8 quick, easy after school snacks for kids 8 quick, easy after school snacks for kids

When your child gets home from school, we know you want to give them something healthy. We also know you want something quick and easy! We’ve pulled together some healthful snack ideas that don’t require any preparation, some that can be quickly prepared, and one easy, adventurous option!

No preparation needed options

1. Reduced fat or low moisture string cheese

A good old-fashioned string cheese stick is a quick and easy snack. Kids love peeling string cheese themselves. Try to get the reduced fat or low moisture string cheese for a lower saturated fat option.

 

2. Fresh fruit

You can’t go wrong with a piece of fresh fruit. Whether it’s berries or bananas, fruit provides your child vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fruit is also hydrating, as it can have a high-water content depending on the fruit.

 

3. Whole grain cheese crackers

There are plenty of cheese crackers that kids love. Many of these cheese crackers now have a whole grain option. Choose the whole grain version and make sure to check the serving size on the nutrition facts label.

cheese crackers

 

4. Yogurt

Yogurt can provide calcium, protein, and probiotics (friendly gut bacteria) for your child. Do read the nutrition facts label on the back though, as some yogurts can be full of less healthy ingredients. Here are some tips for choosing a yogurt:

  • Choose a low-fat or nonfat yogurt to limit the saturated fat.
  • Greek yogurt is another good option. Greek yogurt is higher in protein because much of its excess water has been removed. That is also why it often costs more than regular yogurt. Choose whichever works with your budget.
  • Look for yogurt with less than 23 grams of total sugar per 6-ounce container.[1] Yogurt is made of milk and milk naturally has sugar in it. Many companies also add sugar to the yogurt during production, called added Total sugar is the naturally occurring sugar + the added sugar. Pro tip: Choose plain yogurt and add a teaspoon of honey or a handful of fresh fruit.
  • Yogurt varieties that have ‘live active cultures’ are best for gut health.

 

Quick preparation options

5. Unsalted, unbuttered microwave popcorn

This delicious crunchy snack is actually a whole grain, and can go towards the goal of making half your grains whole! But before you reach for the movie theater-style popcorn, it is important to know that it can be loaded with unhealthy fats and sodium. Choose the unsalted or unbuttered option at the store.

 

You can also make a healthy version of popcorn at home on the stovetop or in the microwave using olive or canola oil. Add a little bit of seasoning of your choice for flavoring. Cayenne pepper can be delicious on popcorn!

popcorn

 

6. Yogurt crunch parfait

This yogurt crunch parfait is quick to throw together and looks and tastes delicious! Full of calcium and fresh fruit, this parfait is fun AND healthful.

 

yogurt parfait

 

7. Apple slices with cinnamon dip

Our simple cinnamon dip is only three ingredients and pairs perfectly with sliced apples. All you need is:

  • Plain nonfat yogurt
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

 

Adventurous option

8. Strawberries with dark chocolate hummus

Do your kids love hummus? If they weren’t a fan before, they definitely will be after trying the new dessert hummus. You can find this pre-made hummus in the refrigerated section of the deli at your local grocery store.

 

This amazing dip is still made of chickpeas but tastes like chocolate. Scoop out some hummus and put it in a small bowl for your kids to dip fruit in. Check the nutrition facts label for the serving size. Chickpeas have protein and fruit has fiber, both of which can help keep your child feeling full.

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Written by Taylor Newman, Ph.D. Candidate | Edited by Laurel Sanville, MS, RDN, LD

Original photo sources:

Yogurt parfait: FoodTalk

Girl with a cereal bowl

Popcorn

Cheese crackers

[1]USDA

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