Make your own cool treats

With the heat of summer fully upon us, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven or microwave to make an equally hot snack for the kids. Here are four quick and easy summer treats with no cooking required.

We all scream for ice cream (sandwiches)

For a completely no-cooking-required sandwich, buy cookies from your local grocery store’s bakery (large, soft cookies work best) and pick up a gallon of your kids’ favorite flavor of ice cream. Put a scoop of ice cream between two cookies (slightly softened ice cream makes this step easier) and enjoy. For a firmer sandwich, let them harden in the freezer. You can bake your own cookies, too—just make sure they’re totally cooled before you put on the ice cream. Get creative with your cookie and ice cream combinations—chocolate chip with mint ice cream, sugar cookies with strawberry ice cream, oatmeal raisin with French vanilla… the possibilities are endless. For added decoration, roll the edges of the sandwiches in chocolate chips or sprinkles.

Slurp some smoothies

You can find hundreds of smoothie recipes on the Internet and in cookbooks, but here’s a simple one from’s Pediatrics section. Combine½ cup of fruit,¾ cup of yogurt, 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a blender and puree until smooth. You can use pretty much any fruit, from apples and oranges to berries and bananas—just make sure you peel when appropriate and cut the fruit into small pieces. Sugar is not always necessary, so only add to taste. For protein, add peanut butter and for the lactose intolerant, use soy milk instead of regular milk.

Savor a slush

Combine fruit juice and ice in a blender, mix and voile, you have a fruit slush. Use any fruit juice you like or combine several. Include some sparkling water for added zing.

Pop in popsicles

You can use store-bought molds, ice cube trays or plastic cups for your homemade popsicles. Use any fruit juice (or a combination) and pour the liquid into your mold. Include pureed fruit for added texture. If the mixture is too thin to hold a popsicle stick upright at first, let them freeze for about an hour, then add the sticks and let them freeze the rest of the way. Remove from the molds carefully so the sticks don’t separate from the popsicle.

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