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Nutrition for Kids: 8 Healthy After-School Snacks

It’s 3 o’clock, the kids are on the way home from school- and you know they’re going to be hungry.  Chances are, they’re going to be more interested in grabbing a bag of chips or a sugary soda than raiding the fruit bowl to satisfy their hungry tummies.  Trying to come up with healthy snacks that provide nutrition for kids, and that they actually want to eat, can be challenging. Fret not, with some creativity, it can be done!  We’ve listed our top eight healthy and kid-friendly snacks that will not only satisfy their hunger, but also fuel them with the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong.  Give one (or all) a try, and we bet your kids will be asking for seconds in no time!

1. Peanut Butter and Banana

Peanut butter may just be one of the kid-friendliest foods out there, and conveniently, it makes a great after school snack!  Not only does this versatile spread taste great, but all the protein will hold your kids over until dinner time.  Want to step-up the health factor?  Make your own peanut butter out of natural, wholesome ingredients, or get creative and make spreads from other healthy nuts.  Almonds for example, make a great creamy spread.  Pair peanut (or whichever nut) butter with bananas for a classic, yet delicious snack.

2. Hummus

Hummus is a great healthy after-school snack for your kids!  It’s delicious, nutritious and can be paired with tons of different vegetables.  Serving sliced vegetables and yummy homemade hummus to your kids will keep them satisfied and encourage them to eat their vegetables- it’s a win- win!

3. Smoothies

A great way to get your kids to eat fruit (and maybe even some hidden vegetables) is to throw a bunch into the blender!  There are endless combinations of fruits and vegetables that result in a delicious smoothie- you’re bound to find at least one your kids will love.  You can even discover different combinations together.  For an extra punch of nutrients (to help keep them going until dinner), add a few scoops of Juice Plus+ Complete Shake Mix.  It’ll add some flavor, as well as an extra boost of protein and fiber from whole foods!

4. Guacamole

Guacamole is the perfect dish to turn any after-school snack into a fiesta! It couldn’t be easier to make, and it’s a great, healthy alternative to other creamy and fatty dips (such as ranch dressing).  It’s delicious served with sliced vegetables, or if your kids would rather keep it classic, baked whole wheat tortilla chips also make a great crunchy addition to this dip.

5. Chocolate Hazelnut Dip and Fruit

When your kids come home from school with a sweet tooth, this should be your go-to snack, Banana Chocolate Hazelnut dip.  It’s a much healthier alternative to candy, cookies and ice cream, and since it goes perfectly with fruit, it’s a great way to encourage your kids to snack on fresh fruit.  Strawberries, bananas, apples- whatever is in season will go deliciously with this dip, and your kids won’t be able to get enough!

6. Trail Mix

Trail mix is the perfect healthy and filling snack for kids on the go.  It’s full of protein to give busy kids the energy they need to make it through all of their activities, and the hint of sweetness will keep kids coming back for more.  You can even make trail mix in big batches ahead of time and dole out individual servings as you need them.  To make some, mix up any combination of nuts, seeds and dried fruits.  For an unexpected pop of flavor, add popcorn, dried edamame, chocolate pieces or whatever else you can think of. 

7. Homemade Frozen Fruit Pops

Summer is just around the corner. What better time to make frozen fruit pops with your kids?  Make them together ahead of time, and they’re the perfect quick and easy summertime snack.  Any and all fruit can be made into a frozen pop- check out this blog to see how many ways strawberries alone can be transformed in the freezer. Fruit pops are a great way to encourage your kids to love fruit!

8. Juice Plus+ Complete Nutrition Bars

Another great option to provide nutrition for kids on the go are Juice Plus+ Complete Nutrition Bars.  They’re packed with protein and fiber to keep your kids fueled and full all afternoon- and since they’re made by Juice Plus+, you know they’re made with only wholesome ingredients.  They are also super convenient to throw in your bag when you’re on the run between school and after-school activities. There couldn’t be an easier healthy snack to serve!

What’s your go-to healthy after-school snack?  Let us know in the comments!


References:

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/homemade-natural-toasted-almond-butter/
http://www.food.com/recipe/super-healthy-hummus-90086
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/whole-wheat-tortilla-chips-recipe.html
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/banana-chocolate-hazelnut-dip
http://www.superhealthykids.com/top-15-healthy-strawberry-popsicle-recipes/

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