It’s that time of year again --- kids are headed back to school. You’ve been buying school supplies and clothes but you also need to think about healthy after-school treats. Your kids will have had long days of reading, writing, etc. and hopefully they’ve had physical activity via recess and before/after school “play” time. Be prepared for them to come home FAMISHED!!! Have loads of healthy snacks for them.
Try to avoid non-nutritious goodies as in chips, sweets and sweetened beverages and stock up with healthy, fun foods from the FIVE food groups. Here are some easy suggestions: DAIRY: go for lower-fat dairy treats, as in:
- String cheese or small chunks of cheese
- Top a small bowl of cottage cheese with applesauce or salsa.
- Mix some herbs into fat-free plain yogurt and serve with carrot and celery sticks, or small broccoli or cauliflower bunches.
- Have flavored yogurt on hand for them to gobble up.
- Make smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruit.
- Have them dish up a bowl of cereal and milk.
- Top toasted waffles with peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly/jam OR with flavored yogurt.
- Purchase mini rice cakes. Top with thin cheese and/or veggie slices.
- Popcorn is great if you don’t pile on the salt and butter---a little goes a long way!!!
- Apple slices contain loads of healthy nutrients and can be dipped in peanut butter or flavored yogurt.
- Berries are great to add to smoothies.
- Fruit parfaits are easy to assemble: low-fat vanilla yogurt and fruit bits topped with low-fat granola.
- Have small chunks or slices of carrots, cucs, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and cherry or grape tomatoes washed and ready to be enjoyed with herbs or seasoning mixes blended into low-fat PLAIN yogurt OR cottage cheese.
- Quesadillas assembled and ready to be heated in the microwave are a great treat. Use whole grain tortillas topped with thin slices/bits of veggies, shredded low-fat cheese, and salsa and then top with another tortilla. Heat, cut in serving sizes and watch them be devoured!!
- Have tuna, chicken or egg salad chilled so your kids can enjoy with wheat crackers, tortillas or bread.
- Kids can toast ½ bagel and top with peanut butter.
- Thin slices of lunch meat rolled around a celery stick are great munchies.
- Spread low-fat refried beans on a toasted English muffin and top with salsa and shredded cheese. Pop in the microwave, melt the cheese and it’s ready.