Being a mum is such a hard job, and one of the concerns we have is what healthy after-school snack ideas to come up with to feed our children with. I must admit that’s a tough one. We all know kids, and especially in their teenage years, they don’t want to bother with preparing something for themselves. They just want to eat straight away when they come from school. Usually, they would just take some crappy, packed snacks that don’t nourish their organs. And if we as parents provide those types of crappy snacks, that’s what they will eat. Fact!
To be honest, I was a very busy mom. I was career-driven, I had my vision about what I want to do and I was working hard and long hours to get there. At the same time, I was really mindful about what Jayman eats, as I didn’t want to give him some junk food only because it was easier for me. Instead, I made sure that my pantry was always packed with some healthy snacks that I could prepare in advance when I have time. Sweets were important to him, so I also had to have freshly baked chocolate chip cookies at least once a week in the pantry.
All you amazing Moms and Dads out there, take a look at my tips and tricks for healthy after-school snacks. This is the stuff I made for my son Jayman.
The simplest, stress-free way to have Healthy After-School Snack Ideas for children is leftovers from a healthy dinner the night before. Yes, leftovers. Jayman was super lazy and health was truly far from his mind, and to be honest, I was not expecting a 13-year-old to know anything about health.
When Jayman, who’s now 24, was school age, he knew he could come into the house after school, open the fridge, and find the leftovers waiting for him to snack on. He could heat them up or just eat it right out of the container from the fridge. I even went so far as taking leftovers in the car sometimes when I picked him up from school! What this meant for me is not spending time on preparing snacks, and plus, it is a great way to get more plant food into our children.
Leftovers are indeed the KING for creating family togetherness. Rather than rushing around preparing something new after school, you have time to sit down with your children or just put your feet up. So, make more of your dinner the night before, and enjoy your afternoon time together. I found this to be most rewarding for me, as I would just chill out knowing that Jayman’s organs are served.
Besides leftovers, what I used to do was stack my pantry with some really healthy snacks. I guess that all kids behave the same at this age. They would just come home from school and expect the food to be ready for them or they would just open a packet of some junk food and eat. So, I needed to have things organized in my pantry if I wanted Jayman to eat healthily.
What I always had at my hand to give to my son to snack on are nut and seed mixes. You can make mixes using the seeds and nuts your kids love the most, but I found it better to always add more seeds than nuts. I used to add some good-quality chocolate as well.
I remember when he was a teenager he would come from school, throw his bag and go play games on his computer. This was actually a great chance for me to pile him up with some really good food. He would just go on gaming and eat whatever I would serve to him because he was so lost in gaming that he had no connection to the food he was eating. So moms, yeah, use any opportunity you can to sneak some healthy snacks into your kids’ diet.
Popcorn is another great Healthy After-School Snack Idea for kids. You can find out how to make the healthiest popcorn here. What Jayman likes even now not only when he was a kid are nut butters, especially almond butter. So, he would spread this on some good-quality crackers or bread, drizzle with honey and eat. I also had oats on standby. They go really well with almond butter, honey, and some bananas.
Of course, fresh fruits and veggies are always a good way to go and nourish your kids with this plant food. You can also stack on dried fruits as well. I just remembered one epic thing I made with my girlfriend. She sprinkled bananas with cinnamon and sugar and then we dehydrated them. What is even more, you can add these to milkshakes and they give a sweet, banana syrup taste to the shake that your kids will also love. This is really mind-blowing, try it out!
These are things that kids can handle in their ages. They want something simple, sweet, delicious and they don’t care at all how healthy the food they eat is. But we as moms have to, so we need to make sure to have healthier versions of snacks at home so that when our kids reach for snacks we know that the food we give them will serve their organs. So, make sure you have enough healthy after-school snacks for your kids – stack your pantry and cupboards with bags of popcorn, nut and seed mixes, almond butter, honey, good quality crackers and bread, and don’t forget leftovers.
I’d love to hear your tips and tricks on healthy after-school snack ideas.
Share them in comments or at my Facebook page
Hey, before I go… If you want to make something that is great as leftovers, then check out my Dairy-Free Potato Bake Recipe
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.