Back to school time is a great time to think about stocking a pantry with new, healthy after school snacks.
Snacking can help kids keep their energy up, make up for skimpy or skipped breakfasts, and provide fuel before after-school sports or other activities. Adding healthy snacks between meals can also increase focus and performance, children are able to comprehend and retain information presented in the classroom at a higher rate when their bodies are fueled consistently, according to the American Dietetic Association.
Good snacks provide carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and some healthy fat. Here are some snack suggestions to have on hand that can easily be thrown in a back pack or made quickly after school:
Low-fat microwave popcorn tossed with Parmesan cheese
Trail mix ingredients:
1/4 cup each: whole-grain cereal, and raisins or dried cranberries
2 tablespoons each: sunflower seeds, and chopped nuts
Mini, whole grain bagel or sandwich thin spread with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter
Ants on a log: Spread peanut butter on celery sticks and top with raisins
Healthy ice pops: Freeze fresh, unsweetened 100% juice in ice pop molds or ice cube trays
Whole-grain pita and hummus
Whole wheat crackers, such as Triscuits, with cheese cubes
Yogurt topped with berries and/or granola
Smoothies: blend fruit, ice and milk in a blender until smooth
Whole-wheat tortilla filled with cheese and salsa and heated in microwave
One half banana and 1 Tbsp peanut butter placed and rolled in whole-wheat tortilla