Most kids seem to come home from school, drop their packs in the doorway and make a straight dash for the kitchen. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! After-school snacks are great, but what is important is having healthy snacks that won’t fill your kids up too much before dinner.
Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when you want your child to start snacking smart!
The first step towards smart-snacking is taking into account the schedule your children are on during their school day. What time do they eat lunch? Do they have an after-school club or sport, and do these programs give out snacks? And when they do get home, how long usually before dinner? Does your family eat in the 5:00 to 6:00 range or later on?
Take this for example: if your child eats lunch at or before 11:30 and gets home at 3:30, it’s expected that they will be famished–especially if an after school activity has them home later! If dinner isn’t for a few hours after they get home, a filling snack is perfect. On the other hand, if they get home and dinner is on the table within the next hour or two, think light!
But what should your children be eating as a snack that will satisfy their munchies and give them plenty of nutrition?
For younger children, making snacks that are healthy and fun is the first step towards encouraging healthy snacking. The night before school, let your child wear the chef’s hat and create with them healthy snacks like ants on a log, confetti yogurt pops, and PBJ muffins! For quick snacks, there’s always the fail-safe options: cut veggies dipped in ranch dressing or a nice fruit salad with yogurt and granola.
All in all, when it comes to healthy and smart after-school snacking, being a proactive parent an make all the difference. If your child attends an after school program that gives out snacks, find out what those snacks are and consider packing your child a healthy alternative if you find out it’s potato chips and sugary drinks. When most kids get lazier as they grow when it comes to making themselves food, having snacks prepared can be the difference between them developing healthy versus unhealthy eating habits.
Do you have any healthy after-school snacks your children love? We want to hear em!