Tired of making the same old snacks? Try some of these fun and healthy after-school snacks for kids.
Today I have another guest post for you that I think will be helpful for those of you with kids. Kids are notoriously picky when it comes to eating healthy food, especially if you didn’t start them out eating healthy foods right from the very beginning. Even I, who made a point of getting my son to eat a variety of fruits and veggies from the time he was a baby, regret not having pushed him a little more, having him try and try again a lot of foods he rejected. I think it would have made him realize that he liked a lot more foods back then before he found out from his friends that kids aren’t supposed to like them. 😉
So, I have learned to get sneaky, by making healthy food more fun and appealing to a kid. I already showed you how I added greens to his Popeye smoothie, in the interest of getting in an extra dose of veggies into his diet, but I also like to find fun ways to present healthy foods.
Today’s post will hopefully spark some ideas for fun ways to get your kids to eat certain foods. Some, of course, are healthier than others, which I actually think is great because not all kids are starting from the same point on the course to healthy eating. Is your kid used to only eating microwaved frozen pizza treats? Well, making your own easy pizzas is a great step in the right direction, even if you can’t load it with veggies from the get go. Don’t you think?
Let me introduce today’s author…
Lacey Hauptman is a freelance writer and budding travel photographer. She’s been doing freelance writing since 2009, and has written extensively on the subjects of digital marketing, travel photography, and home design. You can find her on Twitter at @laceyhaupt. I was excited when Lacey came to me with her idea for this post, and am happy to share it with you. You’ll see that I also decided to add in some of my tips for similar ideas within her post, which you will see labelled “Tracy’s tip” under some of the ideas.
Take it away, Lacey…
Each time my son comes home from school, he’s eager to share all his stories, like how he got three stars in Reading Comprehension or how many friends he made today. Although he looks energetic, I’m pretty sure he’s starving, and nothing but a healthy after-school snack can make his hunger go away.
To keep your kids full and healthy after school, you can try to make these 10 homemade snacks for your kids. Don’t forget to take pictures of your edible masterpiece, so you can share with other parents how yours went!
Fruit Rubik’s Cube
Make after-school snacks fun for your kids by making a rubik’s fruit cube! Pick at least four different kinds of fruits and cut each fruit equally into cute cubes. Layer the small-sized cubes and form a big-sized cube that looks just like a rubik’s cube. Hold them together using toothpicks, if necessary, and let your kids solve each side.
Fruit Ice Pops
After a tiring day at school, it’s time for the kids to cool off. Strawberry-banana ice pops are a healthy take on ice cream popsicles—your kids will surely love them! Blend together orange juice, strawberries, and bananas. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds (or ice cube trays) then freeze for 6 hours. You can also try other fruit combinations for a variety of yummy and refreshing flavors.
Tracy’s tip: Healthy gelatin popsicles, like my watermelon gelatin pops, are another great alternative, and have the added benefit of getting collagen into their diets.
Whoever said chips are unhealthy certainly hasn’t tried apple chips yet. Make apple chips that your kids will munch on as you talk about how their day went. Slice the apples as thinly as possible. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and place the sliced apples in one layer. To add to the taste, sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top. Bake one side for one hour then the other side for another hour. Turn off the oven and let the apple chips cool inside it for an hour.
Tracy’s Tip: You can also make other types of fruit chips by dehydrating all sorts of fruits. I’ve been enjoying dried peach slices and persimmon slices lately.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Pudding may be a yummy snack, but it’s made of unhealthy and artificial ingredients. But there’s a way to make it healthier! Chocolate avocado pudding isn’t something you usually get from the grocery store, but it’s definitely easy to make. Combine avocado, unsweetened cocoa powder, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend on high for one minute or until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then serve.
Healthy Mexican Pizza
Pizza is the best comfort food for kids of all ages. Instead of ordering from pizza houses, why not make a healthy one for your kids? Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F. Spread salsa around a whole-wheat tortilla and sprinkle it with onion, tortilla bits, and cheese. Put the tortilla inside the oven and let it bake for 17 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tortilla becomes crisp. Remove it from the oven and garnish with basil. Let your kids munch on the yummiest and healthiest pizza ever.
Tracy’s tip: You can make it gluten free by using a corn or gluten free tortilla, or you can try this grain free pizza crust instead. If you want to make it even more Mexican, you can use leftover fajitas or carnitas meat as a topping.
Frozen Banana Bites
Many kids don’t pay attention to bananas, but if you pair them with chocolate, I’m sure they won’t resist taking a bite. Slice bananas into chunks, insert toothpicks in each chunk, and freeze the chunks for 1 to 2 hours (This step will make melted chocolate stick better to the bananas). Afterwards, melt chocolate. Dip the frozen banana chunks one by one into the melted chocolate and freeze them again until the chocolate becomes solid.
Ants on a Log
Ants on a log is actually the easiest snack to make. Just fill a celery or lettuce stalk with nut butter or cream cheese and top it with raisins, dried cherries, or dried berries. Then you can do a little storytelling with your kids about the yummy after-school snack called ants on a log.
If your kids love snacking on fries, why don’t you create a healthier version? Instead of potatoes, make baked pumpkin fries, baked sweet potato fries, or baked carrots that can help improve your kids’ vision. Your kids will definitely have fun chewing on delicious and healthy baked treats paired with homemade ketchup while doing their homework.
No-Bake Energy Bites
Keep your kids energized for homework time by serving them no-bake energy bites. In a medium-sized bowl, mix oats, coconut flakes, and optionally add in chocolate chips or raisins. Put the mixture aside. In another bowl, whisk honey and butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of the dry ingredients, then let the mixture chill for at least half an hour. Once it’s chilled, roll it into small balls. The energy bites can last up to one week, so make sure to store them in an air-tight container.
Tracy’s tip: These coconut date balls use only two ingredients, and are another energy bite alternative that kids will also enjoy.
Fun Shaped Sandwich
It’s time to take toast-making a notch higher. Use your cookie cutter (try making a DIY cookie cutter, too!) to make animal shapes out of bread. Let your kids help you make this snack, so they can personalize their sandwich to their liking. Add fruit strips to make the snack even healthier.
Tracy’s tip: If you avoid sandwiches made with store-bought bread at home, you can also make fun sandwiches using this paleo pita recipe in place of the bread. You choose how healthy you want the filling to be, easing kids into healthier sandwiches, little by little.
These healthy after-school snacks will definitely make your kids look forward to coming home after a long day at school. It can also be a bonding activity for the family, as you can include the kids in the process of preparing their snacks.