Refreshing Real Fruit Popsicles For Kids (and Grownups, Too!)
Is there anything that screams summer more than popsicles?
Fruit popsicles can be the most refreshing treat for any hot day, for both kids and grown-ups alike.
The day I realized how simple it was to make homemade popsicles was a complete game-changer. There are many advantages to making your own popsicles over store bought, including:
Save money: (I don’t know about you, but my family can burn through a $6 box of popsicles in a hot second!). When you make your own, you can stretch your ingredients a lot further and get more for your money.
Boost the nutrition content: You can make the typical popsicle or ice pops a nutritious snack for you and your kiddos with ingredients like fresh or frozen fruit, greek yogurt, or even whole grain granola to boost the overall fiber, protein, and nutrient content. Yum!
Connecting with your kiddos in the kitchen: Getting your kids in the kitchen and letting them get their hands on with food can be an important part of building their confidence. Making popsicles together can be a fun activity, especially when you get to the eating part.
Fruit Popsicles Made with Real Fruit
Unlike traditional popsicles that are usually made with a fruit juice base, I make these fruit popsicles with greek yogurt to create a creamy treat. The yogurt pairs well with the fruit and makes these taste more like a creamsicle, which kids (and grown-ups) absolutely love. Using Greek Yogurt as a base instead of fruit juice offers almost a full serving of protein as well as much needed calcium for growing bodies.
If you need a dairy-free popsicle recipe option, you can easily swap out the Greek Yogurt for a dairy-free yogurt substitute, like a coconut milk yogurt.
Incorporating real fruit in popsicles can be a great way to expose kids to produce as well as naturally boost their Vitamin C intake. This can be especially helpful if your little one has a harder time eating vegetables. Remember that fruits and vegetables have a similar nutrient profile, and offering produce in multiple ways can increase the likelihood that your child will try different options.
Adding real, whole fruit into a popsicle can be a fun and interactive way for a child to increase their fruit and veggie consumption. This can also be an easier way to boost their overall fiber content, which helps keep kids regular and healthy.
Bottom line when it comes to feeding kids: Just remember that constant exposure to a variety of foods without any added pressure can be the key to helping them develop a positive relationship with food and confidence in eating.
So back to our fruit popsicles…
The beauty of this recipe is how versatile and easy it is. You can literally use whatever fruit you might have on hand. Both fresh fruit and frozen fruit work well, so feel free to substitute with what you have available.
Remember that frozen fruit can be a great and affordable way to buy fruit, especially when certain fruits might not be in season. If fruit tends to go bad quickly in your home (hello overripe bananas!), keeping fruit stashed in your freezer might work better for you.
To start, I create the main yogurt base that I use to make our popsicles. You can see below the few different iterations of popsicles, depending on the type of fruit being used. However, the base is the same for all of them. The fun part is choosing which fruit popsicle version you want to make and mix and match based on the type of fruit you have available.
I usually make 1 version at a time, just for simplicity sake. But we enjoy rotating through the different options, including these (as named by my kids):
Sweet Strawberries and Cream: (Fresh or frozen strawberry, yogurt and granola)
Berry Blissful Blueberry Pie: (Sliced fresh blueberries, blueberry yogurt, and granola)
Tangy Mango Madness: (Mango Bites with Greek Yogurt)
Berry Breakfast Pop (Mixed berries, Greek Yogurt and Granola)
Here are the basic things you’ll need to make your popsicles:
1 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I love using the whole fat version for a creamier texture. You can also substitute with whatever flavor yogurt you might have on hand, like vanilla, berry, etc.)
3 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup (Substitute with sweetener of your choice, such as honey or agave nectar)
⅛ tsp Vanilla Extract
Fresh/Frozen Fruit of Choice, cut into bite-sized pieces (For smaller children, slice circular fruit, like blueberries, in half)
Popsicle Mold (You can easily use paper dixie cups and popsicle sticks too)
Optional: For a granola add-in, you will need ½ cup of your favorite granola, plus 1 tsp. Honey or maple syrup
Create the popsicle base by stirring together the yogurt, sweetener, and vanilla until well mixed.
Place your fresh/frozen fruit into your popsicle mold or paper cups
Divide the yogurt mixture evenly among the popsicle molds, adding yogurt over the fruit in each mold.
If adding granola, mix 1 tsp honey with granola. (TIP: Add 1 tsp honey to a small bowl and microwave for 10 seconds. Add granola to the honey and stir together.) Top the popsicle molds with the granola mixture. Press down gently into mold.
Place your popsicles into the freezer for 4 hours or overnight
When ready to eat, remove your popsicles from the freezer. Run the mold briefly under water for a few seconds until the popsicle loosens.
Makes about 4-6 popsicles
Easy Ways Kids Can Help
If your kids are anything like mine, they’re likely eager to help you and get their little hands in everything.
Let your kiddos help you make these popsicles by:
Washing or slicing fruit
Adding fruit to the popsicle molds
Mixing ingredients for the yogurt-base mixture
Adding the yogurt to the popsicle molds
You can even make a fun “Popsicle Bar”, where you lay out all the ingredients for the popsicles and let your kids assemble and make their own creation. No matter how you do it, this can be a fun summer activity to make with your kiddos. Most importantly, have fun doing it!
I hope your family enjoys these refreshing fruit popsicles all summer-long. What variations are your family’s favorites?