on the counter. If they need to crisp up a little more, turn off the oven and let the apples sit in the oven for 30+ minutes as it cools down to crisp further.
Food we keep stocked all Summer long:
- String cheese
- Peanut Butter
- Naan Bread
- Ritz crackers
- Vanilla Yogurt
- Popcorn kernels
- Mandarin oranges
- Cheddar cheese slices
A lot of these items we buy in bulk from Costco because it’s much cheaper and we go through them so fast.
What is your go-to snack in the Summer for your kids?