Photo: fizkes via 123RF

Summer is an excellent opportunity to let your kids have a more relaxed schedule, play outside, and spend time on new skills! If it seems like your kids are constantly asking for snacks during these lazy days, you’re not alone.

Take advantage of their snacking desire and get them involved in the cooking. Not only will they learn some new skills, but they’ll also learn to try new flavors and be more adventurous in their eating habits in the future. These six recipes combine some of summer’s best flavors with straightforward instructions so kids can jump in and help cook!

Donut Apples

Summertime cravings often involve desserts—sugary snacks and treats seem to be on everyone’s mind! Instead of giving in to the demands again, offer these donut apples as a healthier alternative. Bonus: Kids can make them independently (younger kids will need someone to pre-slice the apples before they can decorate)! Let your kids get creative with the toppings. Offer various spreads (peanut butter, cream cheese, etc.) and nuts, fruits, and veggies to stick on top. You can even let them go crazy and make whipped cream and sprinkle one, just for that extra bit of fun!

Biscuit Pretzel Bites

If your kids love crunchy snacks like chips and pretzels, give them a chance to make their own with a kid-friendly approach this summer. Buy refrigerated biscuit dough and cut each biscuit into 4-6 pieces, pinching the ends together. Boil these for about 20 seconds in hot baking soda water, then transfer them to a baking sheet. Let the kids brush on an egg wash and sprinkle coarse salt. Add any other spices they’d like, including cinnamon and sugar! After baking, these pretzel bites are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside—perfect for dipping!

Photo: lightfieldstudios via 123RF

Graham Cracker Ice Cream Sandwich

If there’s one guarantee in life, it’s that kids love ice cream in the summer. If you’re looking for a recipe that kids can make on their own (and is a healthier alternative), try these yogurt-based ice cream sandwiches. By mixing their favorite yogurt flavor with some whipped topping and berries, then freezing between two graham crackers for a bit, this treat is easy enough for kids to make every afternoon. Encourage them to experiment with different flavor combinations throughout the summer!

Mini S’mores

Do your kids love camping? Is it mainly for the s’mores? Bring the campfire home with these mini s’mores that you can make on the stovetop. The marshmallow cream is easier for kids to handle than melting individual marshmallows; the smaller portions mean they’re a bit less messy to eat. Make a big batch to eat all week!

Healthy Banana Boats

Fruit is a summer staple, but sometimes kids want a recipe that feels more indulgent. This recipe uses up those bananas sitting on your counter and gives kids an opportunity to practice safe knife-handling skills. Turn this snack into a whole activity by setting out various toppings and letting kids spend as long as they’d like choosing their favorite combinations.

Colored Popcorn

Summertime movies and popcorn—a fun tradition! This year, add a twist by teaching your kids how to help make colored popcorn. You could try a different color combination each week! You’ll need to spend a bit of time teaching them how to melt sugar over the stove and use a candy thermometer to check the temperature, but older kids can handle this task after some instruction. Younger kids can be in charge of adding the food coloring and helping stir the final result!

Add these recipes to your list for summer fun!