Sliced Fruit Popsicles

Fruity popsicle sticks

Delicious Treats

Children love eating frozen popsicles on a stick, especially in the summer when temperatures soar. However, this store-bought snack is low in nutrition and high in calories and sugar, making the food a poor choice for growing children. Also known as an ice pop, these treats are typically made of white sugar or corn syrup combined with artificial flavorings and colors that make the snacks attractive to children. Mothers concerned about keeping their family healthy by providing a nutritious snack can serve homemade freezer pops made with fresh, frozen or even canned sliced fruit.

Gather Supplies

Parents making their own ice pops can still provide a delicious cold snack on a hot summer day for their children. Making homemade freezer pops is simple after gathering the necessary supplies and ingredients. There are online and brick-and-mortar stores that sell special trays and containers to make homemade freezer pops that have sticks. The trays and sticks are often made of a durable plastic that is dishwasher safe, making the equipment reusable. Mothers that want to use the traditional old-fashioned sticks can find the items sold in bulk packages. It is also possible to use paper or plastic cups as containers for homemade ice pops. And for the little kids, try a specialty ice cube tray in fun shapes. A small plastic spoon can be used instead of a stick.

Nutritious Produce

Sliced fruit adds color and flavor to the freezer pops, making them fun for children and parents. There is an assortment of fresh fruit available at grocery stores and farmers markets throughout the summer, but parents can also use produce grown at home. Parents can buy strawberries, kiwi fruit and peaches seasonally, leading to the freshest homemade ice pops at the lowest prices. Preparing fruit for the freezer pops is easy enough that children can help with washing the produce. Small fruit such as blueberries do not require slicing to freeze properly, but larger fruit does.

Translucent Bases

Making ice pops with clear or translucent bases allows the beautiful colors of the fruit to show. After putting the sliced fruit into a container, you need to add a base to make the freezer pops. Pouring homemade juices made from apples, lemons or pears mixed with water over the fruit provides a translucent appearance, making it easy to see the colorful sliced fruit. It is also possible to use clear soft drinks for the homemade ice pops. A clear base made of sugar dissolved in boiling water also makes a delicious homemade freezer pop that tastes more like a store-bought popsicle.

 

Make Candy with the Kids

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Homemade candy is a fun way to spend a rainy or snowy day inside with the kids. These treats also make a great holiday gift; although, you might not want to share!

Chocolate Pretzels

Combine one package chocolate chips (or 12 ounces of chocolate of your desired flavor) and 1 tablespoon of shortening in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the mixture in short increments until the chocolate has melted.

If using pretzel rods, dip the rod just before dipping your fingers. Use a pair of tongs to dip folded pretzels. Gently shake the pretzel to let excess chocolate drip off. Lay the pretzels on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper or parchment paper.

Pretzels are easy to add your signature touch. Sprinkle cookie sprinkles, crushed candies or chopped nuts onto the pretzels to add texture and flavor. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. After waiting, you can drizzle a small amount of contrasting chocolate over the pretzels to finish them off.

Tiger Fudge

Melt one cup of peanut butter and 8 ounces of white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in short increments, stirring frequently, until smooth. Repeat the process with 1/3 cup peanut butter and 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Line a 8x8 pan with wax paper or parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Place alternating spoonfuls of each chocolate mixture into the pan. Cut through the mixture with a knife or spatula to create swirls of color. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Homemade Reese's Cups

This recipe requires a little patience, so it's better for the older kids.

Break apart a Hershey's bar and place two squares into each silicone baking cup. Place the cups into the microwave and melt until the chocolate is melts to the bottom of the cups. Carefully remove the cups with oven mitts and place on a baking sheet. Place a spoonful of the peanut butter of your choice into the center of the chocolate and freeze.

Place two to three small squares of chocolate per peanut butter cup into a microwave-safe bowl and melt. Spoon the chocolate over the frozen peanut butter cup until the peanut butter is completed covered. Try to flatten the chocolate as you do. The cups should fill the baking cup 1/3 or 1/2. Return the cups to the refrigerator for 2 hours to solidify.

Remove the candy from the baking cups and wrap with cellophane and a tie with a ribbon to give as a gift!

 

COOKIES!!!

Making Cookies 014

Children love cookie making almost as much they love cookie eating. Here are a few quick and easy recipes so simple that your kids can do most of the work. Adult supervision is only needed for putting the cookie sheets in and out of the oven, and your children can do the rest.

Cake Mix Cookie Drops

Preheat the oven on to 350 degrees. Open up any brand of cake mix, and put it into a large bowl. If your children are old enough to crack eggs, let them crack two eggs into the bowl. If not, mom or dad can crack the eggs ahead of time, and let the child add the eggs to the cake mix.

Then, stir in one half cup of cooking oil or melted butter. That’s all you need to do to make the batter, but if you want to make a chocolate chip or raisin cookie, now's the time to stir in the chips or fruit.

Place a teaspoon of dough onto the baking sheet and leave about two inches between each cookie. Bake for ten to twelve minutes and let cool.

Your kids can eat these homemade cookies right off the cooling rack, or you can let them decorate the cookies with frosting and sprinkles.

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Drops

Here is another drop cookie that is even easier than the one above because it only has two ingredients. Take two or three large, very ripe bananas, and mix them in a bowl with about one cup of quick oats. Stir in your choice of add-ins like walnuts, white chocolate chips, or dried cranberries if you want, but they're perfect with just the banana and oatmeal flavors.