Nothing says “Hello, summer!” like a deliciously refreshing, frosty frozen popsicle. Problem is, buying premade ones doesn’t give you much say in their nutritional value. AND, there’s all the packaging to go through (much of it not yet recyclable). There are, however, tons of benefits to making popsicles at home!
You get to choose the ingredients; you can keep the kids busy by having them help in the kitchen; and beyond being rid of the wrapper waste, you can get rid of kitchen waste by making popsicles out of leftovers! With summer in full swing, we thought we’d share some healthy and unique DIY popsicle ideas for yummy summer kids treat!
Ideas for Popsicle Molds
The first step in DIY popsicle-making? You’ll need something to make them in! When I was little, we made our own mini pops in ice cube trays or small paper cups (a summer party specialty!) and I still think those are some of the easiest ways to serve up a few quick ‘sicles.
You could also:
- Recycle yogurt cups
- Use baking tins
- Freeze an extra big batch of smoothie blend in a bread loaf pan. Just pop in 4-6 popsicle sticks, freeze, then slice to serve!
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
The options for cool, kid-friendly popsicle molds are ENDLESS, but if you’re looking for some well-made, non-toxic, BPA-free suggestions, here are four companies I’ve found that fit the bill…
- Ecozoi’s stainless steel popsicle molds are a great option if you’re family is trying to go plastic-free. They offer classic and round-shaped options, and come with a sturdy rack that makes filling them incredibly easy.
- Lekue’s popsicle mold collection has cleverly-designed molds in a variety of shapes.
- Going for head-turning popsicles? Tovolo has popsicle molds for making dinos, tikis, rockets, penguins, and more! Bonus? This company has been making solid, kid-tested/parent-approved kitchen products for years, so you can count on quality.
- Zoku is another brand that has a wide selection of molds in crazy cool shapes (helloooo ring pops!) They even offer tabletop popsicle makers!
Healthy Homemade Popsicle Ingredients
Once you have a mold, you can make popsicles out of practically anything…
- Blend/juice your favorite fruits and veggies (veggies like carrots and spinach are easily hidden when mixed with fruits).
- Try freezing your favorite summery homemade drinks. Lemonade is a great popsicle base (my lavender lemonade makes the prettiest pink popsicles!)
- Mix up the last of your jam with some milk (almond, soy, cow, whatever) for a creamier popsicle.
- Make and freeze chai, green, or your favorite tea!
- Have smoothie leftovers? Pour them right into a mold and pop in the freezer for instant frozen yumminess. One of my favorites for freezing is our tropical green smoothie – like a Pina Colada pop!
- Freeze pudding for a super-rich popsicle (chocolate pudding, nuts and marshmallows and you have a rocky road popsicle…Mmmmm…
- Use greek yogurt blended with spinach and your favorite summer fruits – you can add some crushed granola or graham cracker at the bottom of your popsicles for a cheesecake-like treat!
- For a bit of a healthier root beer float, try freezing a little root beer (make sure to let it get a little flat before putting it in the freezer) with vanilla yogurt.
Our Favorite Healthy DIY Popsicle Recipes
There are so many yummy-looking popsicles out there, but here are a few of my healthier favorites, made with everything from orange juice to avocados…
Rainbow Fruit Popsicles from hello, Wonderful – I love the whimsical look of these festive low-sugar treats (party perfection, no?!)
Hidden Veggie Popsicles from My Joy Filled Life – Packed with citrus fruits and a surprise veggie, these pops are replenishing refreshment after a day of summer play .
Frozen Orange Juice Popsicles from Sunny Sweet Days – Pass the potassium and Vitamin C, please!
Green Smoothie Monster Popsicles from hello, Wonderful – These playful popsicles are so much fun, your kids won’t even notice they’re made from spinach.
Dairy-Free Cashew Milk Creamsicles from In the Kids Kitchen – these smooth, flavorful creamsicles are a tropical dream on a stick (and packed with dairy-free protein to boot)!
Easy Breakfast Yogurt Popsicles from Crayons & Cravings – Breakfast on-the-go never tasted so summery. Get your grains in with the addition of granola!
100% Fruit Kiwi Rainbow Ice Pops from Rainy Day Mum – Grab a potato-masher and let your kids go to town building these frozen fruit pops that are just as fun to make as they look.
Healthy Fruit and Veggie Ice Pops from hello, Yummy – These are all the fun of the old freezer pops I used to get at home, but 100% healthier (hurrah for beet, spinach, carrot and mango bases!)
Creamy Avocado Fudgesicles from In the Kids Kitchen – mover over avocado toast, there’s a new tempting treat in town this summer….yum!!
Smoothie Strawberry Banana Popsicles from Mommy Evolution – It doesn’t get more summery than strawberries, and these icy delights are chock full of them.
Homemade Strawberry Orange Popsicles from Gluesticks and Gumdrops – A simple and yummy summer classic refresher, loaded with calcium and vitamin C!
Frozen Banana Pops from hello, Wonderful – skip a popsicle mold altogether and jazz up an old classic with these fun frozen banana pops!
Strawberry & Mango Ice Blocks from My Bored Toddler – It doesn’t get simpler for summer with this easy blended-fresh-fruit-only popsicle recipe!
Unicorn Popsicles from hello, Yummy – Because they’re made with yogurt, the only added sugar in these magical pops is the sprinkles you can substitute with colorful fruit bits!
Fun Flavored Ice Pops from Picklebums – Pineapple & Berry…Cookies and Cream Yogurt…these fun flavor combinations (in bright summer colors!) are a great way to inspire your kids to experiment with ingredients.
Blueberry Lemon Pudding Pops from Super Healthy Kids – I couldn’t put together a list of summer popsicle favorites without including blueberries, my favorite summer fruit! This colorful combo of fresh, healthy ingredients is perfect for the season.
Great Ways to Get the Kids Involved
Popsicles are one of my favorite ways to introduce kids to some kitchen and cooking basics. They’re simple and quick – keeping all parties involved from getting too overwhelmed. They are one of the first things I can remember making in the kitchen with my parents (then, on my very own).
- Let them choose their own popsicle recipe or a “starring” ingredient. From there, they can make a list of what they’ll need or gather their own ingredients at the grocery store.
- Visit a U-Pick garden to harvest the produce for your popsicles together.
- Use the prep as a time to practice hand and produce-washing.
- Don’t forget your apron! Having their own kitchen supplies helps kids feel like they belong in the kitchen – you can even stamp your own with leftover fruits or vegetables!
- Assign them a task in the process. Younger kids can squeeze fruits, or mash blend and stir ingredients (popsicles are also a great opportunity to practice pouring). Older kids can take over most of the process on their own.
- Taste-test together! Whether you’re a kid or an adult, one of the best parts of cooking in the kitchen is licking the bowl. Share the joys of experimentation together by tasting your popsicle mixes and enjoying the textures of the blended fruits, juices, and yogurts.
- Re-use the popsicle sticks to make fun crafts! This roundup of modern, fun (and functional!) ideas from Real Simple is fantastic!
For more simple and fresh foods you can make with your kiddos, try our homemade quick pickles – perfect for teethers, and they’re great for eating too! Or pick a peck of peaches for a batch of delicious peach applesauce (sprinkle with crushed homemade cinnamon apple chips for the win!).
*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!