School’s Out: Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas for A Sunny Summer!
By Janet Tharpe


School’s Out: Kid-Friendly Snack Ideas for A Sunny Summer!
Sweet, Tart Kool-Aid Treats


Goodbye carpool, hello swimming pool! That warm breeze tells me it’s that time again; time to switch out the school year routine and get ready for a sunny, funny summer!

Of course, with all the giggly joys of the season comes the challenge - ok, let's call it an "opportunity" - to keep the kiddos and grand-kiddos fed and entertained. If my grandson has taught me one thing it’s that you can never have too much food on hand. We always have cut veggies and whole fruit in the fridge, but we also love finding unique treats for the occasional indulgence. Lucky for us, we’ve recently come across some super fun recipes for curbing the kids' cravings between meals!

Really, what says summertime snacking more than old fashioned Cracker Jacks?! We love 'em and were thrilled to find a terrific recipe for homemade 'jacks... with a twist! "This is our movie night favorite!" says Sue Adame of her Cracker Jacks Gone Wild. "I admit I tend to over indulge, but cannot help myself!" And it's no wonder! Chock full of salty-sweet popcorn, cashews and dried cranberries, this yummy mix is an eat-it-by-the handful delight! Oh, and did I mention that every bite is laced with colorful chocolate candies?! Have the kids pick their favorite colors and, well, go wild!

"My kids and I love sweet and tart little goodies," says Honorary Kitchen Crew gal, Leah Stacey. In fact, Leah’s entire brood fell head-over-heels for JoSele Swopes' cheerful Kool-Aid Treats. The simple addition of powdered drink mix adds oodles of color and pucker-inducing fun to these otherwise classic Krispy treats. "We have tried them in several flavors,” exclaims Leah, “and they never fail. If you want an extra kick try putting 2 packs of the same flavor in them."

For a savory all-star treat, gather up the kids and whip up a batch of Christine Reardon's Fun Pizza Dip. (With a name like that, you KNOW it's got to be good!) Christine has managed to pack all the gooey, flavorful goodness of pizza into an easy anytime snack. "I have probably made this recipe over 50 times," says Christine. "It is always one of the first dishes to go!" With layers of herbed cheese, tangy tomato sauce, pepperoni, peppers and scallions, this dip is a delight for the senses. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips or pita for a filling and fun afternoon treat.

With an eye on creativity, any recipe can turn into an opportunity for special time together. Kitchens are made for experimenting... so why not grab the kids and try something new?! After all, every recipe is a success when it's prepared with the ones you love.




