Here are some healthy after school snacks to make finding and eating something healthy a snap, even when you are on the run. You likely have plenty of healthy snacks for kids at your fingertips already, you just don't realize it.
Healthy snack ideas are hard to come by when you are stressed, but the fact is, if you stock your house with healthy foods as described in our Importance of a Healthy Diet and Healthy Eating Guidelines, you likely have plenty of healthy after school snacks in your kitchen or pantry already!
The same celery and carrots you should have on hand for making broth and stew are healthy after school snacks with only a little preparation. Rinse and slice and you are ready to go! We like to cut them in julienne strips for young ones that are just starting out on solids. Slather some peanut or almond butter in the crevice of celery and you add a little protein as well as a much healthier alternative to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
Hard boiled eggs are another healthy snack for children. Be sure to rinse them in cold water after cooking so they are easy to peel and don't forget to offer them with a little natural sea salt. You can also slice them up along with some tomato and mayonnaise to make a little tomato and egg salad. This is a great way to enjoy those wonderful, ripe tomatoes you have been growing in your garden.
Sliced cheese is another favorite. We slice raw cheddar cheese into strips ¼ inch wide and 3 inches long. This is a favorite snack for toddlers. They love carefully picking up and eating ¼ inch squares of cheese. You can appreciate that it is great for their hand eye coordination!
Make your own "trail mix" before leaving for the park. Include any of the crispy nuts or seeds you may have on hand (soaked and dehydrated to neutralize the anti-nutrients). Read the section about healthy grains and nuts on our Healthy Food List to learn why it is important to prepare your nuts and seeds to make them more digestible. Our favorites are almonds, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. For some great preparation ideas read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. We prepare several pounds of nuts at a time and freeze some to save on preparation time.
Dehydrated organic fruit "chips" or "leather" are wonderfully healthy after school snacks in addition to being a great way to enjoy some of the vitamins and fiber in fruit. We often add raisins, apple chips and dried apricots to our "trail mix".
Small packages of organic, unsweetened applesauce are easy to throw in to a bag along with a couple spoons as you head out of the house.
One of our favorite snacks for toddlers that also doubles as a "dessert" is "Swirlys". Easy to make, you scoop plain, whole milk organic yogurt into a bowl and add a big spoonful of Annie May's Unsweetened Organic Blackberry Applesauce. Then either an adult (at the start) or the children run their spoon thru the purple applesauce to make designs in their white yogurt. Swirls are often a result, thus the name.
Seasonal organic fruit from local farmer's market is another healthy snack for children. Pears and apples in the winter and fresh berries, peaches, plums in the summer. Apples and Bananas are the only fruit we eat all year round. A kid favorite is apple slices slathered with peanut butter. Slices of fruit after dinner also make a great dessert. Be careful not to overdo the fruit, though, it does contain a lot of sugar (fructose) so you don't want to exceed four servings a day.
We also like to make our own "milk shakes". It's easy! We fill our blender with organic raw milk, add some frozen fruit (banana, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, plums), and a couple of egg yolks and we have a wonderful snack for everyone's brain as well as vitamins and minerals for their body! To mix things up we will replace the milk with buttermilk or kefir. If you have fruit trees that produce more fruit than you can eat, freezing your extras and using them in shakes is a great way to spread the wealth throughout the year. Plus you preserve more of the vitamins and enzymes by freezing them instead of canning them.
Coming up with healthy snack ideas is easy once you understand the Importance of a Healthy Diet. After you have purged your kitchen of unhealthy, packaged and processed snack products and filled it with healthy natural, organic ingredients, healthy snacks will come easily.
You will literally be surrounded by healthy after school snacks. You don't need to cook for hours in order to provide your child something healthy to eat at a moment's notice.
Here is a list of healthy after school snacks for you to post on your refrigerator. These are foods you should have on hand for preparing healthy meals as well as have available for snacks. See above for fun combination ideas and preparation tips:
Our healthy after school snacks page would not be complete without a discussion about you should NOT be eating. Remember, everything you let your children put into their mouths will affect their body chemistry either positively or negatively. The following foods are unhealthy and should not be in your kitchen:
Read more about the Importance of a Healthy Diet, especially for babies, children and nursing moms.
Read all about what you should and should not be eating on our Healthy Food List.
Read more about Traditional, Nutrient Dense and Organic Diets for Kids as well as the importance of consuming unrefined food.
Did you know that the USDA Dietary Guidelines will make you tired and overweight? Read about our time-tested Healthy Eating Pyramid
See some Healthy Crock Pot Recipes that can make meal preparation easy at the same time you provide your family nutritious food.
Read tips for encouraging your children to eat healthy food (coming soon)
Read about Fun Activities to do with your children.