Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas for Hot Weather

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Wed Aug 17 2022.

Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas for Hot Weather

Cooking is one of the last things you want to do during the hottest part of the summer. After all, turning on the stove or oven for even a few minutes can transform an air-conditioned kitchen into a sweltering inferno. Not only that, but if you care for someone who’s sensitive to temperature changes, it might also increase their risk of a medical event.

You want to have healthy snacks on hand, but you don’t want to spend all day in the heat. Thankfully, there are various treats you can prepare at home that are cool, refreshing, and perfect for even picky eaters.

1) Homemade popsicles

A popsicle is a perfect way to cool down on a summer afternoon.

“I recently got into making homemade popsicles, and have been pleasantly surprised by what an easy and refreshing snack they are for kids and adults alike,” said Alexandra Fung, a mom of four and the co-founder of Upparent a recommendation-sharing site for parents.

“There are plenty of homemade popsicle recipes available on the internet, but it’s also easy enough to experiment with your own favorite flavors, using pureed fruits, yogurt, or milk as a base. I’ve gathered some of my favorite recipes in this list with the fudge pops and paletas de coco being my top two favorites.”

Easy three-ingredient popsicles:

  • 2 cups fresh fruit

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt

  • 3 tablespoons honey or agave

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and carefully pour them into popsicle molds. Put the popsicle molds in the freezer and let them sit overnight.

2) Protein snack packs

Protein assists your body in repairing damaged cells and creating new ones. It also helps preserve your muscle mass and strength. You might associate protein with red meat, but there are plenty of ways to get it without sweating over an oven.

Jessica Randhawa, the head chef, recipe creator, photographer, and writer behind The Forked Spoon suggests making Protein Snack Packs filled with hummus, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and veggies.

“Snack packs are an easy and delicious meal-prep solution perfect for any protein lover,” Randhawa said. “You can pack them in a school lunch, as a post-workout snack, or for picnics in the park.”

3) Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is tangier than traditional yogurt, but it contains less sugar and more protein, making it a more nutritious alternative. What’s more, thanks to its creamy texture and thicker consistency, it’s great for sauces, dips, and smoothies.

“Greek yogurt contains two macronutrients (healthy fat and lean protein) and is easy to eat,” said Amy Riolo, an award-winning author, chef, and TV personality. “I suggest making it into nutritious and delicious smoothies with other good-for-you ingredients such as berries, flax seeds, bananas, raw honey, and nuts. You can also add in a handful of kale or baby spinach, just try it before serving to make sure it tastes great.”

4) Fresh fruit and vegetables

Fresh produce abounds during the summer. Not to mention, stone fruit, melons, and berries contain dozens of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 

You can:

  • Slice up fruit and veggies and serve them on a platter

  • Blend fruits and vegetables with milk, juice, or yogurt to make a smoothie

  • Freeze fresh fruit, like grapes, pineapple chunks, or melon balls

  • Make infused water by adding mint, berries, or cucumber to a water pitcher

If you have lots of fruit or veggies that are ripe or about to go bad, make an ‘Everything Salad.’

“Using any fruit or vegetables in your fridge, create a salad full of flavor and nutrition,” said Lisa McCauley, RDN, a dietitian at Jewish Senior Life in Detroit, Michigan. “Some of my favorite ingredients include cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries, lettuce, spinach, apple, pineapple, and hardboiled eggs. Dress it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or salt and pepper.  Serve with whole wheat roll and pat of butter.”

Money saving tip: “To keep your food budget in check, watch for sales or visit your local farmers’ market for the freshest in-season produce,” said McCauley. “You can also see if there’s a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in your area. CSA’s offer an opportunity to try different types of produce you may not think to pick up from a grocery store.”

5) Prepackaged snacks

“Snacks are a good idea when more than 5 hours pass between meals in order to prevent our blood sugar from spiking,” Riolo said. “If possible, make sure that your snack contains the three macronutrients: 1 (a healthy) fat such as walnuts, avocado, almonds, or extra-virgin olive oil; 2 a lean protein (beans, legumes, or chicken breast); and 3 (good) carbohydrates such as those that come from vegetables or whole grains.”

Remember that ‘healthy’ doesn’t have to mean ‘fresh.’

This is why “a well-stocked pantry is essential,” said Karyn Hirsch, a food blogger at Karyn’s Kitchen. “Canned smoked herring with crackers is one of my favorite snacks. That might be too exotic for a picky eater, but what about mixing canned tuna or salmon with cooked rice shaped into balls? Anything in the shape of a ball shouts party, doesn’t it?”

Hirsch continued, “peanut butter filled pretzels, protein bars and jerky of all kinds are fun for munching as long as one has sufficient chewing ability.”

Snacks are a good idea when more than 5 hours pass between our meals, in order to prevent our blood sugar from spiking. If possible, make sure that your snack contains the three macronutrients: (a healthy) fat such as walnuts, avocado, almonds, extra-virgin olive oil along with a lean protein (beans, legumes, chicken breast) and (good) carbohydrates such as those that come from vegetables, beans, legumes, or whole grains).

6) Applesauce

Applesauce is always a crowd pleaser.

This “Homemade Applesauce is made with just five ingredients and is ready in just over 30 minutes,” said Randhawa. 

All you need is:

  • Apples

  • Water

  • Ground cinnamon

  • Salt

  • Lemon juice

  • Sugar or another sweetener (optional)

“Make a large batch and enjoy it as a snack, a healthy dessert, or alongside savory dishes like pork chops or kielbasa. Applesauce is a perfect food for picky eaters or adults with neurodegenerative conditions like dementia.”

7) Purees

 Do you care for someone with dysphagia? Purees are high-quality snack solutions specifically formulated for people with swallowing difficulties. Each package is shelf-stable and takes just 60 seconds to microwave.

We carry various purees from Thick & Easy, including beef with potatoes and corn, maple cinnamon french toast, and Italian beef lasagna.

Stop Sweating About Snack Planning

As a family caregiver, your to-do list is never-ending. Take a break for the rest of the summer, and rely on some of these cooling, refreshing, and easy-to-prepare snacks.

 The items included in our list are generally healthy, but everyone has unique nutritional needs. That’s why you should always talk with your care recipient’s doctor before making any dietary changes at home.

 If you need help selecting purees or other pre-packaged snacks, please contact our Care Specialists by calling (800) 696-CARE or sending an email to support@carewell.com. They can answer your questions and even make recommendations.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.