I woke my boys up this morning the way I do every year on the last day of school. I take my laptop into each of their rooms, sit down on their beds, and start blasting the opening of “Meatballs” in their ear. I start where Bill Murray plays the record of bagpipes over the loudspeaker and stop at the end of the song “Are You Ready for the Summer?” My almost 13-year-old son no longer appreciates our tradition. Waking up, even on the last day of school, is torture for him. In contrast, my 10-year-old got a huge smile on his face and sang along with the song.
I don’t know who is more excited about the last day of school, my boys or me. I love the relaxed mornings, not having to stay on top of their homework assignments, and the endless stream of boys who traipse through my house all day long, popping into my office to say hello and ask what there is to eat.
It’s a challenge keeping a well-stocked snack cabinet full of healthy food, and sometimes they find it rather bare. But when they do find goodies in the snack cabinet (or in the fridge), they usually find treats like these.
Homemade Peanut Butter Granola Bars – Chewy and sweetened with agave syrup, these granola bars are always a hit.
Trail Mix – Customizable trail mix recipes that are packed with protein, healthy oils, dried fruit and a chocolate chip or two.
White Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins – White whole wheat has the nutrition of whole wheat flour but its texture is closer to white flour. It’s great substituted for all or some of the white flour in recipes.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus – The beans in this hummus are so healthy, and it makes a great dip for cut up vegetables. Just make sure you have the vegetables already cut up in the fridge. My kids can cut their own vegetables, but chances are they won’t take the time to when their friends are around.
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie – This dairy-free smoothie is easy to make if you throw your overripe bananas in the freezer.
Watermelon Granita – An alternative to ice cream or Italian ice — which often use artificial flavors and colors — granita is easy to make and can be made with a variety of fresh fruit.
I also keep nuts, raisins, organic tortilla chips, and a variety of Clif bars in my cabinet for when the homemade treats run out.
What do you keep around your home in the summer for the hungry, out-of-school kids who traipse through your kitchen?