Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Healthy After-School Snacks

If your kids are like mine, they come home from school HUNGRY. I’ve been working a lot on packing healthy lunches for them, and consequently on providing healthy snacks for when they get home. If you’re out of ideas, here are a few oldies (but goodies!) and a few new ideas for you to try with your kids.

1. Variations on “ants on a log”. I bet we can all remember having a celery stalk with peanut butter and raisins, but you can also halve a thick carrot and add the toppings the same way! Try a different kind of nut butter (or sun butter) for a new flavor, add honey if your sweetie likes sweets, and if your kids don’t like raisins, try Craisins for a similar effect with a tart pop!

2. Peanut butter on anything. Speaking of that wonderful creation: peanut butter. It goes with anything. Apples, bananas, carrots, celery, on lots of different kinds of bread (try tortillas, pita, or naan), rice cakes, or just on a spoon. My friend’s mom used to make “fruit pizza”, which was pizza crust or pita, with a layer of peanut butter and honey (or caramel for a treat), with bites of fruit, nuts, and granola sprinkled on top. It was a major win, especially if you need a snack that’s multiple servings.

3. Tortilla sushi. You can take a tortilla and put a thin layer of mayo or mustard, deli meat, lettuce, and cheese, roll it tightly, and slice it into “sushi bites”. It transforms a “boring” wrap into a fun snack! As you can imagine, peanut butter and jelly (I buy Polaner’s Fruit Spread that’s sweetened with only fruit juice) works just as well! Or, if your kids are like mine, picking up a California roll for some REAL sushi is a hit, too!

4. Chips and salsa or guac. With this one, the fresher the better. Grab some avocados from Costco or Trader Joe’s, add tomatoes, some onion, lime juice, salt and pepper, and you’ve got yourself a pleasing and healthy guacamole for an easy snack. Lots of grocery stores have Wholly Guacamole if you aren’t a cook, or some fresh-made salsa in their deli section. We like black bean and corn salsa for its protein, too, easily whipped up with tomato, onion, lime juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Try a new salsa on your kids!

5. Protein bites. These no-bake treats are so easy! I came across my favorite recipe on Pinterest, but a quick search for “protein balls” or “energy bites” will reveal hundreds of ideas in a second. My usual ingredients include dry oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, ground flaxseed, honey, Craisins, and vanilla. There are so many flavors out there to try, and they’re all pretty easy!

6. Healthy muffins. I have discovered a food blog that’s quite literally changed my life. BrenDid.com has tons of different healthy muffin recipes and I haven’t made one yet that my kids haven’t devoured. Almost all her muffin recipes are sugar free, oil free, and gluten free! Everything from pumpkin muffins to chocolate peanut butter muffins, even the plain oatmeal muffins (with any type of add-in you can think of) are a hit with my kids. We eat them for breakfast, or I send them in their lunches, or we snack on them. They’re whipped up in the blender and totally yummy!

7. Hummus. Easy to eat on veggies, chips, or pita, hummus is a versatile and delicious snack. If you’ve never tried your hand at making hummus, there are very few ingredients and all you do is toss them in your blender! I recommend trying a new hummus recipe (just get on Pinterest, y’all!) and even let your kids help you make it! (If your family usually likes Greek or Mediterranean food, try making some tzatziki, too!)

8. Apple cheddar toast. This may sound crazy, but one of the most delightful snacks is cheddar cheese melted on toast, with a (still cold) Granny Smith apple sliced on top. Savory and sweet, hot and cold, crunchy and melted cheese? Those are three winning combinations, not to mention healthy!

I hope I gave you a few new ideas for healthy snacks (or even lunches) to please the hungry brood at your house. What other suggestions do you have for healthy snacks?

We’re eating all the fruit.

One of the changes we’ve made at our house to be a little more healthy is to have healthier snack options. Yes, I love Cheetos. However, I know that there are approximately 2,463,910 healthier snacks. We’ve been keeping Pretzel Crisps (we like the “Everything” flavor) and Nut Thins to eat with cheese, and tons of fruit as our preferred snacks. (Unless I’ve recently made those spiced pumpkin muffins from Against All Grain. Then all bets are off.)

My kids love the fruit. And I don’t mean a little bit. They are fruit nuts (see what I did there?) and so a trip to the grocery store is colorful and fresh and often. We buy berries of all kinds (twice as much if they’re on sale), grapes, bananas, apples, plums, and anything else the looks good or is cheap.

Today the grocery trip wore them out, so I had a double nap (WIN!) to do a little more to the fruit than usual. Often, I only have time to throw it in the fridge, and then I’m distracted doing something else. But since I had time today, I decided to take the fruit snacking thing to the next level.

I took the blueberries, strawberries and grapes we bought and gave them a vinegar rinse. I got this ideal from my mom… apparently a vinegar rinse kills bacteria that causes fruit to mold after a few days. Her “recipe” is 1/4 cup white vinegar for every gallon of water. My “recipe” is put the fruit in a bowl of water, dribble some white vinegar in there, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Seems to work just as well.

The next thing I did was to semi-prepare the fruit so that when my kids want some, I can just toss it in a bowl for them and it’s ready. I cut the tops off all the strawberries, pulled the grapes off the stems, and even quartered a small bowl of them (J can’t eat them whole yet). Blueberries are, well, ready. Obviously.

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All of this took me about half an hour, but I was also doing some dishes and talking on the phone, so I didn’t feel like it was wasted. And now J is eating his bowl of quartered grapes and I’m blogging about it, instead of quartering them now!

What are some healthy snacks you like munching on? Do your kids love fruit as much as mine do?

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Just because I have to include a picture of my cute kiddo 🙂