This morning my 3-year-old had an ice pop for breakfast. It was already 80°F in the shade and he asked politely. I said OK, and then reached into the freezer for a homemade ice pop made from berries puréed with a hint of juice. He started his day with a serving of fruit. I started my day guilt-free.
"An ice pop made with fruit is naturally sweet and provides carbohydrates for energy," explains American Dietetic Association spokesperson Melinda Johnson, RD. "Kids see them as a special treat, which helps get their attention away from sugary snacks." On a hot day, ice pops are also a good way to rehydrate overheated small fries who've been running around in the sun the cold treat is a lot more enticing than water.
Children love to watch the blender transform fruit into silky liquid, so turn your pop session into a family affair. "Fixing ice pops is fast and fun, and it teaches a science lesson about liquids and solids," says Johnson. And once they're made you've got icy refreshment on hand any time of the day.
Try these recipes to get ideas for inventing your own: