Build The Perfect After-School Snack For Kids

Posted on in Children, Food & Health

apples-peanut-butterSchool is starting, and that means kids are going to want something to snack on after school. We want to have something ready that’s healthy, but we don’t want to get too carried away and spoil their appetite before dinner. We need a food that they’ll want to eat that’s packed with nutrients and will tide them over until dinner.

Break the snack up into three parts, and you’ll be able to easily mix and match to create something tasty and healthy. Having a variety of these “components” on hand makes it simple to have an answer when your child asks for something to eat.

The Base

First up is the “base” of the snack. Think apple slices, strawberries, celery, carrots, or a whole wheat cracker. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that this is the healthy food item on which the rest of the snack will rest. Choose fruits, vegetables, or whole grain-based items. Look for something with low fat and sugar. Even if it’s something your child might not be drawn to on its own, that’s OK. We’re going to dress it up a bit.

The Glue

Maybe you’ll use melted low-sugar bittersweet chocolate, peanut butter, natural cheese spread, yogurt, or even edamame humus — whatever your choice, the “glue” adds a layer of taste to the base food item and will hold the final layer. The key here is to pick something as healthy as possible, but also something that your child enjoys. They may shy away from celery, but they might eat it with peanut butter. They might not want to eat fruit, but dipping it in a little dark chocolate or yogurt might change their minds.

The Topping

Top off the snack with crunchy granola, chewy raisins, or vitamin-packed nuts. This is where you can add a little extra flavor and texture to the snack, and give your child a chance to have some fun building their own snack.

After school snacks are a necessary pick-me-up after a long day at school, and they help prepare your child for playing, chores or homework at home. It’s easy to fall into the habit of serving unhealthy snacks because we’re busy, but by doing a little planning, you can make sure that the snacks are healthy, tasty, and something your child will look forward to. Teaching your child good eating habits early will save him or her much grief later in life.