Yesterday I featured some tips on preparing fun, healthy school lunches. Today I have some tips on preparing fun, healthy, kid friendly after-school snacks.
After-school snacks are essential for most kids (and most adults I know need an afternoon snack too) to help them get through until dinner. Here are a few tips to making snack time a success.
• Do your homework and save some dough. Not only can the expense of snacks add up but so can the unwanted calories and processed ingredients in prepackaged snacks. Do some research and see what popular snacks can be made at home. For the snacks that can’t be made from scratch, try buying them in bulk and dividing out into age appropriate portions.
• Keep out of reach of children. As much as we want children to be self-sufficient, leaving snacks within children’s reach is not a good idea. This can allow to over eating and filling up on snacks before dinner. If you do choose to have snacks within arms reach choose healthy snack options such as fruits and veggies.
• Keep them full. Fiber and lean proteins help prevent highs and lows in children’s (and adults) blood sugar levels. They also help make you feel fuller for longer lengths of time.
• Size matters. Remember proper portion amounts, these are snacks not meals. Also, avoid snacking 1-1.5 hours before the next full meal.
• Here are some great ideas for healthy, easy to prepare, and tasty snack options: Fruit with dip, peanut butter, or yogurt; veggies with peanut butter, dip, dressing or hummus; lunchmeat rolled up in a tortilla; granola bars; cheese sticks; trail mix; dried fruit; nuts; cereal; crackers; popcorn; chips and salsa; etc.
Need more ideas? Below are a few links to some of my favorite Kitchen Concoctions snacks:
S’mores Snack Mix
Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Lemonade Fruit Dip
Black Bean Hummus
Pear Spiked Applesauce
Veggies and Ranch Dressing
Red Bell Pepper Hummus
Chocolate Chex Mix
Chewy Granola Bars
And these Ranch Crackers are addictively tasty and are easy enough that an older child could make on their own or a smaller child could make with some help!
Prep Time: 5 minutes Serves: 6-8
3 sleeves saltine crackers
1 envelope ranch seasoning
2/3 cup canola oil
Place crackers in a large zip-top bag.
In a small bowl whisk together oil and seasoning.
Pour oil mixture over crackers. Seal bag and toss to coat.
adapted from Eric’s Aunt Grace