After a long day at school your kid is bound to get snacky.
It’s therefore important to navigate the time between when your kid gets home & the start of dinner, so you can make sure they’re not spoiling all of the nutritious benefits of supper in fits of hunger.
To help you discover food options that will both thrill and fill your young one(s), we’ve devised a list of the best healthy after school snacks.
Got any personal favorites? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Image Source: Spruce Eats
Somewhere between ice cream and a milkshake, smoothies provide a deceptively creamy texture that kids of any age (from toddlers to teens) will love.
The best part is they’re simple to make.
Some of the easiest versions call for fresh fruit, regular or frozen yogurt, and milk alternatives that are Almond or Soy-based.
Alternatively, water or juice can be used to make non-dairy fruit smoothies. Edible seeds, such as Chia or Flax, can also be added for their health benefits without risk to flavor (Flaxseeds, for example, contain a great deal of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids).
Turning smoothies into popsicles or ice cream is another way to help your kids get their daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Acai bowls are one of the healthiest fads at the moment.
It’s no wonder why.
Paired with the sweet tastes of fruits, nuts (optional), and seeds, the antioxidant-rich South American superfruit, which is ground into a paste similar in texture of sorbet is a great, make great after school snacks for your kids.
There are several versions which are based around certain staples, like blueberries, coconut flakes, pineapples, etc etc.
Image Source: Spruce Eats
Making snacks after school with your kids, such as granola bars or gummy bears is a great way to bond with them.
In addition, it’s also a great way to make sure all of the nutritious value you want to be in your kids’ snacks are present; with little to no bad things available (preservatives, too much sugar, sodium, etc).
One recipe for gummy bears that your kids will love substitutes gelatin for agar - a gelatinous substance made from seaweed (vegan).
But there are also many versions which use its non-vegan cousin gelatin instead.
The most ideal way to prepare them is using fruit juice; preferably homemade juice as there are no additives used.
Fruit Leather Recipe
Image Source: Simply Recipes
Like gummy bears, fruit leather is another crowd-pleaser for whenever your kids have a sweet tooth. What’s more, making them from scratch provides a great alternative to snacks like Fruit Rollups & Gushers.
Although the process may seem complicated, this simple recipe uses standard kitchen appliances to get the job done. It doesn’t even require a dehydrator, as many similar recipes do.
No Bake Vegan Goodness
Image Source: Beaming Baker
Healthy. Gluten-Free. Vegan.
For adults and kids alike, these words often conjure up images of flavorless entrees. But in reality, there are ways to use them that don’t include skimming out on flavor.
Exhibit A (Photo Above).
These brownie bites have walnuts, almonds, dates, cocoa powder, coconut flakes and a pinch of salt.
In a snack combo (Ex. Chips and Dip), swap a less healthy option for a healthier one.
Sometimes we can dramatically increase our nutritional intake by simply changing one part of a meal.
For example, instead of having chips and dip, we can swap the chips for unsalted crackers, celery or carrots.
But as dips can be loaded with unhealthy ingredients, we should still opt for more wholesale brands or homemade options, like Terra Fina or DIY Tzatziki dip.
Healthy alternatives to chips and dips make perfect after school snacks that your kids can indulge in with their friends,
Image Source: Family Food on the Table
Another tasty option that is better homemade than store bought and perfect for kids is applesauce.
You can make it its original flavor, or opt for special versions such as mango, peach, strawberry and blueberry.
Image Source: Yummy Toddler Food
Fried chickpeas are a great alternative to popcorn for when you’re home with your kids having a movie night.
They’re also probably the easiest snack to make on the list.
Chickpeas are a great source of nutrients, including dietary fiber, plant protein, as well as providing a host of essential vitamins and minerals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, etc.
Image Source: Crazy Little Projects
If your kid doesn’t already, the secret to getting them to love trail mix is in the variety.
Pretzels, sesame sticks, dried bananas, wasabi peas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, even cereal and gummy bears can add some more flavor to the average trail mix.
Of course, what you include in your trail mix should be age appropriate to account for issues that younger kids can have with swallowing. However, most of these foods can be eaten by both elementary- and teen- aged kids.
Image Source: Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Lastly, avocado-based dips like guacamole will make your kid want to eat their veggies.
Most recipes call for an avocado, lime, garlic, cilantro, etc. Of course, you can choose to remove the spicy chipotles in adobo or chili powder entirely depending on the age of your young one.
Healthy after school snacks should help tide your kids over until dinner. However, they should also be healthy enough that they can be enjoyed in overabundance without adverse health risks over time.
The great thing about all of these recipes is that they are so simple they can easily be taught to your kids.
Teaching your kids how to make them during the times when you’re not home or have not yet finished dinner will set the foundations for self-care and health conscious behaviors later on.
Whether you make your kids after school snacks or leave them out for your kids to make, be sure to mix it up!
Make sure you provide a different recipe every few days to give your kids something new to munch on.
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