Influencing Healthy Futures through Exercise and Quality Foods - Fruit and Herb Popsicles

The outdoor activities that we’ve been enjoying with our children this summer, the walking, biking, and impromptu softball games, might end with the first-day-of-school bell.  This is the week, Exercise with Your Child Week (August 4-10), that we can bolster a pledge to work out with our kids. Beyond fun, regular family exercise, along with healthy eating, is an endowment for a child’s future health.

Exercising with Your Child Matters    The Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) says that parents and caregivers are important role models for healthy behaviors. “Physical activity is essential for healthy development and adopting physical activity habits early in life will increase the likelihood of children remaining physically active as adults,” according to AASP. Each parent who models exercising and healthy eating helps to reduce childhood obesity, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), affects 12.5 million children, from two to 19-years-old, in the U.S. As we are well aware, excess calories from sugar contribute to childhood obesity. We could assume that our kids are consuming much of that excess sugar away from home. However, key findings from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that children consume most of their calories from sugar at home. This finding suggests that parents can make a measurable difference in their children’s diet by limiting foods (such as snacks) with processed sugar. Using Food Products that Support a Healthy Lifestyle is very important.

The quality of food products matters greatly if limiting sugar is our goal. Litehouse Foods, I’ve discovered, provides products that support a healthy lifestyle. After studying labels on jar after jar of their Dressings and Instantly Fresh Herbs (because I’m passionate about reading labels), I found no listings of high fructose corn syrup and there are fewer grams of sugar on Litehouse Foods’ Dressings compared to those I had previously purchased and served to my family.

Exercising Family

Until recently, I limited frozen treats at home because of concerns about sugar. But after experimenting with three of the Instantly Fresh Herbs, my kitchen has become Fruit and Herb Popsicles central.  These treats are not only lower in sugar but also have exotic flavors. Zingy ginger, warming lemongrass, and even summery, sweet basil enhance flavors in fruit salads, so (I thought) why not in frozen treats too?  Besides, just as I’ve found ways to flavor food with minimal salt, I wanted flavors other than sugar in the frozen pops. Adding flavors such as ginger, lemongrass, and basil in children’s treats and desserts also help to prep their palate for complex flavors.

 Making Basil Syrup-101

We Influence Our Children’s Healthy Futures So, as day one of the next school year approaches, remember that what our children learn about a healthy lifestyle comes from us—from home. Don’t forget that those family play times that result in exercise can continue throughout the year for 30 minutes a few times a week. And most importantly, lowering our children’s calorie intake from sugar is within our control. Quality food products, like those offered by Litehouse Foods, can help us make that measurable difference that equals a healthier diet for our children—and ourselves.


Popsicle Puree in Mold

Fruit and Herb Popsicles

Serves 10 (3-ounce pops) | Finish in 2-3 hours

“Fruit & Herb Pops” are blended fruit chunks or sugar-free fruit juice combined with easy-to-make herb syrup from low-glycemic agave nectar and Litehouse Instantly Fresh Ginger, Lemongrass, or Basil.


For Pineapple-Coconut-Ginger Pops
1/3-cup water
2 tsp. Litehouse® Instantly Fresh Ginger (use one tsp. for a milder ginger flavor)
1-1/2 Tbsp. raw honey (local preferred)
1 cup pineapple-coconut juice, unsweetened
1 kiwi, sliced thinly

For Mango-Strawberry-Lemongrass Pops
1/3-cup water
2 tsp. Litehouse® Instantly Fresh Lemon Grass
1-1/2 Tbsp. raw honey (local preferred)
1 cup mango juice, unsweetened
4 large strawberries, sliced thinly 

For Black Cherry-Blackberry Pops
1/3-cup water
2 tsp. Litehouse® Instantly Fresh Lemon Grass
1-1/2 Tbsp. honey (Local preferred)
1 cup mango juice, unsweetened
5 large blackberries, halved

For Watermelon-Basil Pops
1/3-cup water
2 tsp. Litehouse® Instantly Fresh Basil
1-1/2 tablespoon raw honey (local preferred)
4 cups seedless watermelon, cut into chunks


Mix water and ginger, lemongrass, or basil in a 1-qt saucepan. Add agave nectar and bring to a simmer. Allow the ingredients to reduce for two-three minutes. Put ingredients aside until saucepan cools to room temperature, then pour syrup through a strainer to remove herbs. (Note, when using basil, smaller bits of the herb may remain.) Pour juice into bowl with spout or (if making watermelon pops), blend fruit until pureed. (Note: no blender is needed for pops made with fruit juice.) Add syrup to blender with watermelon puree and blend for a few more seconds. If making juice pops, pour syrup into bowl with juice and stir. Pour fruit puree or juice into 10 3-oz ice pop compartments and leave ½ inch of space at the top. Add 1 or two slices or pieces of fruit to each compartment and put popsicle sticks and lid (if included) in place. Place pops in freezer and freeze for 2-4 hours or until contents have frozen solid.

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