Homemade popsicles

Kids love to enjoy something sweet and cold on a steamy summer day (and frankly, so do parents). It is possible to indulge in a refreshing snack without filling up on sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Ignore the lure of the ice cream truck and instead invest in an ice pop mold to make homemade, healthy frozen treats that everyone will adore. This family-friendly activity will save you dollars as well as empty calories.

Making homemade ice pops really couldn’t be any easier-it is basically just pouring pureed fruit and juice into molds and having the patience to let them set up in the freezer before you take that first lick. Plastic molds are available in a variety of whimsical shapes for under $10. (I like the Shooting Star Ice Pop Mold by Tovola, available at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $9.99). If you don’t have a mold, you can make your own using paper cups or washed-out individual yogurt containers and some wooden Popsicle sticks.

If you want to experiment with making homemade Popsicles, here are two basic recipes to get you started. Keep in mind that this is not an exact science and you can modify these recipes to suit your family’s tastes.

Homemade ice pops can also be an unconventional way to get a few extra veggies into your child’s diet. Try substituting a vegetable-blend juice (such as Vruit or V-Fusion) for orange juice in the recipes. For more creative recipe ideas, visit www.healthy-kids-snacks.com/category/popsicle-recipes.

Strawberry Yogurt Pops 1 cup fresh, cut-up strawberries
3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt (you could substitute low-fat or flavored yogurt)
2 cups orange juice
1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)

Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.

Watermelon Coolers
2 cups watermelon chunks (use seedless watermelon or be careful to remove all seeds)
1 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp. sugar (optional)

Place ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth. Pour into molds and freeze.

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