Chillin’ with frozen treats

Move aside popsicles, here is a healthier option for cooling you down during the summer heat.

Add some fresh fruits or low-fat yogurts to your summer snack plan, instead of sugary popsicles.
Add some fresh fruits or low-fat yogurts to your summer snack plan, instead of sugary popsicles.

Hot, summer days by the lake, taking in the rays or just enjoying the season in your back yard – this is the season for campfires, summer sports and fun. It is also the time of year when we look for ways to keep ourselves cool in the heat. Many head towards the beach while others may find a local pool or bask in the air conditioning. Wherever you choose to escape the heat, keep in mind that snacks can also play a part in keeping you cool, and provide a boost of health.

There are loads of various frozen treats on the market to enjoy and cool you down on hot days, but not all of them will bring nutritional benefit to your body. Frozen snacks can also help to cool you from the inside, out. Eating and drinking cold foods cools the temperature of your stomach, bringing you some relief from the heat. Dipping your body into cool water also helps to lower your core body temperature, helping you to feel cool.

A favorite summer treat that has been around for a long time is popsicles. They are cool, taste great but contain a large amount of sugar and few nutrients. If you can be a little creative, you can put together endless varieties of nutritious frozen treats that your family will never get tired of. Use 100 percent juices, fresh fruit, yogurt, fat-free milk and even vegetables such as spinach and carrots. Blend your ingredients until smooth and put your healthy creation into ice cube trays, popsicle molds, paper cups or even special popsicle baggies that can be purchased – freeze and serve. The addition of fruits and dairy add vital nutrients to the diet. Below are a couple of recipes to try and enjoy.

Michigan State University Extension recommends these fun, cool recipes from Super Healthy Kids.

Creamy strawberry pops

1/4 cup yogurt

10-12 ripe strawberries, rinsed and hulled

Directions: Blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle container and freeze.

Pina colada pops

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup pineapple (cut into chunks)

1/4 banana

Directions: Blend until smooth. Pour into Popsicle container and freeze.

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