School’s back in! And while you’ll be enjoying a little more peace and quiet in the house during the day, you’ve still got a child (or a whole army of children) to feed as soon as they get back home each afternoon. But what can you make for kids that they’ll actually eat, without spoiling their appetite, and that will satisfy their post-school hunger? We’ve put together a list of 10 fun, interactive, healthy snacks that will give students a boost of long-lasting energy without a temporary sugar high. With these protein-packed snacks, they’ll still be hungry for dinner!
1. Baked sweet potato chips
Sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, as well as many other important nutrients. Baking sweet potato chips involves a little prep, but these colorful snacks are can be fun both to make and to eat. If you’re making them with your kids, just be sure an adult handles the slicing. Keep them in an airtight bag for a quick go-to when the kids come through the door, or when you’re on the run in the car.
2. Hummus with carrots
Another colorful snack, carrots are a great hunger-satisfier because of both their fiber and their crunchy texture. Kids will really enjoy dunking carrot sticks in homemade hummus–a surprisingly quick, easy thing to make–to pack a real protein punch. Store-bought hummus can also be just a good!
3. Ants on a log
A favorite of kids and parents alike, ants on a log are both delicious and nostalgic. They’re even fun to assemble! Just grab some fresh-cut celery stalks, load them up with peanut butter, and add raisins. The result? A great combo of crisp, salty, and sweet tastes that’s as fun to make as it is to eat!
4. String cheese
No assembly required! String cheese is the perfect snack when you’re on the go. The combination of protein and fat are sure to keep kids feeling fueled up for extracurricular activities.
5. Cucumbers with cream cheese on a cracker
The balance of fiber, protein, fat, and carbohydrates make this a satisfying snack. Bright green cucumbers add a refreshing crunch against the tang of cream cheese, and the cracker provides a mess-free vehicle to enjoy these almost anywhere. Change things up with vegetable cream cheese to sneak in a few more nutrients!
6. Almonds with dark chocolate chips
Sometimes, kids really just want something sweet. Keep sugar levels at bay by using controlled amounts. Chocolate chips are a great way to indulge responsibly. Mixed with almonds, this baggie-style snack can be a great treat that feels like a dessert but without all the sugar.
7. Chicken skewers
These protein-filled snacks are great for older kids who can navigate a wooden kebab stick. Paired with dipping sauces like peanut, barbecue, or honey mustard, these bite-sized chicken snacks are fun to make and eat. Make several at a time and keep them in your fridge for a quick protein pick-up on the go.
8. Pita chips and baba ganoush
Baba ganoush is an eggplant spread that’s as tasty as it is fun to say. You can easily make your own, but you can also find great options at the grocery store. Served alongside baked pita chips, this combo is fun to dip and will satisfy your afternoon hunger.
9. Bagel chips with ham and cheese
Bagel chips are just what they sound like: chip-style versions of an actual bagel. They’re lighter since they’re sliced, and the heartiness make them a great snack go-to. Pile on cold cuts like ham and cheese for a deli-style snack. Bagel chips come in all kinds of flavors (just like real bagels!) so find your favorite flavor combination to keep things interesting.
10. Avocado toast
This popular open-faced sandwich can be a great after-school snack for hungry, growing kids. The balance of fat, carbs, and protein will keep your child satisfied until supper. Just be sure to add a squirt of lemon juice over the avocado spread to keep it nice and green if you’re sending this snack to-go.
Looking to stay healthy this school year with a satisfying, flavor-filled diet? Check out our tips for staying healthy with the Mediterranean Diet (which inspired some of our snacks listed here!).
If you would like to make an appointment with our Registered Dietitian at Digestive Care Specialists, please give us a call at 301-288-1319.