Tuesday, September 20, 2011

5 Simple & Healthy After School Snacks for Hungry Tummies

Many parents see back-to-school time as a breath of fresh air: the kids are out of the house, you don’t have to worry about babysitters or daycare all summer long, they have homework to occupy them when they get home, and even earlier bedtimes. But unfortunately, that breath of fresh air comes right before a big gust of wind: the truth is, life can get even busier with the hustle and bustle of the school year. Between driving the mom taxi cab to track meets, spell bowl competitions, dance classes, and school concerts, you still have to find time to cook, clean, and take care of yourself as well. It’s exhausting! Luckily for your sanity, there are ways to stay ahead.  Here are some after-school snack suggestions for you busy moms out there that are quick, healthy, and easy to store in the fridge for the kids when they come home with stomachs growling. These five snacks are perfect for getting your kiddos to the next destination with ease or a nice break before they get started on their homework assignments.

1. Ants on a log: This snack is healthy and fun. Ingredients needed are celery (or pretzel rods), peanut butter, and raisins. Your child can help spread the peanut butter onto the celery (log) and then add the ants (raisins). In no time, your kids will have chowed down and be ready to go.

2. Cheese roll-ups: A personal favorite among the kids at the school I work at, cheese roll-ups are fast and filling too! These are simple; all you need is a flour tortilla and some cheese. Salsa is optional. Sprinkle cheese into the tortilla and the snack can be microwaved for 30-45 seconds, until cheese is melted. Then, you simply roll it up and dip it into salsa to eat!

3. Healthy wraps: These wraps were invented by a former co-worker of mine, and the kids loved them! We used flour tortilla wraps, apples (sliced), raisins, and peanut butter. Spread the peanut butter on the wrap and add apple slices and raisins. Roll this up and eat it—delicious and healthy!

4. Graham cracker frosting sandwiches:
This snack isn’t as healthy, but hey, you have to treat your kids every now and then. Children will love making and eating this fast, easy snack. The ingredients needed are frosting, sprinkles, and graham crackers. Your children can spread the frosting on the graham crackers, add the sprinkles and make a sandwich. These taste great right away and are even better cold!

5.  Ham and cheese kabobs: This is a fun one! Alternate cubes of ham and cheese on a bamboo skewer. You can use different types of cheese, add vegetables, or do as you see fit. You could even try a plain fruit kabob. Eating something kabob style will be fun (and hopefully mess-free) for your children and quick and easy for you.

Good luck with these snacks! Get creative and have fun.

Author Bio: Stephanie loves children and is the site director for before and after school programs at elementary schools. She keeps her children healthy outdoors with kids’ sunglasses and sunscreen and indoors with nutritious snacks and plenty of exercise. After work, she enjoys blogging about fashion trends like women’s socks with pumps or working up a sweat while dancing away at Zumba.

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