Texas Living

Easy Summer Snacks

By Lisa Martin 6.15.15

Looking for summer snack ideas now that your kids are out of school? Think beyond the season’s less-than-healthy fare like hot dogs and ice cream in favor of easy, tasty treats your kids will love, especially when they’re on the move.

“Save old peanut butter jars, jam/jelly jars, yogurt, or sour cream containers for grab-n-go snack packs,” suggests Lisa Barclay, clinical dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “Allow kids to pick out a jar or container and pick what they want to have with their fruit or vegetable (peanut butter, ranch dip, yogurt, hummus, etc).”

Roberta H. Anding, clinical dietitian and director of sports nutrition at Texas Children’s Hospital, as well as the sports dietitian for the Houston Texans NFL franchise, steers clients to freshly ground nut butters including almond and cashew. Trade boring breads for graham crackers or rice cakes, too.

Anding also loves smoothies for summer: “Take half a bag of frozen fruit (8 oz.) and microwave for 10 seconds to thaw. Add two cups of Greek yogurt and blend. You get the antioxidant power of the fruit and 28 grams of protein,” which packs enough nutritional punch to fuel a day at the park or pool.

Beyond baby carrot sticks, veggies can prove a tough sell to young kids regardless of the season. The Clinical Nutrition Department at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas recommends the following recipe for crispy kale chips:

Crispy Kale Chips


  • 1 bunch curly kale (about 1-1½ pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay each kale leaf on a board and, with a small sharp knife, cut out the hard stem. Tear large leaves in half. Place the kale in a large bowl of water and wash it well. Drain the kale and dry it in a salad spinner. Dry the bowl, and put the kale back in the bowl.
  3. Toss the kale with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Divide the kale in single layers on baking sheets (or make in batches). Too much kale on one pan will cause the leaves to steam rather than roast, and they won’t become crisp. Cook for 15 minutes or until crisp.

For more family-friendly recipes, visit the Texas Farm Bureau Insurance blog.

Lisa Barclay, Texas Children’s Hospital: 832.824.2099
Roberta Anding, Director of Sports Nutrition, Texas Children’s Hospital: 832.822.4005
Recipe link to Children’s Medical Center, Dallas: http://blog.childrens.com/everyone-wins-healthy-super-bowl-snacks