10 Healthy After School Snacks

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It’s pretty natural to catch your kids rummaging through the fridge or pantry right after they get home from school. They need proper nourishment for their growing bodies, and sometimes dinner is just too long of a wait for their next meal. With that in mind, it’s essential to have healthy and nutritious after school snacks readily available. Here are ten after school snacks you can try that are quick and easy to make:

1. Vegetable Dippers

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Vegetable dippers are an excellent treat for your kids to munch on. It’s a great way to get them to eat the vegetables they usually avoid on their dinner plate. Start by picking out the vegetables you want to serve your kids. These vegetables seem to work best:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers

Then, either purchase or make a healthy vegetable dip. Hummus, Greek yogurt, and homemade salsa make great dips and can even add more protein and other essential nutrients to this fantastic healthy after school snack.

2. Fruit Wedges

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Fruit wedges are an everyday staple for healthy after school snacks. All you have to do is pick out an assortment of fruits that can be chopped into fun, bite-size pieces, chill them in the fridge overnight, then serve them the next day. Cantaloupes, pineapples, and melons work well for this dish. Try serving them with a tiny dash of salt for an interesting sweet-and-salty flavor.

3. Whole Grain Graham Crackers

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You might want to avoid a heavy helping of carbs that might make your kids too complete for dinner for an after school snack. Instead of cookies or cupcakes, try serving them some whole-grain graham crackers instead to satisfy their sweet tooth. You can even spread on a little low-fat yogurt or frozen yogurt right before serving them for an even tastier treat. Using these foods as a spread is healthier than serving them as an entire snack.

4. Tuna and Crackers

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Squeeze in a bit of protein in their after school snack with some tuna and crackers. Aim for whole-grain crackers with little or no salt, and avoid adding unhealthy condiments to the tuna-like mayonnaise. If anything, try adding a tiny dollop of sweet relish to the tuna to give it some zest. It is a great, healthy after school snack because it provides your kids with beneficial omega-three fatty acids.

5. Skinny Parfait

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Head to the store and grab some low-fat or non-fat yogurt for your kids. It might not seem appealing at first, but with a couple of easy ingredients, you can transform this simple dairy food into a healthy and delicious skinny parfait:

  • Throw some of your child’s favorite sugar-free breakfast cereal into a cup.
  • Add a layer of yogurt to the cereal.
  • Cover the yogurt with strawberries or any other type of sweet berry your child would like. Bananas also work well.
  • Add a second layer of yogurt and some more cereal to top it all off!
  • You can prepare the skinny parfait in the morning or the night before and leave it in the fridge for your kids to eat after school.

6. Unsweetened Applesauce with Cinnamon

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Many parents can easily mistake a cup of applesauce to be a healthy after school snack. After all, it’s apples in puree form. Unfortunately, many brands you’ll find at the supermarket contain an excessive amount of sugar to make the applesauce sweet. You can try making your applesauce at home with ripe apples or buying unsweetened applesauce for a healthier alternative for your kids. Add a dash of cinnamon to give the applesauce more flavor.

7. Fruit Smoothies

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A healthy fruit smoothie is a great way to get your kids a boost in vitamin C while keeping things fun and refreshing. Choose their favorite fruits to throw in a blender with some ice and yogurt. You can even add a little honey to sweeten the mix. If you want to be a little more creative, this is a great time to get your kids to eat some vegetables without them knowing. Just puree some of their most hated vegetables, like spinach or broccoli, and add them to the mixture. Just be sure not to add too much vegetable puree to the smoothie. You still want the fruit flavors to mask the vegetables, or your kids won’t drink them.

8. Chocolate Dipped Bananas

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Here’s an easy after school snack to make:

  • Split some bananas into halves.
  • Dip the halved bananas in some melted, dark chocolate.
  • Freeze the dipped bananas overnight, then serve.

This is a healthy after school snack that will give your kids a good boost in calcium and potassium and some beneficial flavonols from dark chocolate. Just make sure you only dip the tips of the bananas into the dark chocolate for a healthier snack.

9. Trail Mix

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Trail mix is a traditional after school snack that most kids love. Avoid the store-bought mixes that might not be the healthiest options for your kids and often include chocolate. Instead, try buying your unsalted peanuts, walnuts, and almonds mixed with raisins.

10. Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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If you’ve got older kids or kids who need more than some crackers and fruits for a healthy after school snack, try making them some chicken lettuce wraps. Make sure you use chicken breast to get the leanest, healthiest part of the chicken for the wraps. Using lettuce instead of a flour-based wrap should keep them from getting too full before dinner.

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