The dog days of summer can be the best of the season, whether you enjoy endless afternoons by the pool or fun summer activities around town. But the long days can also be brutally hot, and to beat the heat with kids this summer, a cold pick-me-up is a great antidote.
Before chasing down the ice cream truck, consider a fun and wholesome take on those classic summer treats: easy homemade popsicles made with fresh fruits and veggies! Even better, pre-made frozen treats can provide a no-fuss snack time—perfect for a busy parent! From tried-and-true favorites to creative twists, here are some ideas for homemade healthy popsicles for kids.
How to Make Homemade Popsicles for Kids
The easiest way to make your own popsicles? Silicone molds. The soft silicone makes it easy to pop your treats out, and they come in a variety of fun sizes, shapes and characters. Look for molds with sturdy plastic handles that won’t break when it’s time to get the popsicles out.
No matter which recipe you use, the basic process for making homemade popsicles will be the same:
- Blend. Create your fruit or veggie blend and fill the silicone mold. Try your own concoction or choose one of our favorite homemade popsicle ideas below!
- Freeze. Let your popsicles freeze thoroughly, usually for about 4 hours.
- Enjoy! When you’re ready to dig in, run each mold under warm water for about 30 seconds to loosen the popsicle without melting the center. (Typically, single-serving molds are easier to loosen than tray-based molds.)
And that’s it! You now have healthy popsicles for kids, made in your own kitchen and tailored to your children’s favorite flavors. Best of all, you’ll know exactly what’s in them.
Need inspiration? Check out some of these fun recipes!
- Strawberry, mango and orange: a three-ingredient recipe that’s zesty and bright
- Papaya: a tropical treat with a finish of unsweetened almond milk
- Kiwi and melon: whole slices of kiwi for a kid-approved (and photo-worthy) treat
- Strawberry and pineapple: crowd-pleasingly textured with large chunks of fruits
- Grape: a smooth puree of grapes at peak summer freshness
If you’re looking for homemade popsicle ideas that more closely resemble ice cream, add lightly sweetened Greek yogurt to almost any recipe for a hint of creaminess plus a boost of calcium and protein.
Easy Homemade Popsicles with Veggies
Popsicles with veggies? You bet! Combine your kids’ favorite vegetables with a touch of fruit for a cool summer treat that’s nutritious, too:
- Three-ingredient veggie popsicles: vibrantly colored strawberry-beet, lime-spinach, and mango-orange-carrot treats
- Mango and carrot: a brilliant pop of orange with plenty of fiber and vitamins
- Grape, green apple and kale: a healthy green drink with a frozen kick
- Cucumber and raspberry: refreshing and light with a punch of raspberry red and mint
Veggie popsicles are a creative means of introducing more greens into your child’s diet, especially since fun popsicle molds are a great tool for picky eaters.
Quick yet Creative Homemade Popsicle Ideas
One of the best things about making your own homemade treats is that you can really have fun with it! Although we definitely love the above-mentioned recipes for easy homemade popsicles, there’s no reason you have to go by the book.
If you’re short on time or want a recipe with even less prep, try out these creatively low-prep homemade popsicle ideas:
- Whole bananas: Skip the cutting and freeze bananas whole! Peel ripe bananas or plantains and freeze them thoroughly. They can be eaten plain, or you can dip them in melted dark chocolate and refreeze them for a homemade chocolate delight.
- Greek yogurt: Don’t want to take the time to blend yogurt into a fruit or veggie mix? Then simply freeze it on its own! Once frozen, serve with tasty toppings on the side for dipping: unsalted nuts, unsweetened coconut or cinnamon and honey.
Making homemade popsicles with your kids is a fun way to cool down on a hot summer day. Just take whatever you have in the kitchen and make your popsicles your own! Older children—as well as those with a more adventurous palate—will love whipping up creative popsicle combinations, and even your youngest kids can join in on the fun.
Need healthy kids meals to enjoy with your homemade popsicles? Nurture Life’s easy meals for kids are ready in two minutes or less and are perfect to fuel all of their summer activities.