Refreshing Kids Treat Recipes for Summer

child-1840067_1920It’s no secret kids adore the warm summer months. With school out of session and delicious produce in season, it’s easier than ever to prepare foods that your kids will eat with a smile. Serving up summer treats will keep your little ones fueled up for fun in the sun. The following recipes are sure to satisfy any kid’s appetite, while providing them with the nutrition they need.

 

Mango Yogurt Popsicles

 

It’s worth noting that many of the treats on this list are fairly easy to make. That doesn’t just mean they’ll help you save time. It also means you might want to consider getting the kids involved in prepping them. Experts point out that children who help out in the kitchen enjoy a range of benefits, from developing useful skills to expanding their palates.

 

This is an easy recipe to start them out on. All you need to do is peel and dice two mangoes. After you have, fill the bottom of popsicle molds (you can simply be small plastic cups with popsicle sticks for handles if you don’t have any molds) with yogurt and freeze for at least 30 minutes. 

 

In the meantime, combine the mangoes with the juice from one orange in a food processor. Then, create a syrup by stirring about ¾ cup of water with ¾ cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a boil. Reduce to a simmer, wait about four minutes, then combine the syrup with the mango-orange mixture in the food processor. 

 

Put the mixture in the refrigerator and let it cool. Once it has, pour it into the popsicles molds and place back in the freezer, leaving them there until thoroughly frozen. When they are, remove them. You may need to dip the popsicles into a bowl of warm water (don’t submerge them all the way!) to loosen them enough that you can remove them from the molds.

 

Lemon Ice

 

Lemon ice is a classic summer treat that’s literally been around for thousands of years! Making your own is one of the best ways to appreciate just how refreshing this dessert can be.

 

It’s also not difficult at all. Start by mixing three cups of water with one cup of sugar in a saucepan until the mixture starts to boil. Boil uncovered for about five minutes, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Once it has, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in one cup of lemon juice and one tablespoon grated lemon zest. Pour into a baking pan and freeze uncovered for one hour, then cover the mixture and freeze for at least an additional two hours. Remove when it’s firm and serve in the cups of your choice.

 

Strawberry Lemonade

 

Summer treats should also include beverages. After all, your kids need to stay hydrated when playing out in the warm summer sun.

 

This strawberry lemonade recipe ensures they will. To make it, purée a pint of fresh strawberries in a blender with two teaspoons of sugar. In two glasses (adjust the recipe measurements depending on how many children you’re serving), add three tablespoons each of the strawberry purée, along with four tablespoons of sugar and four tablespoons of lemon juice. Add seltzer water for a little fizz. The result? A delicious summer beverage your kids will love!

 

Remember, making sure your children have a healthy and happy summer doesn’t need to be as demanding as you might think. These easy-to-make recipes will save you time while impressing your kids. That makes summer more enjoyable for everyone.

How to Cut Down On Some of Your Key Business Costs

calculator-calculation-insurance-finance-53621For many small businesses, the best way to increase profitability is to look for ways to cut expenses. Every dollar you save is another dollar in profits and as long as you maintain quality, efforts toward cost cutting can be an effective way to provide financial relief to your business. 

You might not be able to get rid of many of these expenses altogether, but there is a good chance that you could cut your costs considerably by managing small business expenses more effectively. The following are a few of the major expenses that can impact small businesses and some of the ways they can be reduced.

Rent

Rent is usually one of the biggest expenses for a small business. If you are renting space, you need to make sure the location is serving you well. Think about whether you need all of the space you have. If not, move to a smaller, more affordable location. If your business does not depend on traffic, you could consider moving to a place that is away from busy commercial areas. 

Marketing

If you want to get more leads, attract new customers and build brand recognition, you are going to have to pay for marketing. With that said, you might be able to find ways to save money on marketing. Try to focus on the marketing channels that offer the best ROI. Investigate the types of marketing that offer a good return in your industry or talk to local business owners to find out what works well for them.

Equipment 

Depending on your business, you might need all sorts of equipment. If you are looking at an expensive piece of equipment, you might want to consider buying it used. As long as the used equipment is in good condition, it can be a way to save a lot of money on an otherwise expensive purchase.

You should also invest in preventative maintenance for any expensive equipment you have. The maintenance might cost money over time, but it can extend the life of the equipment and help you avoid expensive repairs.

Utilities

Utilities can be another major cost for some businesses. You have to cover costs like electricity, water, internet, phones and gas. One way to cut these costs is to set rules around how some of these utilities are used. Make sure resources like electricity and water are not being used wastefully. You could also consider buying more efficient appliances and equipment. Some of these pieces might cost more upfront, but they could save your business money over time.

Employee Compensation

Labor is the highest cost for many businesses. You definitely want to have a good team of employees around you, but you also want to make sure you are not spending too much on labor. Evaluate your payroll to make sure you really need all of the employees you have. In some cases, you might only need a part-time employee where you currently have a full-time worker. Making some of these adjustments can make a huge difference for your company’s bottom line.

As another option, you could also consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle some of the work that would go to one of your employees. This is usually more affordable than keeping an employee on the payroll and virtual assistants can help with a wide range of tasks.

Take the time to look at every expense to see if there is a way you could cut costs. You might not be able to find huge savings on everything, but every dollar counts when you are running a small business.