When summer’s in full swing, you definitely don’t want to turn on the oven. And with kids out of school, you need to keep them busy. What better way to do that than involve them in the kitchen making some fun and easy treats together?
These treats are a healthier alternative to candy and slushies and ice cream bars. And they’re so easy to make!
It’s a great way to spend some time together, start building healthy habits, and get kids involved in the process of their food. Perfect for a rainy day, or when you all need a break from the sun.
Here are 15 easy recipes for kids to try this summer
1. Sugar-Free Watermelon Raspberry Popsicles
All you need to make these beauties is fruit, a blender and popsicle molds. Getting some popsicle molds will be well worth the investment, since pure fruit based popsicles are getting so expensive.
You can use these molds over and over again every year, trying different flavors and combinations.
Get the recipe by Dreena Burton
2. 5-Ingredient No Bake Brownies
With just 5 ingredients (plus an optional chocolate drizzle), you can get these super fudgy brownies going any day of the week. And with no added sugar, you can rest assured these are adding nutrition to growing bodies with every bite.
Chances are you’re going to get requests to make these again and again, so keep the date supply stocked at all times…
Get the recipe by Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food
3. Refreshing Creamsicle Smoothie
Get that creamsicle flavor at home, with fresh oranges and all healthy ingredients. No driving, no lines, no disposable cups.
These are a perfect mid-afternoon refresher when things have been hot and wild in the summer sun. Make your own, to sip while the kiddos are slurping.
Get the recipe by Kathy Patalsky of Healthy Happy Life
4. Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats
A vegan twist on rice crispie squares, made with natural almond butter and brown rice syrup, is easy to put together and not quite as goopy as the marshmallow version.
Kids will feel super pleased with themselves, and because rice crips are so chewy, these might just slow them down long enough to sit.
Get the recipe by Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Game to try something different? These cookie dough bites are made with a base of chickpeas for a low-glycemic treat. And with no raw eggs, there’s nothing to worry about – go fancy and make the truffles with the coating, or just eat the cookie dough right from the bowl.
Get the recipe by Ricki Heller, on veganook
6. Chocolate Hummus
If you want to try another interesting sweet treat with chickpeas, this chocolate hummus looks perfect to pair with fresh fruit for a sneaky high-protein snack. This will fuel lasting energy through the afternoon, and fill small bodies with important nutrients, like calcium and iron, as well as those powerful antioxidants in cocoa.
Get the recipe by Terita Heath-Wlaz on Super Healthy Kids
7. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
Although chocolate chips and coconut are hard to top, the base of these energy bites could lead you in all kinds of different directions.
Get creative in making different flavor combos, based on what’s in your cupboards. With a bit of flaxseed in there, you’ll boost the omega-3 content which is important for kids.
Get the recipe by Marly of Namely Marly
8. Raw Vegan Candy Apples
This could make a fun choose-your-topping adventure. The vegan caramel is so easy to whip up. Then set out small plates with different toppings, and kids can create their own masterpieces. These are just as much fun to eat as they are to create!
Get the recipe by Vanessa Croessmann of Vegan Family Recipes
9. Banana French Toast with Caramelized Bananas
This recipe is best for slightly older kids, or younger kids could be your sous-chef to dip the bread and pass to you for frying. But no matter what, get the whole family ready to enjoy a Sunday brunch feast with this delicious french toast.
The caramelized bananas are a cut above your average french toast topping, and you might want to add some berries or sliced melon.
Get the recipe by Richa Hingle of Vegan Richa
10. Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats
This is a perfect post-dinner project and can set everyone up for a healthy and delicious breakfast to grab and go in the morning. Who knows, if they get hooked on it you could try to keep it going through the school year!
Get the recipe by Mel of A Virtual Vegan
11. Chocolate Cherry Nice Cream
With just four ingredients, this is the epitome of easy recipes for kids – and is so incredibly delicious! Cherries have such a rich flavor, and this will make for a supremely decadent dessert. Homemade ice cream without all the sugar and dairy is a totally healthy way to wind up the evening.
Get the recipe by Dianne Wenz of Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen
12. Watermelon Blueberry Salad
It’s not possible to get too much watermelon in the summer, and this easy fruit salad is so irresistible you may have to make this daily while it’s in season. With a zesty pop of flavor from mint and lime, this is a sure-fire winner.
Get the recipe by Amy Katz of Veggies Save the Day
13. No-Bake Chocolate Cereal Layer Cake
With just seven ingredients, this cake is easy enough for anyone to make. Adults will probably want to handle the frosting, but the cake itself is so simple.
It looks so impressive that anyone would feel proud to have made it, and the kids will surely revel in presenting their creation to the table for a decadent dessert.
Get the recipe by Nicole Axworthy, for Nature’s Path
14. Almond Date No-Bake Cookies
These little guys are over-the-top cute, and Audrey gives so many images of ideas to try with this easy no-bake cookie base. From hedgehogs to stars to hearts to fish and beyond… Let your creative sides go wild, and see what you come up with!
Get the recipe by Audrey of Unconventional Baker
15. Healthy Snickers Ice Cream Bites
These look – and taste – so decadent that you wouldn’t believe how healthy these little bites are! With only four ingredients, they are incredibly easy to make.
Warning: they will likely become addictive to anyone who bites into one. Tempting thought it may be to make a giant batch, you may want to keep a limited supply on hand.
Get the recipe by Rhian of Rhian’s Recipes
Kitchen Tips for Kids
Obviously be careful with anything sharp, like knives and food processor blades, and anything hot, like a frying pan.
Kids might like wearing an apron to feel like a chef, and it will help keep clothes at least somewhat clean. They might even want to have an afternoon session to decorate their own special apron.
Even if they can’t yet do all the steps of a recipe themselves yet, involving them in the process shows them how their favorite treats come together. Giving them a taste for the abundant flavors of wholesome healthful foods early on helps to set kids up for healthy habits in the long term.
Making a mess in the kitchen is a rite of passage for any budding chef. But my dad always used to ask me when we finished any project what the most important part was. Cleaning up!
At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.
Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.
One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.
When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.
Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day
This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.
Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.
When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.
Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity
One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.
Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.
An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.
When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.
Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day
Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.
We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.
By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.
Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment
While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.
I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.
You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.
Con #1: We Move a Lot Less
When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.
Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.
Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.
Con #2: Less Human Interaction
One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.
Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.
This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.
While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.
Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment
Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.
This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.
For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.
Con #4: Unique Distractions
Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.
For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.
To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.
Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.
We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.