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Summer Snacking


Eating a piece of fruit or a Popsicle is easy, yummy, and refreshing in the summer. But will it give you enough fuel for outdoor play? Here are some ideas from cookbook author and cooking instructor Katie Kimball to keep you energized.

1. Make a system. A healthy snack routine turns frowns upside down. Talk to your family about the best snacking schedule. Then you won’t be wondering when your next snack is, and you won’t drive your parents nuts asking!

2. Watch for added sugar. You want lots of good energy so you can play outside. Check the ingredients. If sugar or high-fructose corn syrup is listed first or second, that’s a sweet treat for a special occasion—not an everyday snack.

3. Think: “satisfying.” A snack should take the edge off your hunger, not make you full. Choose snacks that will satisfy you without ruining your appetite for the next meal.

4. Say yes to protein and fat. Fat and protein take a long time to digest, so they’ll give you energy for a whole afternoon. Try a cheese stick with grapes, or nut or seed butter with an apple or toast.

5. Try new recipes. Learning to cook is a fun summer activity that increases your creativity and helps you gain life skills. Scroll down to discover my homemade ranch recipe. Kids in my cooking class call it “amazing.” I hope you’ll try it!

Mrs. Kimball's Ranch Dip


  • 1 cup of sour cream, plain yogurt, or mayo

  • ½ teaspoon of dried parsley

  • ¼ teaspoon of dried dill weed

  • ¼ teaspoon of dried chives

  • ½ teaspoon of onion powder

  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar milk (optional)


  1. Choose the base (sour cream, plain yogurt, or mayo) or mix more than one together.

  2. Measure the base into a glass jar with a lid.

  3. Measure all the dry ingredients into the jar. If you don’t have one of the dried herbs, just use more of another green herb. If you don’t have the onion or garlic, you can use more of the other.

  4. Measure 1 teaspoon of vinegar into the jar.

  5. Mix the ingredients together well, with a long spoon, until everything is uniform, or looks the same.

  6. Taste the dip on a veggie stick. If you’d like it more tangy, add 1 or 2 more teaspoons of vinegar.

  7. To make a pourable dressing, add milk a little at a time until you like the texture.

  8. Store in the refrigerator and serve with raw veggies or salad.

Note: The flavor will get a little stronger after a few hours as the herbs soak into the sour cream or other base. You can always add a bit more herbs if you’d like more flavor.

Recipe from Kids Cook Real Food, where Katie Kimball and kids have taught more than 50,000 families how to safely cut veggies!