Simply sweet summer snacks

I’ve always loved the simplicity of summer. For a few blissful months, we get to trade our thick sweaters and bulky boots for streamlined tank tops and slip-on sandals. Our days get a little more relaxed and a lot more sunny.

My philosophy is that kids’ summer snack foods should reflect the season, too. Let’s boycott the hot oven and complicated recipes!

In the spirit of keeping things easy breezy, here are a few taste-tested, kid-pleasing snack ideas. Each one requires minimal ingredients and supplies, and doesn’t require a degree in fine arts to prepare.

Frozen chocolate banana pops

banana-sticks-jj15It’s like having your own frozen banana stand! (Arrested Development fans, are you with me??)

girl-jj15Ingredients & supplies:

  • Bananas
  • Chocolate chips
  • Topping(s) such as: shredded coconut, sprinkles, crushed peanuts or PC’s new Sugar Cone Topping (a blend of peanut pieces, chocolate chips, caramel candy pieces and sugar cone bits!)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Wax paper


  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Slice bananas in half, then peel each half and place on the wax paper. Insert a popsicle stick into the flat end of each banana half. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for about two hours.
  2. Remove baking sheet from the freezer. Pour toppings into small bowls and set aside.
  3. Put chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave them at 20-second intervals. Briskly stir chocolate chips after each interval, until completely melted and smooth. Use a spatula to transfer melted chocolate to a small, deep bowl.
  4. Working quickly, dip and rotate each banana half in the melted chocolate. You may need to use a spoon to cover all areas.
  5. Immediately dip chocolate-covered banana half into your desired topping. Use a spoon to scoop and sprinkle toppings on uncovered sections, aiming to make the topping as uniform as possible.
  6. Place banana pops back on the wax paper, and return to freezer. Chill for 20 minutes and serve!

Fruit fiesta!

fruit-fiesta-jj15Kids love just about any fruit when it’s dipped in chocolate, but if your little one isn’t a fan of bananas, try putting toothpicks in grapes, strawberries, blueberries or orange segments – then freeze them and start dipping.

Juicy bug bites

Give the term “bug bites” a positive spin with these tasty fruit critters! Prepare them ahead of time, or let the kids use their imaginations to help create their own creepy crawlies.butterlfly-jj15

Ingredients & supplies:

  • Assorted fruit (I used watermelon, green grapes and strawberries)
  • Regular and/or miniature chocolate chips (for eyes and spots!)
  • Wooden skewers


  1. To make the body of a caterpillar or butterfly, simply thread grapes on a wooden skewer (alternate with strawberries or another fruit if desired).
  2. To turn your caterpillar into a butterfly, just add slices of watermelon on either side.
  3. Make an easy ladybug by cutting an oval shape out of a slice of watermelon. Add eyes and spots with chocolate chips. Grape stems make great antennae – just be sure to remind little ones that they’re not edible!

Bugging out

It’s easy and fun to get creative with vegetables, too! Try making a butterfly body with grape tomatoes – complimented with cucumber wings. Or slice a plum tomato in half to make the body of a ladybug, then use black olives to make the bug’s head and spots.

Fro yo popspopsicles-jj15

It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks! Seriously, who needs Menchie’s?! (OK, scrap that … I do!)

Ingredients & supplies:

  • Small, individual yogurt cups (I used Minigo)
  • Popsicle sticks


  1. Using a sharp knife, make a tiny slit in the centre of the yogurt top. Insert a popsicle stick. Freeze for at least two hours, or overnight.
  2. Remove yogurt containers from the freezer and carefully peel off the seals, leaving sticks intact. Run hot tap water over each cup for about 10 seconds, being careful not to let water into the yogurt.
  3. Gently pull the frozen yogurt pop out of its container and enjoy! article-end-jj15-30px

Photos: Sonia Mendes
Photo: © Photocreo
Photo: © brookefuller
Photos: Sonia Mendes
Photo: © brookefuller