Fun, Simple and Healthy After-School Snacks
If you have kids coming in the door after school every day, then you no doubt have hungry kids. Kids are usually ravenous around the time school gets out, and healthy snacks are a must have to get them through until the dinner hour.
How can you satisfy your children’s snacking yet avoid the trap of buying processed, over-sugary, over-salty snacks and keep your children eating healthfully? Here are some great tips and ideas for healthy snacking that won’t take all of your time or all of your money either!
Your microwave is a great resource for quick snacks, but it isn’t necessary to use the microwave for frozen pocket sandwiches or pizza rolls. Did you know you can make baked apples in the microwave oven? Core apples, leaving the bottoms intact, and place in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle each cavity with cinnamon, and some chopped nuts and raisins. Drizzle with honey or brown sugar, add a dab of butter, and cover with the lid or plastic wrap. Cook until tender, about 3 ½ to 4 minutes, usually. Serve while still warm!
Microwaves also cook up eggs in a jiffy, make an omelet by spraying a mug with non-stick spray and adding a whole egg. Beat the egg in the mug, adding some grated cheese, and perhaps diced bell peppers or mushrooms, or some chopped deli turkey or ham. Cook for 1 minute and serve. This is a great breakfast idea too!
Celery sticks with peanut butter or almond butter are always a crowd pleaser! And keep it fun for the kids by setting out small dishes of raisins and chopped nuts on the table, along with celery stalks and the peanut or almond butter. Let the kids sit at the Dining Table and enjoy this fun and simple yet healthy snack. String cheese, plain yogurt with fresh fruit and honey, or a handful of almonds, walnuts, raisins, and just a FEW chocolate chips are other healthful choices.
Of course, fresh seasonal fruit is always a great choice. If possible, remember to buy local and buy seasonal, for optimal health benefits. Some fruits are messier than others, but sliced apples or pears are a snap, and can be enjoyed in the family room while relaxing on the couch and working on homework on the Coffee Table.
Healthy pizzas can be made with tortillas or pita breads, some pasta sauce, and a selection of fresh chopped vegetables and cheese. For an extra treat let the kids build their own, then cook up in the oven until toasty.
Just remember, the habits you instill in your children right in your own kitchen will guide their choices later. Keep your refrigerator stocked with healthful choices and that will become their preference. Save the sugary snacks for rare, occasional treats, like a birthday or holiday celebration.