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Published on June 17, 2014

Snack Attack: How to prep healthy snacks for summer break

St. Mary’s Dietitian Marianne Merrick shares her quick tips on getting kids interested in healthier snacks for the summer

School’s out for the summer and the fridge needs to be full for those long summer days ahead. St. Mary’s Director of Nutrition Services Marianne Merrick, RD, says that making sure the fridge is stocked with healthy, fun options will keep your kids from resorting to unhealthy foods like chips, ice cream and soda.

“It’s even easier to get your kids to eat healthful foods if they’re involved in picking out their snacks,” says Merrick. “Involve your kids in grocery shopping, especially in the produce aisle.”

Some other great tips:

  • Allow school age kids to help make the snacks and with daily meal preparation. This is a great way to introduce new foods and get them interested in food preparation.
  • Every week buy a new vegetable or fruit your kids have never tried. At home, experiment with recipes found at the store or online.
  • Schedule your snack preparation. Involve the kids in this weekly activity by using “Munchie Mondays” or “Snack Saturdays” as a way to not only stock the fridge with healthy helpings, but also involve them in deciding what to have on hand. This can also be a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon!


To get you started with some delicious, quick snacks, Merrick suggests the following recipes:

Jordan’s Jumping Juice Smoothie (makes 3 servings)
3 cups ice
1 banana
½ cup strawberries
1 cup Dole Paradise Blend fruit juice

Add everything to the blender, blend until smooth. Pour into cups and enjoy!


Crunchy Apple Salad
1 Granny Smith apple, washed & cut into ½ inch pieces
1 Red Delicious apple, washed & cut into ½ inch pieces
1 sweet/tart apple (Macintosh, Courtland), washed & cut into ½ inch pieces
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 ribs of celery, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
¼ cup walnuts
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey

Cut apples into ½ inch pieces. Toss with lemon juice to prevent browning. Cut celery into ¼ inch pieces. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, vanilla extract and honey – set to the side. Allow kids to fill a salad bowl with a mixture of the apples, celery and walnuts. Add 2 tablespoons of the yogurt dressing mixture to each bowl and have kids mix until well blended. Alternately, you can mix the apples, celery and yogurt dressing in a large bowl and serve it individually at the table, topping with walnuts.

You can find more healthy recipes for your family at

For More Information

For more information or to arrange an interview with one of our Dean providers or staff, contact Dean Health Plan Communications Manager Mary Carr Lee at or (608) 824-6953.


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