After a full day of learning and vigorous activities in school, your kids will be tired and hungry. They need sustenance to keep them up until dinner. There are several after school snacks that you can prepare that will provide more nutritional value and improve your kids’ diet without ruining their appetite for dinner. Here are some ideas.
- Note down what snacks your kids prefer to eat and stock up on a variety of these snacks that are pre-packaged or easy to prepare. Make it a combination of fresh fruits, juice, vegetables, nuts and grains that will supplement your kids’ daily nutritional requirements.
- Consider the timing when preparing the after school snacks. As children are released from school at different times, you have to consider that and the time you serve dinner at home. If there is a wide gap from the time class ends and dinner time, then you have to give more filling snacks to sustain them until dinner.
- If your kids like peanut butter, then you can prepare peanut butter sandwiches with fresh fruit juice. Give them some celery sticks spread with peanut butter and raisins on top. You can add some crushed nuts and dried fruits for variety. They can also spread peanut butter on bananas and crunchy crackers.
- Fresh fruits in season make great after-school snacks. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and natural sugars to keep kids active and revive their tired bodies. Give them a selection of fruits like grapes, small apples, oranges, and bananas.
- Granola bars and trail mixes are handy snacks that keep well and do not require refrigeration. Raisins and cheese are also good after-school snacks.
- Bake some muffins with chopped fruits and nuts for a more complete snack. Include a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice.
- Dried fruits and nuts, a pouch of low-fat, low salt chips and juice are light and filing snacks. Keep a variety of chips that are your kids’ favorite to provide variety. The chips may be low in nutrients but eaten along with more nutritious food, it will be fine. Just do not make a habit of giving them store-bought chips as alternate snacks.
- Tortilla chips and some fresh salsa dip can be an alternative snack for older children. Use fresh tomatoes, onions, Chinese celery and a bit of chili for the salsa.
- You can slice some leftover fried chicken, grated cheese, chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce wrapped in whole-wheat tortilla for a fresh quesadilla that you can pop in the oven to heat. Serve this when dinner will be served late.
- Mix some crushed boiled eggs with mayonnaise, a bit of rock salt and pepper as an instant bread spread. Add some lettuce leaves and slices of fresh tomatoes to whole wheat bread for a nutritious and very filling snack. Serve with some lemon or orange juice.
- Pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave if you are in a hurry to feed your kid. Prepare a batch of iced tea or lemonade to quench their thirst. Popcorn is nutritious and easy to digest and makes a light and filing snack.
- Mix some tuna flakes with mayonnaise, a bit of rock salt and lemon juice. Use this as topping for crackers. Serve with a fresh fruit smoothie or yogurt.
Check with your kids what they want to eat for snacks and eliminate or limit the servings of those foods with low nutritional content. Give your kids different varieties so that they will not get bored and end up eating fat and sodium heavy commercial chips.