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Healthy Living

Healthy Snack Ideas for Those After-School Cravings

Aug 2 2022

Most kids come home from the school day hungry for a snack. Not only can after-school snacks help hold kids over until dinner, but you can even sneak some healthy foods in with them.

Snacking is part of a healthy diet if smart choices are made. Your kids will probably want to head for chips and cookies, so being prepared with healthy options is the key.

Here are some ideas for easy, healthy snacks that keep kids fueled and are part of a well-balanced diet.

Stock up on grab and go snacks like:

  • Pretzels and hummus
  • Chopped veggies and fruit
  • Cheese cubes, string cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Low-fat tortilla chips and salsa
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Mini bagels and low-fat cream cheese
  • Granola bars
  • Popcorn
  • Applesauce

Designate a shelf in the refrigerator and pantry to hold snacks that are on the green list for kids to grab for themselves.

For healthy homemade snacks, think about your favorite recipes and how you can tweak with healthy ingredients.

  • Make homemade hummus and add in roasted red peppers for a new flavor as well as to sneak in an extra vegetable.  
  • Make your favorite dip using Greek yogurt rather than mayo.
  • Grill up some veggies to use as dippers or to blend into soups and sauces.
  • Make easy rollups with your child’s favorite spread. This can be sweet or savory. Add sliced bananas and peanut butter sprinkled with a few chocolate chips, or use cream cheese layered with lean deli meat. Slice into pinwheels for a fun way to serve.

Also, kids love to be part of the meal process. Creating healthy snacks is a great way to get them involved and to create healthy habits while learning life skills.

Here are some ways to get your kids involved with making their after-school snack.

  • Let kids build a snack with prepped ingredients. Chop veggies and fruit so they can build a plate filled with color and then add dressing, ranch dip or yogurt. Single-serve cheese or cubes, deli meats and crackers are perfect for kid-sized charcuterie. Hard-boiled eggs are a good source of protein and are easy to transform into a snack just by peeling. Have a variety of freshly washed fruit and vegetables, single-serve cheese, yogurt and hummus in the refrigerator to let them build a healthy snack.
  • Kids love things that are mini versions of the original. Help them make mini pizzas, bite-sized sandwiches or mini meatballs. All make tasty snacks and are simple to make in advance.
  • Most kids love sweets. Although you may want to limit the sweets there are some ways to cure the sweet tooth and provide a healthy option. From the simple apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar to fruit smoothies, your child can help to make the easy recipes. Make a banana split without the ice cream by filling a banana with other fruits or peanut butter and drizzle with a little chocolate syrup.

Learn about the nutrition services we offer at Mercy Health.

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