Easy, Healthy After School Snacks

Easy, Healthy After School Snacks

I’m gearing up for the start of school and trying to remember my arsenal of snacks for after school. Kiddo is usually ravenous when he gets home. By the state of his half-eaten lunch, I’m guessing he thinks socializing is a substitute for eating.

If I don’t give him a substantial snack, he is whining again by 4:30. And since I measure parental success with a whine-O-meter the snack must be filling. Here are some snack choices that work for us. I won’t guarantee that they are mind-blowingly original, but sometimes it’s nice to have  a reminder. I also don’t guarantee a whine-free afternoon.

But look! There are 5, exactly the same as the number of afternoons in the school week. What a coincidence.

Please note: I am not a food photographer! Ha.

1. Homemade Power Bars. If your children expect a sweet treat after school try these. Made with dates (sometimes I use dried figs or apricots, too), they are as sweet as a cookie with none of the sugar. These are also good to carry with you at school pick up time for immediate gratification of hungry tummies. Click here to find the recipe I posted earlier this year.

2. Peanut Butter Apple, aka the “number apple” “letter apple” or “happy apple”, depending on the funny design I (or the kids) make with the raisins. Simply cut an apple in half, smear with nut butter and decorate with raisins.

3. Peanut Butter Banana. This is one of New Kid’s favorite snacks. Slice a banana lengthwise, fill with nut butter and press halves together. If you are feeling adventurous, sprinkle the nut butter with coconut flakes or dark chocolate chips before sandwiching. You can keep these pre-made in the freezer, but don’t thaw them before serving because they get really mushy if you do that. My kids will eat them frozen.

4. Pizza Toasts. Pizza toasts take surprisingly little effort. I use whole grain bread or sprouted wheat English muffins, tomato paste (paste is thicker and has more concentrated nutrition than typical sauce, plus it is free from sugar, unlike many packaged sauces), frozen broccoli and cheese. Bake at 450 for about 5-10 minutes. I always put the cheese on top, it keeps the broccoli in place.  I have been known on many, many occasions to serve this for dinner, but it is so quick it’s a good snack, too.

5. Roasted Chickpeas. These take a little more planning because the cooking time is lengthy, but they are not hard to make. You can make them before pick up and let them cool while you fetch the kids from school or the bus stop. Here’s my recipe.

What are your favorite whole food after school snacks that go beyond fruit and a cheese stick (yes, we like that, too)? Leave a comment and help me feed my hungry kids!

Note for nerds: I really, really wanted to use the word “healthful” instead of “healthy”, but since I make plenty of other mistakes, I might as well cave on this one since using “healthful” would only serve to make me sound pretentious. No one uses “healthful” any more. Sigh. Never fear, I will never give up the fight on less v. fewer.

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Comments

  1. Our favorite after school snack is not terribly creative, but it's always a hit: popcorn (with lots of yummy butter, of course). It's perfect when Tatum has soccer practice after school because it's not too heavy but it fills her up. We always have our popcorn with some raw milk…. Yum! They also love peanut butter toast or my homemade sprouted crackers with hummus or cream cheese.

  2. Sorry, I am no help when it comes to healthy snacks. My healthiest is probably a milk shake with fruit or fruit popsicle.

  3. That's too bad about it not filling him up. My number one goal for after school snacks is to make sure they won't be asking for more food before dinner, so I hear you!

    I often make smoothies for myself in the morning, and whenever I have extra in my blender I put it in the Popsicle mold. Those are always a hit, and it's the only way I can get Tatum to eat yogurt or kefir.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is sugar in dates. Albeit, not as much as cookies, but there is sugar so saying there is no sugar is very misleading.

    • Yes, you are correct: there is sugar in dates in the same way that there is sugar in any whole fruit, be it an apple or a plum. There is, however, no Added sugar in dates in the way you use a cup of white or brown sugar when you make cookie. The difference, as I'm sure you or any nutritionist would agree, is huge.

  5. I have been meaning to try those Chick Peas. Thanks for sharing all these great recipes at the Kids Coop. I am a new follower. Hope to see you at True Aim!

  6. I love the banana and apple idea's, and I make those chick peas all the time one of my favorite snacks! Great ideas, I would love for you to share this on our Made by or for kids linky http://wemadethat.blogspot.com/2012/09/we-made-that-linky-3.html

  7. All great ideas! We love peanut butter bananas too, but I never thought to make it like a sandwich. That would make it much easier for my toddler to hold it for himself! Thanks for linking up to Snacktime Saturday!

  8. Yum, I need to try those roasted chickpeas ASAP! So glad you shared at Snacktime Saturday, hope to see you back this weekend :)

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