Lunch with Lauren ~ Poolside Snacks

by Lauren Townsend for The Aha! Connection

When the last school bell rings and my children exit the front doors of DES and into summer, they immediately require sustenance every 15 to 45 minutes. I typically start the summer with the high hopes of fruit kabobs and worksheet bridge books and by July, it’s anything covered in neon orange cheese powder, Popsicles that come in a mesh bag of a 1000 and unlimited WIFI. Here are some snacks that I bring to the pool; they aren’t all healthy, but they also aren’t total garbage.

This is what my kids call, “a giant Lunchable.” They BEG for these. Swing by the Target deli; see my man, Curtis, he’s my favorite Target associate; and grab yourself one of these giant Lunchables. It’s a “Social Platter” by Hillshire Snacking and this one comes with Genoa Salami, some kind of prosciutto, white cheddar, herbed crostini and dark chocolate, which my oldest daughter claimed, “was almost as good as Jacque Torres.” Before you get too impressed, her dream is to have a wall of those barrels filled with orange cheese puffs. If it’s particularly hot or I just want to mess with my kids, I take out the chocolate and fill that part with blueberries or grapes.

Hummus from Alon’s with vegetables or chips. Alon’s hummus is a different texture that traditional store-bought hummus, but I like it and I think it is great, especially poolside. I love watermelon radishes and my kids love carrots and pretzels.

Mini calzoney-things.  I take Pillsbury pizza dough and cut into smaller triangles. Then drop in some mozzarella cheese and tiny pepperonis and close shut by pressing seams with a fork. Then a little oil and garlic salt on top and bake at like 425. Once they are cooled, I pack them with a container of marinara. They work for us because I live with the kind of people who eat cold pizza.


I love popcorn. Not like, microwave popcorn, because of the chemicals and we don’t have a microwave, but air popped popcorn. I’ll pack a giant, gallon-sized Ziploc topped with salt or Parmesan cheese, if we’re feeling fancy. I’m also a big fan of topping it with hot sauce, but my kids aren’t.


My kids also love smoked salmon, because they are my kids. These wraps from Target are pretty great. They are low-carb and higher in protein, but more importantly, they aren’t heavy and have great flavor. I spread cream cheese on half and lay down smoked salmon and cucumber then roll up and slice.

And finally, yogurt covered frozen blueberries. Basically, you take fresh blueberries, dip them in vanilla yogurt and place on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and then into the freezer. Once we get to the pool, I put them in the freezer there.

These are my go-to’s now. Once I survive swim team season and I’ve given up ukulele lessons and start considering pool time, bath time, you’ll probably see my kids carrying around a Frito-Lay multi-pack drawstring bag as a snack satchel, but for now, I’m trying.