Kids eat at school, right? Then why do they come home like they haven’t seen a speck of food in days?! Something must happen on that bus ride home. For your sake and theirs, an after school snack needs to be three things (in my opinion, anyway) – fast, simple, and healthy.
Sure, scarfing down potato chips or cookies is simple enough, but it also can make a person d-r-a-g for the rest of the day. Having a more balanced after school snack with protein is definitely a priority in our home. Here’s a few simple options to try.
Guacamole / Hummus with Veggies
An easy go-to, veggies and dip is sure to please. Guacamole is easy to make at home- mash up a ripe avocado with some lime juice, spices, chopped tomatoes and onions. Store bought is good, too! We love to make our own hummus at home too, but store bought is fast and easy.
Have you tried a protein ball before? (They’re sometimes also called energy bites.) They are addicting and delicious. Essentially, they are a combination of oats, honey, peanut/almond/sun butter, and various other add-ins like chocolate chips, dried cranberries, flax seeds, etc. The possibilities are endless. Here’s some simple recipes.
Take a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, fold in half and microwave for one minute. Use salsa and plain greek yogurt as dips. Done and done! (This doesn’t really require a recipe, but here’s one to check out anyway 🙂 )
A super simple option for a healthy afternoon snack is a smoothie. By always having frozen fruit at the ready, a smoothie is only two minutes away. I like to add plain greek yogurt and frozen spinach or kale (if we don’t have any fresh) to up the nutrients. My current favorite combination – frozen banana, strawberries, mango, and blueberries blended with kale, plain greek yogurt, honey, flax seed, and cinnamon.
Using either an English muffin (love the high fiber / high protein options) or a mini pita, I spread marinara sauce on top and add shredded mozzarella cheese and the various toppings of your choice (turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, etc). I pop them in my [toaster] oven at 350* for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. This particular recipe is a bit more grown-up geared, but can easily be tweaked for kids.