“What’s for snack? I’m hungry!!”
This is typically the first statement out of my children’s mouths as they rush into my arms after school. Well, at least they are hugging me when they say it, right?!
But really, come on guys, I know you are hungry, and I promise to feed you a snack but can we at least say “Hi” to each other? I will wait to question you on the details of your day until you are at least a few bites into your snack, I just want a genuine smile and if it is truly my lucky day an “I missed you Mommy.”
Guess what? It isn’t going to happen. I have come to that realization. I am blessed with children who have huge hearts who love to snuggle me, hug me, and share with me. But when they get home from school it is their bellies that begin growling at me through their words!
Good grief, you’d think they had not eaten all day.
So I have learned to be prepared. I try to have a snack waiting for them, ready to welcome them home from the day. At the beginning of the week, I list out several options on our meal planner, so they can have a few options immediately once dropping their shoes at the door.
And as I fuel them back up, they share with me little tidbits of their day. Snack time becomes a precious time. It is a moment to unwind from the day and take a break before homework and a time for me to connect with what when on in their world for the day.
I love snack time for those very precious reasons and for the fact that my small fries need the energy to grow and stay strong.
So let me help you prepare your arsenal of after school or mid-day healthy snacks that are sure to please your children and help you keep them on target for success.
- Fruit Smoothie: ¼ cup juice, ¼ cup plain yogurt, 1 cup fresh or frozen diced fruit
- Green Smoothie (This link includes a great treat for mint chocolate cookies as well!)
- Whole grain crackers with cheese slices
- Hummus with vegetable slices
- A sliced apple with 1 tablespoon nut butter
- Dried Fruit with 1 tablespoon nuts
- Trail Mix: Whole grain cereal (My choice is Barbara’s puffins for a bit of sweetness and crunch) mixed with raisins and nuts
- Guacamole/Salsa with serving of whole grain crackers or simple corn tortilla chips (limit to 1 serving of chips)
- Low sugar cereal with milk (Barbara’s is one of my favorites)
- Yogurt with fresh fruit and granola or my naturally sweetened yogurt
- Nitrate-free lunch meat rolled up with cheese and lettuce
- Homemade Granola Bars
- 100% Whole Wheat toast with nut spread and raisins
- Banana Cookies
- Homemade Lara Bars
- Whole grain muffin: Like my blueberry muffin or carrot cake muffin
- Blueberry chia seed pudding
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
- A small quesadilla. Here is a unique one to try: Pear and Gruyere Quesadilla
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bites
- Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake
*Think of snack time as an opportunity to reach dietary goals for the day. No veggies at lunch time, what about a slice of Zucchini bread or fresh veggie sticks with hummus? Need a dose of dairy? Try yogurt of sliced cheese with fresh fruit. Haven’t had a treat in awhile, surprise your children with some freshly baked cookies. Don’t think of snacks as just fillers, think of it as an opportunity to nourish your growing child. After all, most children eat better at snack time than at meal time.
*For those days you are on the run, out of town, need a quick snack to grab, here are a few of my favorite Store Bought Treats.
*For inspiration more inspiration, check out my article on Healthy School Lunches over at Atlanta with Kid.