Just found this post in my drafts. It was buried for two years! The kids are older but the content is still relevant so here it goes.
We're getting ready for gearing up for back to school season, and with that we've already started brainstorming and testing some after school snacks we'll put on our family menu this year.
I like to joke and say that snack-time is the most important meal of the day. Of course breakfast, lunch, and dinner is crucial to a healthy diet but in order for lunch or dinner to be a real success then what kids eat before those two meals makes a huge difference.
Normally, the one meal we get to eat together as a family is dinner. It's a special time for our family, where we get to sit together and enjoy each other's company and talk about our day as we share a nutritious meal together. In order to guarantee that dinner will be a success I usually plan out a weekly dinner menu. Fridays nights is always home-made pizza night. However, even with the best of intentions dinner doesn't always go the way I planned. By 5:00pm the kids are starving. They don't want to wait another 30 minutes until the quiche is done baking. They want food and they want it now.
I realized that in order for dinner to be a success I need to make sure their after-school snack is more than just a handful of cheese crackers. I like to think of their after-school snack as a mini-meal, where they get protein and iron, and lot's of vitamins, not just carbs or sweet treats. When they have a good after school snack they can hold out until dinner without melting down. When they have a good after-school snack, with healthy ingredients, they are less whinny about the nutritious food I make for dinner.
Here are some ideas for protein rich, and of couse full of flavor, after school snacks your kids are sure to enjoy.
1- Mini Skewers
Not only is this a quick snack to make, it is also one my toddler can help me assemble. Some of our favorite ingredients are - chicken, cucumbers, cheese, and tomatoes.
2 - Chicken-n-Dip
Dipping is fun. Sometimes, when my kids don't want to eat their chicken or their veggies I bust out their favorite dip and voila! they're all of a sudden excited about their snack.
You can use muffin tins, or individual tins or ramekins, the concept is the same. Do you have a child who hates it when their food touches? I do! Putting individual servings into separate compartments makes it easy for my son to enjoy his after school snack. His favorite - chicken, celery, carrots, and almonds. My daughter's favorite - chicken, tomatoes, grapes, and black olives. What about your kids, what do they enjoy?
4 - Chicken Nachos
My kids love homemade nachos. I love them because they're so easy to make. Instead of just handing them over a bag of potato chips I prefer something a little more healthy. Baked corn tortillas with a handful of cheese and a few pieces of left over chicken microwaved for 30 seconds (who doesn't love melted cheese?), is always a winner at my house.
What about you, are there are after school snacks your kids love?
For more after-school snack ideas scroll through my Foodie collection!
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