Summer is in full swing. The sun is hot, hot, hot. The grandkids are out of school. So when they run into your kitchen and ask, “What do you have to eat?”… you must be prepared. After all, you are Grandma!

Summer snacks are so much fun because they can be eaten both inside or outside. The kids can be messy (well, a little messier) because summer clean-up just seems a bit easier. You know, a wet-wipe here, a paper towel there.So stock up on the fun, healthy and cool snacks.

Here are some suggestions:

  • The always popular popsicle or fruit bar. These do not have to be the sugary pops of the past. Try freezing cranberry or orange juice in freezer molds, or just pour the grandkids’ favorite juices into ice cube trays. This activity is a blast for the kids, too.
  • Fruit slices all set and ready to go, waiting in the refrigerator for those precious little eyes. Brightly colored orange slices. Red and green apple slices (drizzled with lemon to preserve color and freshness). Pineapple slices for the more daring. The always dazzling melons… cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon (seedless, unless you want to encourage seed-spitting contests!). Eye-catching strawberries, blueberries and green or purple grapes. And the always exotic mango or kiwi. What I enjoy doing is cutting the fruits into many different shapes and sizes so my grandkids can build edible “fruit art.” We’ve built and eaten entire fruit villages in one sitting!
  • The fruit slice cousin, vegetable slices. Vegetables are great fun with their deep, rich colors and ease of cutting. Try the standard cucumbers. Peppers. Carrots. Celery (always a favorite with peanut butter filling). Or venture into broccoli, fresh green beans and even peas. Talk about the great vitamins in these vegetables as your grandkids create their “vegetable art.”
  • Yogurt. Yogurt is a quick, healthy and refreshingly cool snack. Try plain or vanilla, and let your grandkids top with all those great fruit slices. I always have clear plastic cups on hand for the building of imaginative parfaits… kids love the layers and layers of color. Or use yogurt as dips for the vegetables. Remember to check the expiration dates on the yogurt, as some yogurts expire sooner than others.
  • Refrigerated or frozen cookie dough. I love to see the eyes light up when a package of homemade (or purchased) cookie dough is spotted in the refrigerator. It’s like a holiday! And although the oven must be fired up… it’s worth the heat in the kitchen when the melt-in-your-mouth cookies are devoured with a tall, cold glass of good old-fashioned milk. I’ve even had two fabulous grandchild-invented recipes come from my stocked refrigerator… vanilla yogurt sandwiched between fresh chocolate cookies, and my favorite – strawberry cookie cake. This is a chocolate chip cookie topped with fresh strawberries and finished with a dollop of vanilla yogurt. Go on, create your own family recipes and traditions in the summer months!