Summer is the perfect time to take a break from the heat with a cold treat. I know last summer my kids went through their fair share of popsicles, freezie pops, push-ups, and ice cream. Well you may have noticed that we are on day 11 of 100 Days of Real Food and of course none of that will be allowed this summer…not that I really want my kids sucking down frozen nutritionless high-fructose corn syrup anyway. So I had to get creative and come up with as many attractive alternatives as I could if I expect my kids to forget about the store-bought stuff!
Pictured is an array of surprisingly easy and (more) nutritious options than what you are probably used to seeing. Here is the breakdown starting from the left of the picture:
- Snow Cones – I recently bought an inexpensive snow cone machine from Target and knew there somehow had be a way I could make these with something healthier than the typical syrups. And the solution is – frozen juice concentrate! If you mix one-part water with two-parts frozen juice concentrate it turns out to be the perfect consistency to be squirted on top of all that shaved ice. Just don’t forget to check the ingredients on the concentrate to make sure there are no additivies. At a recent neighborhood party I served the same grape juice and orange juice flavors that are pictured, and I don’t think a single kid noticed the difference.
- Freezie Pop/Ice Pop molds – Next to the snow cone at the top you will see one of these ice pop molds that I found on amazon. You can fill them with juice, yogurt, applesauce (pictured above), and ice cream among other things. My kids love them!
- Popsicle molds – To the right of the Ice Pop mold and also at the bottom are some popsicle molds that you have probably seen and even used before. The blue mold at the top was filled with apple juice and the green mold at the bottom was filled with grape juice. The pink one was filled with some leftover smoothie. One thing we have learned about these molds is that it is best to find ones that have little holes in the stick. Otherwise the frozen treat doesn’t always come out with the stick.
- Push-up Mold – Chances are you have had store-bought push ups, but haven’t seen molds like the green one on the right-hand side of the picture near the top (and pictured to the right) which I also found on amazon. My 5-year-old happens to love push-ups, but from what I have seen the store-bought variety pretty much comes in bright orange or bright red. Instead of having such limited options you can make your own by using these molds with whatever ice cream you see fit. If your child has their heart set on the traditional orange color then puree a peach or orange to mix into some vanilla ice cream. The one in the picture is filled with some homemade pecan maple ice cream (that we made without sugar). I have to say myself that it was pretty tasty.
I hope you (and your kids) are able to enjoy some of these guilt-free cold treats this summer! If you have any other ideas please feel free to share by leaving a comment.