54 Comments

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Laurie Mitchell lauriemitwa
May 29, 2012
It is very disapointing to see that all of these "snacks" are full of sugar and that nothing is included that could be considered healthy. I thought we had an epedemic of young people with sugar addiction and diabetes in this country.
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Vicki Saddlemire vsaddlemire
May 29, 2012
I agree. My grandchildren (mostly teenagers now) eat a lot of roasted vegetables. I always cook extra(cauliflower, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, ect) and they eat them in the afternoons and during the summer. And, I know fruit isn't a recipe, but they eat tons of fresh fruit and smoothies. Nothing wrong with these 'snacks' occasionally, but they should be for special occasions and not summer long options.
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Natalie Hill craftybbw
May 29, 2012
I agree, seeing as how I am a diabetic and I am looking for sugar free recipes and healthier recipes for my kids to teach them to eat healthier... I havent seen many "healthy" recipes advertized on here. you really have to did to find them. I would love to see more healthy recipes advertized on here.
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Vicki Saddlemire vsaddlemire
May 29, 2012
I have never submitted a recipe, but have lots. My entire family is diabetic and I am pre-diabetic. I want my grandkids to know you don't have to have so much sugar and fat in your diet for good tasting food.
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Natalie Hill craftybbw
May 29, 2012
I am trying to teach my children the same kind of values. I dont want my kids to suffer through this. I have taken a few recipes and made them my own by adding or taking things out. But having some of the recipes post as blue ribbon winners that are super healthy would be great.
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Margo Roberts MamaMargo
May 29, 2012
I used to work for Head Start and had several healthy snacks, like rice krispie treats, using peanut butter, and my children love apples and peanut butter with raisins, or "ants on a log" peanut butter and celery with raisins. But really summer is the easiest time of the year for healthy snacks. Try buying fresh fruit and vegetables in the winter....
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Kate Lorden Kate_Lorden
May 29, 2012
Janet mentioned that too, that she keeps fresh fruit and veggies cut up for the bulk of her grankson's snacking. This notebook entry just had a few fun recipes to try. My twins were born 3 months early, and worked so hard to accomplish everything. Today they are 7 and love to keep their bodies healthy with healthy food and exercise! They ask me all the time if what they're eating is healthy, talk about accountability! We love to cook together and love to try new treats like these! For a "crazy" healthy snack we'll eat fruits and veggies with vanilla, all-natural Chobani yogurt mixed with natural food coloring from veggies we juice (like slime green!) soooo fun! Happy Summer!
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Vicki Saddlemire vsaddlemire
May 29, 2012
Margo, I totally agree. My grandkids prefer a smoothie with fresh fruit and soy milk over ice cream ANY DAY. It's a matter of just showing them what is good . They also love peanut butter and celery and small carrots to snack on as well as tupperware bowls full of healthy home made granola that is not full of chocolate candy but healthy grains and nuts. The nice part is all of their friends are also eating healthier.
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Vicki Saddlemire vsaddlemire
May 29, 2012
My posts were not intended to be disrespectful toward the original post of the blog. I have never commented on here before (and probably won't in the future). It is just a health issue that is very important to me and my family and I wanted to comment.
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gladys dunn gladysmd
May 29, 2012
I also agree to a point. but apparntly some of you for got what you read, because she also mentioned veg. and fruits inthe fridge, the only difference is you don't have to make anything with them . they're ready to eat. no muss no fuss.
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Vicki Saddlemire vsaddlemire
May 29, 2012
Already apologized for that. Deleting justapinch if that is the attitude people on her have. As far as no muss no fuss, there are a million things that are unhealthy that are no muss no fuss and some people find it is worth the 'muss and fuss' to give healthy snacks. You won't have to worry about me ever commenting after this one or coming to this site again. It is an opinion and I don't need to be chastised for having it.
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Lisa Lopes LeeLee1691
May 29, 2012
Janet, thanks so much for this great article that you took the time to provide for all of us. I like the part that you mentioned fruits and veggies, as we all know these are best. At the same time, it's nice to provide a yummy treat for our kids (or, as in my case, grandkids) that may or may not contain sugar. While I know that some folks cannot eat sweets, there are those of us who do at times indulge. I don't usually post here, but I certainly enjoy reading (and salivating over) the wonderful recipes posted. Thanks again. Keep up the great work!
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Kate Lorden Kate_Lorden
May 29, 2012
Aww, Vicki, don't gooo! You don't have to apologize for posting, I'm happy everyone seems to be ready to promote healthfulness with such vigor these days ;) JAP is such a fun place, I have found it so valuable to my daily boring routine. Most of the people here a filled with great recipes to share and tips for making things come out the best it can be. Enjoy!
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Kate Lorden Kate_Lorden
May 29, 2012
Ooooo, like this one! My kids would love this!

Cantaloupe Fruit Bowl
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Rhonda Voss revoss
May 29, 2012
This not something I would do everyday but we had the cracker jack mix when my oldest daughter was in 6th or 7th grade and have been looking for a recipe for years for the grands to try. I don't think anyone plans to fix this stuff every day. I think sometimes we go over board with the veg. thing. I was one of the first to fix veg.dips and healthy things when my oldest was in school. It was a big hit and spread. Not that I am great I just saw my children loved it and fixed it instead of all the sugery stuff. Still had cupcakes and punch but did it in moderation.