Have you been complaining about the summer heat? Ok, I’m guilty too.
We wait f.o.r.e.v.e.r. for winter to pass. Yet once the summer arrives, we seem to complain about how sticky and sweaty it makes us feel. Sounds like we all need some fun ideas to beat the heat this summer.
And we’re going to do that with one of the go-to summer foods…watermelon!
Before we dive into 10 fun and creative ways to use watermelon, let’s take a peek at some of the many great health benefits watermelon offers.
1) Watermelon is the queen of hydration
I think this is a given, but hey it needs to be said!
Watermelon is 92% water which is worth celebrating in the summer when the temperature is pushing 30 degrees. Keeping hydrated means better focus, more energy, and a stronger immune system. That’s right. If your child is throwing an unwarranted fit, offer up some watermelon for both a sugar and hydration lift.
2) Watermelon nutrient levels crush the charts
Within one cup of watermelon, you will find 17% of your daily value of Vitamin A and 21% of Vitamin C. Both of these vitamins are beneficial for asthma prevention, skin irritations, immunity, and digestion. A perfect pair when your kids are also crushing hot dogs and other summer treats that aren’t digestive friendly.
3) Watermelon is an antioxidant powerhouse
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and watermelons are filled with them! In fact, this antioxidant gives watermelons their red hue. Lycopene protects our bodies from damage caused by free radicals (toxic by-products that cause damage to living cells and tissues). We are surrounded by toxins everyday, so we could use a little help from foods like watermelon to minimize damage.
Creative ideas for using watermelon:
Alright, so now that we have gotten our excitement out about the many amazing benefits that watermelon brings to the table, we would love to share our delicious and creative snack ideas that we enjoy using watermelon. They are all super easy and your little ones will be just as excited as you and I are!
So here we go:
Simply slice your watermelon into a checkerboard and out will come these handy watermelon sticks that are easier to eat and reduce food waste (because kids aren’t getting massive slices they can hardly fit in their mouths).
Watermelon Fruit Kebabs:
This one’s a classic. If you have skewers (metal or wood) slide on some watermelon bites along with your choice of banana, grapes, cherries, raspberries, etc. the list goes on. Think out of the box and try something like Recipes from a Pantry recipe with a mix of meats, cheese, and watermelon.
Cut up your watermelon into large slices (pizza shaped), then cut into triangles (pizza slices) and top with anything you desire! We recommend smearing on some Greek yogurt and top with blueberries and strawberries. What a treat! Inspired by KitchenKonfidence.
Watermelon and Feta Salad:
Talk about a refreshing and juicy salad. It’s so easy, simply cut your watermelon into cubes, cut your feta into cubes as well or crumble, cut up some mint, drizzle with olive oil + lime dressing and just like that you have the tastiest salad of the summer!
This is the simplest trick in the book! Cut your watermelon into triangles with the skin still on. Stick a popsicle stick through the skin and the watermelon for an easy and refreshing watermelon pop!
Photo cred goes to KidSpot
As always, you can get super creative with smoothies. We recommend adding watermelon, banana, Greek yogurt and strawberries for a smooth but cooling treat! Or go for extra red and try this Beet Watermelon Smoothie!
- 1/2 medium beet, chopped.
- 1 cup chopped watermelon.
- 1 banana.
- 1/2 cup coconut water.
- 1 cup plain kefir or yogurt.
- Juice of 1/2 lime .
- 1 tablespoons honey (optional)
Watermelon water with mint:
A glass of water can get pretty boring for the little ones, so we suggest adding a cup up watermelon cubes and mint leaves to a jug of water and let cool in the fridge. A great drink to enjoy on the patio with guests!
Grilled watermelon with yogurt:
Think veggie sticks and dip but this time with watermelon and yogurt! You can either serve fresh for an easy snack to serve after school or summer camp. Or grill watermelon slices first. Try this recipe from Goodcook:
- 6 seedless watermelon triangles (grilled or fresh)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted for grilling
- 3/4 cup plain full-fat greek yogurt (or other dairy-free option)
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 limes, zested and freshly squeezed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes or coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
This is a great snack idea that you can prepare a few days in advance. Grab small containers or cups, layer yogurt, granola, watermelon cubes and other toppings of your choice. Great for playdates and entertainment if you let the kiddos make their own. Feel free to substitute yogurt with vanilla coconut milk ice cream.
Inspired by Recipe 4 Living.
Another refreshing drink idea! Just blend watermelon cubes with a half cup of water. You’ll beat that heat in no time.
Blend a cup of watermelon cubes with a half cup of Greek yogurt or coconut milk and freeze in a popsicle tray. Easy peasy!
Did we miss any? Please let us know below and we’ll add them in.
A big thanks to Melissa Riding for her contributions and writing this post.