Disclaimer: I was provide a variety of samples from Simple Mills in exchange for a social post. As always, the thoughts and opinions in the post are entirely my own.
Happy fall y’all! I cant believe school is back in session and summer if officially over. It seems like these first few weeks of the school year are all about getting back into the swing of things. Waking up early, managing new schedules, and adjusting to busy family life again can feel so overwhelming and hectic.
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month so, I thought it was a great time to highlight a few delicious (and healthy) snacks for after school or after work when life just gets a little too hectic. According the the Centers for Disease Control, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970’s. Many factors contribute to childhood obesity including short sleep duration, genetics, metabolism, and even eating and physical activity behaviors.
Did you know the average person makes over 200 food decisions each day? With so many opportunities, it’s super important to stock your kitchen and present your kids with healthy and delicious snack options to help instill lasting healthy habits. A healthy snack should satisfy them for after school activities or the next few hours before dinner without ruining their appetite.
Let’s take a look at the following guidelines for choosing and preparing healthy after school snacks.
Limit Processed Foods
Whole foods tend to be the most nutritious but it is okay to choose a few convenience foods you can trust. We know it’s not realistic to make everything from scratch! For example, it is great to keep a hummus, a nut or seed butter without added oils and sugars, low added sugar yogurt, or crackers (I love Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers!) on hand.
Include a Fruit or Veggie
Low Added Sugar
Make it Last Till Dinner
Here are a few simple, delicious, and healthy snacks your kids will love! What are your go-to after school snacks?
- Homemade Snack Mix Include whole grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Try seasoning with nutritional yeast, cinnamon, chili powder, or other herbs and spices. We love this Spicy Maple Cheddar Snack Mix recipe.
- Almond Flour Crackers with Avocado Slices Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers are great because they use a nut and seed blend as a base and provide 2-4 grams of protein, 6-9 grams of fat (mostly from nuts!), and 2 grams of fiber. Top with sliced avocado or homemade guacamole.
- Low Sugar Yogurt Parfaits These are a fun way to get the kids involved. Provide a healthy base of a lower sugar yogurt and various toppings (nuts, seeds, granola, fruit, etc.) for them to make it their own. Try this Banana Berry Crunch Parfait recipe for a simple homemade granola.
- Hummus or Honey Mustard Dip with Veggies Present veggies in different ways with fun homemade dips. Try this hummus or this Honey Mustard Dip.
- Ants on a Log This classic, well balanced snack offers fruits, veggies, and a healthy source of protein and fat. If your kids don’t like celery swap it for apple slices, carrot sticks, or Simple Mills crackers. Top with hemp, chia, or ground flaxseed, and dried blueberries, currants, or cranberries for a fun and healthy twist.
- DIY Cheese Board Cheese boards offer great variety and presentation! Include different types of cheeses, fresh and dried fruits, Simple Mills Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers, and veggies too! Allow the kids to pick and choose their favorites.
- Low Fat Cottage Cheese with Fruits or Veggies Like yogurt, cottage cheese pairs well with most fruits and because it has a neutral flavor, it also pairs well with most veggies too! Top it with chia, sunflower, pumpkin or flax seeds for an added boost.
For more healthy snack ideas, sign up for a FREE 3-day trial of our meal plans, no credit card required. The meal plans include a healthy snack each day and the recipe box function allows you to sort by snacks to find more ideas your family will love. All meal plan recipes are dietitian created and approved!