Kids can often be ravenous when they come home from school, especially if you have an active child who doesn't like to spend too much of their lunchtime sitting around eating! Having some healthy after school snacks in your recipe repertoire that you can prepare quickly will help prevent those meltdown moments that happen due to hunger or just to give the kids a nice pick me up to tide them over until dinner is served.
Here are some snacks you can quickly pull together to get you through a week of after school for the kids:
1. Trail mix
Trail mixes can be found in the health section of most supermarkets, but you will pay a lot more for them than if you make them yourself. Making your own trail mix also means you can tailor it to suit the tastes of you kids. Here is a combo my kids' love:
- Macadamia nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Toasted coconut flakes
- Goji berries
- Cacao nibs to add a chocolatey taste (you could just add some dark chocolate chips if you prefer)
The trail mix can be eaten on its own or you can add a generous dollop of Greek yogurt when serving.
2. Eggs, veggie sticks and dips
An afternoon snack of eggs and veggie sticks is great if you have multiple kids with varying tastes. Add to a shared plate a mix of veggies sticks so there is something everyone will eat. Add some protein with slices of hard boiled eggs and some good fats through olive oil based dips or Greek yogurt and you are set to serve.
Smoothies are especially perfect after school in warmer weather. The combinations you can come up with for smoothies are endless and you don't need a high tech blender to make them. We make ours in a food processor or use our "mix and go" (a very small and cheaper version of the Nutri-bullet). Using the mix and go the kids can actually make the smoothies themselves. For lovely thick smoothies make sure you have some frozen chunks of banana in your freezer. Here are smoothies ideas to get you thinking:
Choc coconut smoothie
- 8 pieces frozen banana
- 1 egg (optional)
- ¼ coconut cream
- Handful of cashews
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 100 mls milk
- Shredded coconut for topping
Add all ingredients except the shredded coconut to your blender and blitz. If you are using a mix and go type smoothie maker, make sure you place liquid ingredients into the container first. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with shredded coconut.
- 8 pieces frozen banana
- ¼ - ½ cup frozen raspberries
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- Dash of honey or cinnamon
- Approx 200 mls milk
Add all ingredients to your blender and blitz. If you are using a mix and go type smoothie maker, make sure you place liquid ingredients into the container first.
4. Rice cakes with fruit
Make rice cakes a little more exciting by topping with nut butter and banana. Serve with side platter of fresh fruit for happy kids!
5. Homemade pita chips
Homemade pita chips can be a great alternative to commercial crackers and they are super easy to make. You can make them in bulk quantities and store them in airtight container. The beauty of making them yourself is you know exactly what is going into the flavours and you can tailor them to the tastes of your kids. You can use this recipe as a base and modify to suit your family:
- 5 x Lebanese flat bread (pita breads)
- 2 tbsp melted coconut oil or preferred cooking oil
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 200°C. Mix the spices together in a small bowl and set aside. Place out the flat breads on a bench and have the kids help you make them if they are home. Brush each flat bread with oil using a pastry brush, then sprinkle with about a ⅓ tsp of the spices.
Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice each flat bread into into 12 triangles and place them onto two lined large baking trays. Space them out so they do not overlap, that way they will cook evenly.
Bake in the oven for 6 - 8 minutes. Remove when they are crisp and have turned a slightly golden colour. Allow them to cool on a wire rack completely before placing in an airtight container or serving.
When serving them up for an afternoon snack team them up with some fruit and veggies.
Nicole Avery is a Melbourne mum to five beautiful kids. She is the master organiser behind the popular parenting blog Planning With Kids and the author of a book by the same name, where she shares tips and tricks for organising the chaos of family life.