My kids, like everyone else’s, come home ravenous after school. Woe betide me if I dare take them past the supermarket on the way home; the feral snarling for chips, lollies, and ice cream is enough to break the most resilient mum, especially if I am in a rush to get them to their next activity!! So, a lesson learned in the past 6 years of primary school is to come armed to the school gate with high volume, high quality food – particularly if we’re headed straight to another activity. After School snack ideas cause me almost as much stress as lunchbox ideas, so hopefully we will alleviate some of YOUR stress with these ideas today!
A Nutritionist once told me “the best time to eat healthy is when you’re hungry” – and this is advice I have lived my adult life by, and now am attempting to pass on to my children. With the purpose of “training” their young bodies to desire healthy foods, I will wait until they’re hungry (sometimes reeeaaaallly hungry) then offer them foods I know will set their brains and bodies up for life. After school is just one of those windows of ravenous hunger that i take advantage of everyday. Here are my Top 10 After School Snack Ideas to keep them running, jumping, and bouncing with a good attitude and with thriving physical and mental health!
Just one a side note, I tend to go harder on the nuts immediately after school, because they’re not allowed them during school or at many organised activities after school, but they’re an integral part of a healthy, varied diet.
- Carrots with Peanut Butter or Hummus
The carrots are the sugar, the dip is good fats and proteins. Variety is key here, so sometimes it’s peanut butter, sometimes it’s hummus, and sometimes you’ve roasted a beetroot and thrown that in the hummus too! A handful of peanuts in the blender makes a thick and decadent butter if you haven’t bought it ready made! To make hummus, throw the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2tsp salt, a can of chickpeas, 1 T tahini, and enough olive oil to make it blend easily in to the blender and GO…
- Apples with Cottage Cheese
Perfect when on-the-go, I slice the apples in advance then the kids “dip” them in to the cottage cheese in the car… As far as after school snacks go, this is one of the least effortful ideas!
- Food to Nourish anything
It’s just one of those brands that thinks of everything, from sprouting their nuts and seeds, to balancing taste, texture, and ingredients for a fussy child! Order from https://foodtonourish.com.au or select from what we have at the gym!
- Trail mix
This one is gold because the kids can build their own. The ratios we use is 1 part nuts, 1/2 part seeds, 1/2 part dried fruit, 1/2 part coconut. Winners include roughly chopped brazil nuts, cranberries, and sunflower seeds, or cashews, dried apple, and pumpkin seeds. You can use anything though!
- Banana and peanut butter on quinoa or buckwheat thins
On very special occasions we use Mayvers chocolate spread. It has no refined sugar and makes the kids feel like they’re having a treat! You can also go crazy on the variety of the nut butters used in this snack; cashew, almond, and brazil nut butter are all hits in our house!
- Hemptations snacks
These are from Honest to Goodness, and Jade can get them for you when she does her order. Contact her here: [email protected]. They’re maple or choc-mint whole food balls made with hemp seeds, a wonderfully rich source of vegan protein and omega 3′.
- Roasted chickpeas and potato chips
Because after school snacks don’t always have to be sweet! Cut potatoes in to hot chips style strips, season and roast like usual. Rinse, then soak the chickpeas (canned) in tamari sauce, then add them to the oven about 10min before the potatoes are done.
- Home made bliss balls
The gift that keeps on giving, there are unlimited varieties of bliss ball to keep the kids interested and coming back! We use the recipe 1C nuts, 1C dates, 1T powder (cacao, carob, inulin, agave, etc). You can then experiment with adding 1/2C seeds, or 1-2T flour depending on the oiliness of the nuts used. For example, macadamias always need something to “dry them out”, so we add 1T coconut flour. However almonds can be dry so we add 1/2C sunflower seeds to get those delicious oils and make them easy to roll. Roll in desiccated coconut to finish.
- Veggie sticks in yoghurt
Do not buy flavoured yoghurt. Ever. You can flavour your own using rice malt syrup or fresh passionfruit juice; or you can accept that yoghurt isn’t sweet! One way of doing this is by normalising yoghurt with savoury sugars… ie. vegetables!
- Cheese and crackers
This always goes down a treat. However, and again, variety is important. If you’re bread-eaters in your family, and you’re having toast for breakie, sandwiches for lunch, and pasta for dinner, odds are that you’re overdoing the wheat flour. In this scenario, cheese and crackers may not be the best choice for your family. However, you can get buckwheat, rice, and quinoa crackers now! Think laterally and experiment with different carbohydrate sources!
Do you notice how all of these foods are a mix of sugar, fat, and protein??? That is deliberate to give them immediate energy, but also keep them fuller for longer throughout the evening. A kid will always come home after basketball/soccer ravenous, which is the perfect time for another healthy food hit for dinner!
Let me know how these 10 after school snack ideas go down in your house!