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4 After-School Power Snacks

That’s a wrap on another beautiful, bountiful summer. We had swim dates with neighbor friends, oohed and ahhed over our growing garden, played ball on the green at the university’s student union, took long neighborhood walks, made countless healthy, homemade snacks, and most of all, enjoyed the simplicity of days free from schedules.

Now it’s go time. As my oldest son enters first grade at a new school, I’m certain his small world will grow a little bigger, and I’m hopeful his relationship with food will follow suit.  Although he doesn’t get excited about the standard three meals of the day, he loves snacks like he loves LEGOS—and that’s a lot. From his past year in kindergarten I learned that after school is prime time for snacking. So this year I’m heading into the school year prepared.

If you’re a parent who needs to feed a hungry kid (or two, or more!) after school, check out these recipes I collected to hit the ground running this year. A few are standard in my household and a few are new additions.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. My garden was bleeding zucchini in July, which provided inspiration to get more veggies into my boys. I didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat, so I used organic white flour. The texture was perfectly moist, and the shredded zucchini was undetectable. These muffins are just barely sweet, so you might want to kick up the maple syrup a bit. 

Not-Your-Average Trail Mix. This recipe calls for “your favorite granola,” so here’s mine. It’s amaranth, millet, and chia coated in salted chocolate. It’s basically healthy dessert. Take a few extra minutes to pre-package this trail mix; it’ll come in handy. The kids can come home, grab it, and go. Use small baggies or, for a more sustainable approach, small reusable containers.

*Tip: Toss a couple Juice Plus Chewables into each pack for added nutrition. 

Nut Butter Protein Bombs. If that name doesn’t get their attention, call them Oatmeal Cookie Balls. That might work better for kids who don’t care about clever marketing. Add an extra nutritional and flavor boost to this recipe by substituting Complete by Juice Plus+ French Vanilla Shake Mix for the protein powder in an equal amount. 

Secret Avocado Smoothie. The distinct flavor of pineapple will keep your secret every time you make these nutritious smoothies. This one’s a breeze to prepare because there’s no chopping. Serve room temp or make it frosty by using frozen banana and/or avocado.

*Tip: You can find pre-chopped avocado in the freezer section.

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