Kids seem to constantly be hungry and after school can be one of the worst times. Kids come home and want a snack as soon as they walk through the door. Parents want them to have healthier snacks but also know that they do not intend to eat carrot sticks or leafy green vegetables, so having some of these snacks on hand could be the best thing you could ever do for your child.
String cheese is a great choice! The protein and carbs that combine in this snack are great for their bodies and minds. A piece of string cheese has as much protein as an egg and is only about 100 calories. Try eatingstring cheese with crackers for a real snack. They are also good with an apple slice or toast. My favorite is Sargentos, but any brand you like is okay.
For a crunchy snack without the grease and salt of potato chips, fill the cabinets with mini rice cakes. They actually come in several different flavors and are quite tasty. I prefer Quaker rice cakes, but there are several other companies which make these as well. The best thing about these are that they only 60 calories per serving. Kids may not like rice cakes at first, but encourage them to try them a couple of times and I am sure that they will grow to like them.
If the kids prefer sweet snacks, then a great choice in place of a candy bar is a granola bar. Granola Bars are made by many different manufacturers these days and come in several flavors. There are even choices for those who prefer natural foods as Kashi makes a great granola bar as well. Granola bars are packed with fiber and make a great pick-me-up snack. The energy bars that are available on the market will do the same, but they consist of many more calories than a granola bar.
If your kids need some calcium in their snack, try a pudding cup. Most pudding cups have less sugar than yogurts and they are better tasting to most kids. Pudding cups come in many different flavors and many different brands. To add to the vitamins that are already in the pudding, try mixing in berries or even fruit slices. Chocolate pudding with banana slices it in can be a real treat!
Another great after school snack that is full of good stuff for kids and easy for kids on the go to have with them is a trail mix of some sort. There are many varieties of trail mix available on the market today and kids can surely find something that they will find tasty. I prefer homemade trail mixes, but there are many that can be bought at the grocery store. Be careful of what you buy though as some of the trail mixes on the market have up to 40 grams of fat in a serving and that is not a healthy option for your child.
Of course, all parents know that fresh fruits and veggies can be some of the best snacks, so if your children will eat celery and carrot sticks, celery and peanut butter, or even just a fresh fruit item then I would say that you should offer them that before anything else. Whatever you leave as their snack, be sure that it is packed with a source of energy and that is not full of sugar or fat.