Cool the heat of summer with these healthy summer snacks and summer snack ideas. Hydrating summer snacks and refreshing summer appetizer recipes help seniors stay cool all summer long when the weather gets warm. Summertime recipes should be filling yet fulfilling, and the best ones take just minutes to make.
Read on for 10 of the most refreshing and healthy summer snack ideas to make in a pinch.
Summer Snack Ideas
Summer is full of enticing activities. Snacks in the summertime should keep up with the fun!
Sunny weather calls for hydrating and refreshing foods. Thoughtful snacks and appetizers can make barbecuing, picnics, or even parties of one more fun.
On some occasions, elderly loved ones cannot take part in traditional activities. Food is a great way to bridge the gap and bring seasonal celebrations to them.
The heat of summer can increase an older adults’ nutrient needs. When the weather is hot, the body must regulate its temperature to compensate. The body’s process for doing this is complex, but simple summer snacks can easily aid the body in its efforts to cool down.
Food can help older adults find more than nutrition. It can offer stability, health, and connection for those who deal with illness and isolation. Snacks and appetizers (see “Summer Snack Recipes” below) do not need to be too fancy. Simple, nutrient-dense summer foods are great for seniors.
How to Make Summer Snacks
There is no “right” way to make a summer snack. As long as the food and fluid ingredients support summertime health, the recipe is sure to be a hit.
Start making summer snacks by following these steps:
- Wash hands and surfaces properly before handling or cooking food.
- Keep medications and eating times in mind when planning a summer snack or appetizer.
- Choose a food that is nutrient-rich as the main ingredient in the recipe. Nutrient-dense foods are simply food choices that provide plenty of nutrition (i.e. vitamins and minerals, protein) along with energy (calories).
- Do not forget about fresh herbs and spices.
Spices are a great addition to most snacks and meals. For seniors who have a diminished sense of taste or smell, spices serve a dual purpose. Adding spice means more flavor, plus disease-fighting benefits.
Spices to Use for Summer Flavor & Fun
- Turmeric: contain curcuminoids, which are shown to fight off Alzheiemer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer
- Cinnamon: shows to help people with type 2 diabetes control blood sugar, total cholesterol, and triglycerides
- Paprika: popular due to sensory quality and health promoting antioxidant properties (thanks to polyphenols)
Keep reading for more on how to use spices in summer recipes.
What Are Good Summer Foods?
To beat the heat, be sure to pick hydrating, water-rich foods. Also, understand that appetites can change in the summer since the human body is adjusting to the heat.
Nutrient-rich snacks make the best summer foods. They provide needed nutrients and offer a sensation of feeling full without the feeling of over overeating.
Popular Summer Snacks
- Seeds and nuts
- Bell peppers
Summer Snack Recipes
Summertime classic snacks can also be nutritious. The following snacks and appetizers offer the best of both worlds. For seniors who need items easier to chew or digest, select blended options (i.e. smooth nut butters instead of raw nuts).
Water-rich and full of flavor, these snacks and appetizers keep seniors cool. Many recipes are able to be customized so that older adults find them easier to digest.
Homemade popcorn takes whole grains to a whole other level. Season as desired, and limit or avoid extra salt, butter, and sugar when possible. Opt for olive oil or another vegetable oil to provide healthy fats for this snack.
Pops made at home are as cool as can be! Simply blend fresh or frozen fruit, a splash of 100% juice, and Greek yogurt together for a creamy, chilled concoction. Freeze overnight, or at least a few hours, until frozen.
Excellent year-round but especially good in the summer (and fall), caramel apple nachos are a quick and easy snack. Try adding shredded coconut as a topping for a tropical summer feel. Apples are great for aging adults due to the water and fiber they contain.
Whether alone with a simple sprinkling of salt and pepper, in heart-healthy guacamole, or slathered on a piece of whole-wheat toast, avocados are refreshingly delicious. Healthy fats are great for senior diets, as they promote a feeling of fullness and can help with a lack of appetite.
Eating nuts raw, in homemade mixes, or easy-to-digest nut butter provides protein. Additionally, healthy fats provide a feeling of fullness. There are plenty of nutrient-rich nuts that can be incorporated into summer snacktime.
Deviled Eggs or Egg Salad
Eggs contain several essential nutrients for eye health, which is important to prevent age-related eye diseases (i.e. macular degeneration, cataracts). Swap the mayonnaise out for Greek yogurt, and add a sprinkling of paprika. This provides additional protein while keeping ingredients low-fat but still tangy.
Complete a summer meal with appetizing coleslaw. The great thing about coleslaw recipes is they are simple and can be customized. Make it tart, sweet, or creamy as desired, and know it offers older adults vegetables with excellent dietary fiber.
Hummus & Hydrating Veggies
Store-bought hummus with wholesome ingredients or homemade hummus makes a great side dish – and chickpeas pack in the protein! Plus, vegetables like cucumbers and carrots provide hydration as well as essential nutrients.
Fresh Fruit & Cottage Cheese
With just a few ingredients, typical cottage cheese can get a new life. Add sliced nuts or fresh fruit to instantly upgrade this protein-packed appetizer. Sprinkle with cinnamon for additional health benefits
From hydrating cucumbers and omega-3s, tuna salad is a brain nutrition recipe for staying sharp during the summer. Opt for varieties soaked in water to reduce calorie counts. To satisfy a lack of appetite, add avocado as part of the recipe for filling, healthy fats.
Summer Snacks, In Summary
Summer snacks for seniors should check three main boxes. Quick and easy appetizers should still provide nutrients, hydration, and satisfy appetite. Foods that include healthy fats, higher levels of protein, and plenty of vitamins and minerals can keep seniors cool in the summertime.
All Seniors Care Living Centres. Enjoy Fresh Summertime Snacks that Satisfy Your Appetite. Allseniorscare.com. Published July 9, 2019. https://www.allseniorscare.com/blog/enjoy-fresh-summertime-snacks-that-satisfy-your-appetite/.
Botek AM. Healthy Summer Foods for Seniors. Agingcare.com. Published June 12, 2020. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/health-benefits-of-summer-foods-150281.htm.
Companions for Seniors. 7 Healthy Summer Foods for Seniors. Companionsforseniors.com. Published May 6, 2019. https://companionsforseniors.com/2019/05/healthy-summer-foods-seniors/.
Škrovánková S, Mlček J; Orsavová J, Juríková T, Dřímalová P. Polyphenols content and antioxidant activity of paprika and pepper spices. Potravinarstvo. 2017;11(1):52-57.