To make your own slushies, fill a cup or mug with weak cordial, watered-down fruit juice, plain milk or milk with a teaspoon of flavouring. Freeze the contents overnight. Break up the ice with a fork, and tuck in! Watered down cranberry juice is a great choice – it’s high in Vitamin C, highly refreshing and has very little sugar. A similar sized standard frozen raspberry slushie from a service station has about six teaspoons of sugar and a variety of artificial flavours and colours.
Iceblock moulds are readily available from most supermarket and homeware shops. Most are only around 70ml, making them small enough portion sizes for little ones to enjoy full strength juices and flavoured milks. Yoghurt, pureed fruit, homemade smoothies or cordial all work well. Get the kids involved in making their own treats and designing their own flavours. It’s a great way to teach patience, too. Waiting for those iceblocks to set can seem like days! Don’t discount the fun of freezing plain water in moulds for a fun activity. My kids love to sit in the paddling pool with a big block of frozen ice on a stick. Best of all, there’s no sticky mess to deal with! This is a good option to have on hand when the ‘I’m hungry’ call comes just before dinner.
Raid the freezer section of the supermarket for pre-prepared snacks that can make a really easy dessert for family barbecues and visiting friends. Not many children say no to an ice-cream. If you have a large group of kids coming over, have a dairy-free version on hand in case someone has a milk allergy. Coconut-based ice snacks are a good option. Opt for milk or fruit-based ice-creams or gelatis that use natural flavours and colours. You’ll also find a range of mini versions of ‘adult’ ice-creams. These can be great for children and adults who don’t need a filling dessert but want just a taste. Look for smaller wafer cones, too.
Some children prefer frozen peas over cooked. Half a cup of frozen peas as an afternoon snack offers plenty of nutrition and means you don’t have to dish them up later in the night.
A good quality blender can whip up ice-cream-like snacks using fruit only. Frozen banana and mango work well, and it’s a great way to use up ripe fruit. Peel the fruit, wrap in clingwrap and freeze, then whiz in a blender for a tasty treat.
Some fruits, like berries and orange segments, work very well frozen just as they are.