How to Make Healthy After-School Snacks Your Kids Will Eat
When it comes to afternoon snacks for your children, tasting good and being healthy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. It just takes a little planning.
Step 1: Get the kids involved Give your children a list of healthy options. If they insist on an empty calorie treat like potato chips or cookies, see if you can find a recipe for a more nutritious, homemade version – like baking thinly-sliced yams brushed with a little olive oil until they’re crisp, or making cookies out of natural peanut butter.
TIP: Use applesauce instead of butter in baked goods. Make cookies and muffins with oats, dried fruit, and nuts.
Step 2: Plan your shopping Plan your shopping list for a week's worth of after-school snacks before going to the grocery store. Decide whether you will prepare snacks ahead of time or make them daily.
TIP: If time is an issue, prepare snacks ahead of time and package them individually for ease of availability.
Step 3: Make a dip Make a dip to accompany some of the snacks. For fruit, make a sweet dip with flavored yogurt or apple sauce. For veggies make a low-calorie ranch dip. Grains such as baked tortilla chips or whole wheat crackers go well with salsa or hummus.
Step 4: Plan activities Make snack time interactive. Let the kids construct their own kid-sized pizzas, or pile assorted fruits onto toothpick skewers for a fruit kabob.
TIP: Use low-fat mozzarella and a whole-grain English muffin or pita for kid-sized pizza.
Step 5: Try frozen snacks Freeze bananas and then roll them in low-fat chocolate sauce and nuts. Make your own frozen pops out of pure pureed fruit. Or offer them a handful of frozen grapes. Anything fruity that comes out of the freezer will seem like an ice cream treat.
Step 6: Be open to non-traditional snacks Don’t become boxed in by what you feel a 'snack' should look like. It can be a petite portion of whatever your child likes to eat. The important thing is that it’s nutritious and not too caloric. Happy noshing!
FACT: A healthy after-school snack helps active kids with fast metabolism to concentrate better on homework.