7 Healthy and Insanely Delicious After-School Snacks
These healthy after-school snacks will fill your kids without spoiling their dinner.
The Best After-School Snacks
No matter how much your kid love their lunch, it seems like little ones are always so hungry after school. Don’t risk spoiling their dinner with sweets or packaged salty snacks. We’ve rounded up seven of our favourite filling snacks that are both kid and parent approved.
Apple slices and Nut butter
Apples by themselves? Boring. Apples sliced up with a side serving of tasty nut butter and a dash of cinnamon to spread over top? Now we’re talking. The marvelous thing about nut butters is that they’re so much easier to find on grocery store shelves than even a few years ago (check the organic section if they’re not with the peanut butter). These days, you’ll find everything from almond butter to cashew butter on the shelves to healthier versions (go for varieties with no sugar or oil added) of plain-old peanut butter.
Homemade Cereal Bars and Muffins
Homemade cereal bars and muffins are not only compact and portable, but you can also make them in large batches and freeze in individual portions for added convenience. “Scour your favourite cookbooks and look for flavours your family loves,” suggests Mary Sue Waisman, registered dietitian, chef and founder of All About Food Nutrition Consulting. Need a little inspiration? Try our Breakfast Muffins and Chewy Walnut Trail Bars.
“A few cups of air-popped or low-fat popcorn is a healthy way to satisfy that crunch craving. Popcorn is also a source of fibre, which will help you feel fuller for longer,” says Ottawa-based registered dietitian Janie Hachey. “You can also enjoy a larger portion of this food, as two cups of popcorn has less calories and less fat than a small handful of chips,” she adds.
Inexpensive, tasty and well worth the effort, home-baked chickpeas will deliver not just crunch, but all-important fibre, iron and folate to your diet, says the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Not sure how to make them? The site offers up three tasty ways to serve them, savoury, sweet or Southwestern. You can make a big batch, cool them, and store for future snack attacks or surprise visitors.
Naturally sweet and full of health-promoting polyphenols (a compound that protects against heart disease), grapes can handily slay a rampant sugar craving. Increase grapes’ crunch factor by freezing them for a refreshing treat, which is also a sensible alternative to serving candy to kids. The Defeat Diabetes Foundation says to rinse and pat them dry, arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place grapes in the freezer until frozen. If you’re not eating them right away, transfer grapes to a freezer bag or airtight container for longer storage.
Baked Pita or Tortilla Chips
We’re not talking about the kind you buy prepackaged, liberally coated with salt and oil-this is the kind you make at home. Use your toaster to crisp up a small whole-wheat pita, then cut it into small wedges. Add a low-fat dip or even flavourful vinegar like balsamic mixed with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and you’ve got a snack that’s sophisticated enough for guests. Do the same with flour tortillas and your oven with this antioxidant-packed Best Health recipe for Tortilla Chips and Fresh Mango and Tomato Salsa.
You can’t go wrong with homemade trail mix-prepare your own custom blend of nuts, seeds and dried fruit for a portable and healthy snack option. Try our Walnut Trail Mix recipe for a heart-healthy snack packed with omega-3 and other nutrients.