Healthy After-School Snacks
Feeding kids healthy snacks can be hard, especially when they come home from school ravenously hungry! I like to keep my kitchen stocked with healthy food that’s easy to serve and here are my kids favorite after-school snacks.
Ingredients to Avoid
First, to keep things healthy, here are the main things I avoid feeding my kids and why:
- Artificial dyes – many parents have found they make their kids more hyperactive. Not a good thing at all for school and homework time!
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – also makes kids more hyperactive and is even linked to ADD and ADHD!
- Anything with more than 10 grams of sugar per serving – any more than that and your child’s blood sugar will quickly spike, adding to behavioral problems and hyperactivity. Kids do not need more than 25 grams of sugar per day.
Healthy After School Snacks
- Any kind of fruit – blueberries, strawberries, and slices of apples, pears, oranges, peaches, plums, apricots, and bananas. I just put them on a plate and my kids attack them like a bunch of bear cubs!
- Fruit Yogurt Dip – make a yogurt dip with plain yogurt and some honey to make it even more fun to eat fruit. This also adds some protein!
- Yogurt – I suggest buying plain, whole milk yogurt. Most yogurt, especially ones that are marketed to kids, have a TON of sugar in them (often more than 15 to 20 grams)! Add some honey, cane sugar or fruit to it to sweeten it up. Make this yourself with a yogurt maker to have yogurt that’s LOADED with probiotics! My favorite store-bought yogurt is from Stonyfield Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt.
- Turkey and cheese roll ups – these are big in my house! Just take a slice of turkey and a slice of cheese, roll it up like a sleeping bag, and put a toothpick through it. Therefore it’s a quick source of protein that holds my kids over until dinner!
- Avocados – such a nutrient dense, filling food full of good fats! Fats are essential to brain health and growth. Can’t say enough good about avocados. My two-year-old eats this healthy snack with a spoon!
- Nuts and Seeds – I like to get nut mixes from the grocery store, organic is definitely better as they do spray a lot of pesticides on nut trees.
- Coconut Flakes/Chips – I’ve written many times on the blog about the amazing nutrition coconut products offer. Coconut flakes are like little chips – mix them in with the seeds for a healthy trail mix, or add milk to it to make a very healthy cereal! Buy Here.
- Green Peas – we buy organic frozen green peas and eat them almost every day. My kids even like them frozen right out of the bag! So easy and SO full of nutrition!
- Hard Boiled Eggs – tons of protein! Make sure to buy ones from free-range chickens with no antibiotics or hormones.
- Homemade Popcorn – buy organic popcorn kernels (non GMO is best) and make them at home over the stove. It takes about 5 minutes and it’s one of our favorite snacks.
- Nut Butters – these are your friend! Peanut, almond and even sunflower seed oils are all tasty but make SURE to purchase the ones without added sugar. We spread them on apples, bananas, organic brown rice cakes and sprouted bread.
- Sprouted Bread, Either Homemade or Store-Bought – makes for a super, nutrient dense, non-irritating food. Ezekiel Bread is a great store bought option, which is sold in the local grocery store, both at Kroger and Publix, in the frozen foods section.
- Grab and Go Veggies – organic baby carrots, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas and even raw broccoli – my kids like all of these.
- Raw, Organic Cheese or Goat Cheese – cheese made from raw milk (which does exist even at Kroger!) is much healthier as it comes from healthy cows and contains the digestive enzymes that help us digest it (a major reason why so many are sensitive to dairy products is because they are stripped of the original enzymes). For instance, I cut up slices and put them on a plate for my kids to snatch up.
- Homemade Chia Seed Fruit Pudding – get the recipe here.
- Healthy Homemade Cereal – this cereal is loaded with nutrition and a great healthy after-school snack option! Get the recipe here.