10 quick and healthy after-school snack ideas
By Brittany Anas
The snacking hour: The stomach-growling time sandwiched in between the end-of-the-day school bell and dinnertime. Your kids are sooo starving. An ideal after-school snack has enough substance to hold your kiddos (and the neighbor kids that end up at your house) over until it’s dinner — without ruining their appetites. Instead of handing over a package of sugary gummy treats or letting them raid the cookie jar, here are 10 ideas for healthy after-school snacks.
- Peanut butter-banana sandwiches: Slice up a banana and spread nutty peanut butter in between the slices for a mini sandwich packed with potassium and protein.
- Lady bugs on a log: A simple twist on the classic “ants on a log” snack. Spread peanut butter in celery sticks and garnish with Craisins.
- Cheese and cucumbers: Use a cookie cutter to slice cheese in fun shapes. Instead of calorie-packed crackers, serve the cheese with crunchy slices of cucumbers. (Find great deals on cookie cutter sets at Bed, Bath and Beyond. A 30-piece metal set is $15 — plus get 5 percent Cash Back at Bed, Bath and Beyond).
- Apples and cinnamon: Slice up an apple and serve it with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Fruit smoothie: You don’t have to spend $5 at the smoothie shop. Just chop up whatever fruit you have, toss it the blender with some ice, plain yogurt and either milk or juice for a homemade smoothie. The more fruit, the better. One seasonal combination that we’re loving now is pineapple-peach-vanilla yogurt-soy milk.
- Honey banana slices: Slice up a banana, drizzle a little honey over it, sprinkle with cinnamon and serve on graham cracker quarters.
- Fruit cones: Fill up a cake cone with yogurt and top with mixed berries — blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries for a yogurt and berry parfait.
- Frozen grapes: Pop seedless red grapes in the freezer overnight — and, presto! It’s like an all-natural, healthy popsicle.
- Bagel open-faced sandwich: Toast half a bagel, spread some light cream cheese on it and top with veggies — like sliced cucumber and tomatoes. For more mature tastebuds, top it with some avocado, too, for a healthy open faced sandwich.
- Edamame: It’s not just an appetizer at sushi spots. Steam it, top with a little bit of sea salt for a snack that is high in fiber.
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