After School SnackAre you scrambling to find snacks that can be taken to after school activities or enjoyed while homework is being done?

Do your kids come in from school and head straight to the kitchen to search for something to eat? Today, I’m sharing some tips to help you make sure your children can have a nutritious after school snack while saving room for a healthy dinner.

Clean Out Your Pantry

Let’s be honest – if you keep sweets and salty snacks in your pantry, your kids are likely to eat them as often as they can get away with it! Your children won’t have to fight temptation if the options provided at home are healthy ones.  You can, for example, replace potato chips with whole wheat crackers with low fat cheese, fruit-filled toaster pastries with multigrain bread and low-sugar jam or preserves, and pizza rolls with open-faced English muffin pizzas.  If you make a pantry clean-out part of your back to school routine, you can ensure that kids will make better choices at snack time!

Create “Snack Stations”

One thing that you can do to support healthy snacking is to create specified “snack stations” in your refrigerator and your pantry. Having a box or tray labelled “Snacks” with the kinds of foods that you WANT your kids to nibble on will prevent them from browsing entire cabinets, getting overwhelmed, and reaching for something less than nutritious!

Your pantry snack station could include:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Nut butters
  • Low-sugar, whole-grain cereal
  • Popcorn
  • Rice cakes
  • A homemade trail mix
  • Fruit leathers or dried fruit such as mango, apricots, raisins, or prunes
  • Graham crackers

After School Snack

Your fridge snack station could include:

  • Sliced apples or cut-up veggies in storage bags or jars
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Cheese sticks
  • Hummus or dips for crackers or veggies
  • Muffins or breads, such as banana, pumpkin, corn, or zucchini (you can make a healthy batch and freeze them)
  • Celery filled with cream cheese, Boursin cheese, or peanut butter
  • Hard-boiled eggs

Don’t forget to set guidelines about how many items they can have from the fridge or pantry each time they want a snack to ensure they’re getting a good mix of nutrients.

Give Your Kids Options

If you only keep the same few items available for snack time, chances are your kids are going to get bored after a few days. Try to keep several options available to keep your children interested and satisfied.

Make Healthy Snacks The Easy Choice

For the most part, you can’t expect kids to cut up their own veggie sticks, especially when they’re hungry. A hungry child, like a hungry adult, is much more likely to reach for what’s handy! Make healthy snacks easily available by having them visible and ready-to-go.  Does your child come home to an empty house? If so, leave something healthy front and center on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator!

What snacks are part of your after school routine?

Barb Prud'hommeAbout the Author:

Barb practices a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that she looks at how all of the areas of her client’s lives – activity level, eating habits, stress, relationships, and work – are interconnected. She then helps them work towards the results they desire, such as such as achieving an optimal weight, reducing cravings, incorporating more healthy foods into family meals, and minimizing fatigue, in realistic and enjoyable steps! Barb doesn’t believe in magic pills or fad diets, and has seen firsthand how dramatic results can be achieved through simple nutritional and lifestyle improvements!

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