Snacks that won’t bite back? Yes, you heard us correctly, but we aren’t talking about your food jumping off the plate and attacking you (unless you live in the Amazon or something); we’re actually talking about those after-school snacks that all kids crave when they walk through the front door after a long day of learning and running around the playground with their friends.
We’ve put together a few ideas that are quick and easy, and most of all, they’re actually healthy for your kids—and we’re pretty sure they’ll love them as much as you will.
When putting together after-school snacks for your kids, there is really only one specific guideline to follow, as taken from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ChooseMyPlate.gov website: make snacks that include at least two food groups.
We would also like to add that it’s a good idea to pair foods that are carbohydrate-rich with foods that are high in protein, like berries and yogurt, crackers and nut-butter spread, cheese and apples, and so on.
The following are the five food groups to consider when putting together some healthy snacks for your kids:
- Grains – dry cereal that is in low sugar or has no added sugar; whole grain crackers; mini rice cakes; mini bagels; whole wheat tortillas; graham crackers.
- Vegetables – carrots, zucchini, celery, or bell pepper rings cut “matchstick” thin to make them more fun to eat; cherry tomatoes; steamed broccoli with shredded cheese on top; green beans with sliced almonds; sugar peas; avocados, sliced and with a little salt and pepper to taste.
- Fruits – apples are very versatile and can be served with dips, cheese, or yogurts; strawberries; bananas; kiwis; grapes; nectarines; peaches; berries. Avoid dried fruits as they tend to stick to teeth, which can lead to cavities.
- Dairy – cheese slices or string cheese sticks; yogurt; kefir; cottage cheese; cream cheese spread for spreading on breads, crackers, or tortillas. If your child has a lactose sensitivity, there are products that are lactose-free.
- Protein Foods – boiled egg slices or wedges; bean dip; hummus; sliced turkey, chicken, or ham; shelled pumpkin seeds; kale chips (1 cup of chopped kale contains 2.9 grams of protein)
When mixing the different food groups, you can mix more than two of the groups together, such as:
- peanut butter and sliced bananas on whole wheat bread
- caprese kabob
- hummus and pita chips
- black bean and corn quesadillas
- pizza—any kind
Have fun putting together different snacks, and include your kids in the process to make it more fun.
A Healthy Mouth Is a Happy Mouth!