I'm gearing up for the start of school and trying to remember my arsenal of snacks for after school. My 6 year old 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 added 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!