Every parent knows the struggle of making snacks for their children. There are so many options to choose from … but you’re not sure which is the healthiest. Or, you can prepare homemade snacks for your kiddos, but that is time consuming and tedious.
We understand that finding healthy and simple after school snacks can feel overwhelming, but with a bit of patience and preparation, snack time can be a breeze.
Consider this blog post a cheat sheet the next time you get stumped about what snacks to give your kids after school!
How to Make Snack Time Healthy
Whether you’re making snacks from scratch or purchasing packaged goodies from the store, one thing is for certain–some snacks leave children feeling cranky and lethargic while others fuel them for playtime, homework, and more.
Let’s Eat Healthy has a helpful blog post on how to make snack time healthier, and here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Use minimally processed foods
Fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, and nuts promote growth and development in your child’s body. Packaged treats like chips and cookies can negatively affect that process, so steer clear.
Combine from two food groups
When kids aren’t bored at snack time, they tend to feel more satisfied. One way to keep snack time exciting is to combine food groups, such as veggies with hummus, or a Chomps beef stick and string cheese.
Include kids in grocery shopping
Children are more likely to complain about snack choices when they don’t understand the work that goes behind it. Parents may be surprised by how enthusiastic kids can be about grocery shopping! Engaging with kiddos on this tedious chore makes them feel like their opinion is heard and they’ll enjoy helping pick out snacks.
Be a role model
It’s challenging for kids to eat healthy when their parents don’t, and it’s key for parents to model healthy snack habits for children. Plus, when parents eat healthy snacks right alongside children, they reap the benefits as well!
7 healthy after school snack ideas
Now that we’ve laid the ground rules for after school snack time, let’s zero in on a few go-to healthy snack ideas! We’ve got you covered.
Yep, these mini-sized but tasty Chomps sticks are the perfect after school snack for even the pickiest of eaters! With just 40 calories and 4 grams of protein, Chomplings are fuel for everything from science homework time to play time with friends. And no added sugar!
One online reviewer said, “My kids love these little Chomplings! I love that they don’t steal my full size Chomps anymore.”
Pretzels and cheese
The saltiness of pretzels paired with the creaminess of cheese is heavenly! We love Mini Babybel products for a grab-n-go after school snack. The best part is that this pairing fits easily in a bookbag or lunchbox!
Carrots and hummus dip
Carrots are a great source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. When it comes to after school snacks, they provide a satisfying crunch and juiciness! When carrots are dipped into hummus, which is chickpea-based, a stellar after school snack is born.
Yogurt with fruit topping
Plain Greek yogurt is lower in lactose than many of its counterparts. Plus, the probiotics found in Greek yogurt help break down lactose sugar, which aids in digestion. Fill a small tupperware container of greek yogurt and top with your child’s favorite sliced fruit, like banana, strawberry, or blueberry, and voila! You’ve got an after school treat they won’t say no to.
While Greek yogurt is lactose friendly, for children with extreme lactose sensitivity, there are alternatives like coconut yogurt to swap.
Applesauce and crackers
Few things say after school memories like a single serving container of applesauce! And if it includes cinnamon, few snacks can compare to the tastiness.
Get no sugar added applesauce to avoid the sugar high and subsequent crash. You can also include a few whole wheat crackers on the side, which will keep children full until dinner.
Cottage cheese and pineapple
Some children may be leery of trying cottage cheese for the first time. However, once kids have a chance to taste this delicious dairy food, it could become a favorite snack! Surprisingly, the sweetness of pineapple pairs well with the creamy quality of cottage cheese.
Bell peppers and guacamole
For kiddos who are a little more adventurous with food, bell peppers with guacamole is a great choice! Bell peppers are rich in vitamin C, which makes them a healthy choice, and their fun red, yellow, and green colors can be appealing to kids.
Guacamole is avocado-based and often incorporates healthy veggies like onions and peppers, as well as cilantro.
Take the stress out of after-school snack prep with these simple, healthy ideas! Portable, easy to prepare, and oh-so-tasty.