My mom came to visit over the Memorial Day weekend and brought some rhubarb with her. In case you aren't familiar, rhubarb is a summer....food? fruit? vegetable? I don't know which - but it's long like a celery and has reddish tint to its skin. It's very fibrous and has to be cooked down in - well, in every recipe I've ever seen. It's tart and sweet and has a distinctly summer-y lightness. You'll often see it paired with strawberries, because the sweetness pairs well with the tartness of rhubarb. If you're lucky enough to have one of these plants, use it! judiciously! In everything!
Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
Ok, this one is pretty easy and can be a great way to sneak protein into a sweet treat.
Lemonade layer: 1 and 1/3 cups high-protein greek yogurt, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 5 tbsp sugar. Strawberry layer: 1 cup high-protein greek yogurt, 1 pint strawberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp of water.
For the lemonade layer, heat the lemon juice and dissolve the sugar into it. Then mix into yogurt. For the strawberry layer, simmer strawberries, water, and sugar for about five minutes. Then add lemon juice and puree in a blender or food processor. Chill until cool, then add in yogurt. Pour in layers in popsicle molds. Freeze. Eat. Yum!
Cut two wedges of watermelon. Place on the plate with a cheese stick in the middle of the wedges, tips facing each other. Add pretzel sticks for antennae. So easy, so yummy, so cute! And what could be more quintessentially summer than watermelon?
Caterpillar Fruit Kabobs
This one - I love it! I even have Shep help me (be careful of the skewers!) It's easy, healthy, and helps control portion sizes. I'm a big fan of freezing the grapes used because it makes them last a bit longer - and they're more refreshing. NOTE: You gotta be careful with grapes and kids, as they are a choking hazard. Perhaps the safest way would be to peel the grapes and halve or quarter them, then assemble on the skewer. Your call, but be advised.
Skewer a strawberry at one end, pointed end to the end of the skewer. Add several grapes in line behind it. If you're feeling fancy, you can add edible googly eyes. I'm never fancy.
Taking care of a toddler is hard enough without having to second guess what they're eating. You can rest assured that you're killing the parenting game if you put just a teeny bit of effort in - and your kid can snack all day if they want. It's summer - just stay cool and drink lots of water!