Even with a large filling breakfast, mid morning snack and plenty of lunch box food, my children always come out of school hungry. I’ve learnt that a quick snack as they come out can help prevent hunger pangs and low moods when we get home.
It’s easy enough to fall into the treats after school routine, especially with the strategically placed ice cream van just outside the school gates, which is why I need to be prepared.
It’s All In The Timing
It’s really important that I don’t leave it too late to dish out the snacks or they’ll not eat their dinner. Routine and timetables will dictate your own timings but I try to feed snacks of any substance between 3.30 and 4.30 and then we eat dinner around 6 to 6.30pm, depending on how organised or not I am on the day! If I’ve been on the ball with getting my slow cooker on in time I can usually time this quite well.
Health After School Snack Ideas
This is a great one to bring for school pick up. Bananas can be used in many recipes but are ideal for a quick energy boost for the journey home. It even comes in it’s own natural wrapper!
2. Fresh Fruit
It’s not just bananas that make the ideal after school snack, other fresh fruits will provide a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as fibre. Kids often like a fruit salad where they can benefit from a range of different types to keep it interesting.
3. Nuts and seeds
Try a mix of nuts and seeds to keep it interesting; try to include almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds. You can even try making your own nut butters.
4. Dried fruit
Raisins are a firm favourite with many children, as well as dried apricots. They taste sweet and are easily transportable. You can try making your own cereal bars with rolled oats, raisins, seeds and some desiccated coconut.
Make sure you check the label as some yoghurts have too much sugar in them. Try and go for a natural yoghurt which can be either eaten on it’s own or poured over a fruit salad.
6. Cereal Bar
Again, be aware of the amount of sugar in some commercial cereal bars, or better still, make your own!
These are a real after school treat, or they can also be added into the occasional lunch box. Flapjacks are also easy to make and something the kids can get involved in.
8. Banana Bread
Try something like porridge or Weetabix to give your child some long, slow releasing energy. You could even add some chopped up fruit and natural yoghurt on top.
10. Malt Loaf
Another easily transportable snack that can either be bought or made at home.
Pancakes don’t just need to be for pancake day! And they don’t always need to be sweet either. Try adding some ham and cheese for a lovely savoury pancake. You can either make one in a frying pan or have some fun with a pancake maker!
12. Pitta Pocket
Toast it and fill it with some tasty savoury food like ham or roast chicken and salad. Or slice it into strips to dip in some hummus. Try to go for wholemeal.
13. Toasted Sandwich
Get inventive and try out different sandwich fillings. And there is something about using a sandwich toaster that makes it taste even better 🙂
The options are limitless when it comes to making smoothies. Make super healthy green smoothies, add in nuts, seeds, yoghurt etc to make them more filling. Smoothies are great for kids to get more greens in their daily diet – just fill your blender with some spinach, water, banana and some frozen mixed berries and you’ll have a delicious and nutritious smoothie to serve up.
15. Homemade Ice Lollies
Making ice lollies at home is really easy. It’s also another fun activity the children to take part in. Not only are they much cheaper than buying them at the ice cream van, they are potentially much better for you than commercially made ones. You (and the kids!) can get really creative with the flavours, from a simple orange flavoured ice lolly to a multi coloured layered lolly full of many flavours.
All you need are some lolly moulds (or even some washed out yoghurt pots) and lolly sticks. You can keep it as simple as pouring some orange juice into a mould and freezing it. Other options include blending up some fruit (strawberries and bananas work well) and making a fruit smoothie lolly.
16. Jacket Potato
Although jacket potatoes are usually meals in themselves, serving a small one as a snack works really well to stave off other food cravings. Different toppings can really vary it up too with melted cheese and baked beans being a favourite with most children! Just don’t serve this one too close to tea time.
17. Boiled Eggs
Boiled eggs can be made ahead of time and served cold. You can make them in the morning and have them on standby in the fridge all sliced up and ready to eat when needed.
Usually reserved for a cinema treat, popcorn is better to snack on than a packet of crisps. You can get some relatively healthy popcorn at the shops, or you can even make your own.
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