It is an obvious phenomena that kids will be extremely hungry when they come back home from school. They will definitely need something to snack on as they wait for dinner. It is thus important as a caring parent to watch and control their eating habits. Ensure that they eat light and healthy. There are a range of choices that a child can choose snacks from. If allowed they would jump for the soda and sugary cookies and biscuits, a behavior pattern you do not want to encourage. It is important to teach your kids how to make healthy choices without making it seem like a punishment. This is easily achieved especially if, as a parent, you lead by example. Snack on a healthy bite and your kid tends to imitate exactly what you do. Here are ten healthy after school snacks for kids.
10 Healthy After School Snacks Kids Will Love
1. Fruits slices with a dip.
Make it interesting and attractive for your kids and they will enjoy taking the fruit that they may otherwise turn down. An example that works is slicing apples on a plate and beside it, provide a nut whether it is peanut, almond or any other nut butter that your kids prefer.
2. Fruit salads and puddings.
The combination of different fruits chopped together in a nice bowl is always appealing. As a parent you know what fruit your children love and those which they fancy less. Sprinkling an assortment of fruit over a little pudding is a surefire way to watch it all disappear. If your kids are more adventurous, try grilled peach spinach salad!
3. Freshly squeezed juice.
Kids will arrive from school thirsty for a drink. Discourage consumption of drinks that have empty calories and no value to the body. Instead, offer them some freshly squeezed juice which is full of nutrients. You can squeeze citrus by hand or if you have a juicer, there is no end to the limit of fresh juices that you can make and flavor combinations you can create when you start juicing.
Yogurt is another option for the after school snacks but is only suggested if dinner is not any time soon. Consider making your own yogurt and you may want to sprinkle a little granola over the top. Or make easy and fun yogurt parfaits with some yogurt, cheerios, and fresh fruit.
Eggs make great healthy after school snacks. This is a more filling snack and not so great if dinner is close by. Otherwise, eggs are a great source of protein. You can boil them and peel them, make them into deviled eggs, or serve them as a fried egg sandwich.
6. Vegan Chocolate Chip Granola Bars Recipe
1 c instant oats
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp agave
2 tbsp vegan mini chocolate chips
1-2 tbsp raw sugar (optional)
Stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. It will appear too dry at first, but its not–keep stroking. Once combined, let rest while the oven preheats to 325F. Grease a bread pan and pack the mixture down firmly and tightly. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden, firm and light brown around the edges. Let cook in the pan 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 5.
Tip: You can send rolled outs through your food processor to grind them down into instant oat consistency.
Per Serving: 99 Calories, 2g Fat, 19.6g Carbohydrates, 1.1g Fiber, 13.6g Sugars, 1.6g Protein
Variation: Substitute 1 tbsp peanut butter for 1 tbsp applesauce. Combine peanut butter with applesauce and heat in the microwave for 10 seconds, so peanut butter softens. Whisk together and use as directed.
Recipe shared from Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. Book available on Amazon. Photo credit: Kimberly Roy.
7. Packs-a-Punch Raspberry-Almond Smoothie Recipe
2 cups Almond Breeze® Original
1 12-ounce package frozen raspberries
2 medium bananas, cut into chunks
2-3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)
whole blanched almonds for garnish (optional)
Combine Almond Breeze® Original, frozen raspberries, bananas, honey and almond extract in a blender; whirl until smooth. Pour into 4 tall glasses and garnish with fresh raspberries and whole almonds if desired.
Recipe shared by Blue Diamond.
8. Fruits and Vegetables Sampler Trays
Fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended and classic for a reason: not only are they healthy, but kids can generally eat as much as they please without overloading on fat and empty calories. If your child is more of a picky eater and simply refuses to eat fruits and vegetables plain, spruce them up a bit with peanut butter, ranch dressing, or a sprinkle of salt or sugar. Just a pinch of salt on apple slices gives the apple pulp a pleasing gritty texture, while a very small amount of sugar or whipped cream over sliced strawberries makes for a fantastic sweet treat.
9. Homemade Trail Mix Snack
Combine as many or as few types of nuts as you like (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews) with dried fruit like raisins or dates. Add in some pumpkin and sunflower seeds and some miniature pretzels for the perfect combination of salty/sweet snacks. It’s healthy, delicious, and can be quite inexpensive if you buy the ingredients in bulk and make it yourself. This is a great after school snack! Here is a recipe for homemade trail mix.
10. Bite-Size Turkey Wrap Snacks AKA Pinwheels
For this one you’ll need a couple flour tortillas, a little lettuce (shredded or whole, though leaf lettuce will be easier to work with), a couple thin slices of turkey breast, a tomato, a carrot (or a bag of shredded carrot strips) and a tablespoon or two of cream cheese. Spread the cream cheese evenly over the tortillas, then sprinkle with lettuce. Layer the turkey slices next. Cut the tomato into small, thin slices, and the carrot into small strips, then add these on top of the turkey. Roll the tortillas into wraps, cut diagonally into small portions, and spear through with a toothpick to hold the wraps in place. Serve with ranch dressing or whatever dip you like. These bite-sized wraps are perfect for tiny hands, and they’re substantial enough to serve individually as snacks or in multiples as a hearty lunch.
As childhood obesity continues to affect today’s youth, many parents are looking for ways to help their children make smart choices when eating. Healthy after school snacks don’t have to break the bank, nor do they have to be bland and tasteless. Instead, try some of these ideas to give your child the nutrients and energy their growing bodies need and help them develop healthy eating habits for life.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. Though many kids are picky eaters, others are just as willing to try new things, and even picky eaters can get excited about fun new snacks. If you can, ask your child to help you choose or make their snacks. Let them know they can have as many vegetables as they want, even if you wouldn’t dream of certain combinations for yourself (lettuce, peanut butter and raisin sandwiches, anyone?). There is no right or wrong way to encourage your child to make healthy food choices, so long as you make the effort to guide them in that direction.
It is important to train your kids properly as far as eating habits are concerned. Do not give them foods that are rich in energy close to dinner time for it will only interfere with their appetites. Also avoid greasy foods like fries for they only build up excess fat. What are your favorite healthy after school snacks?
My kids also love this recipe for cucumber sandwiches!