Well after a long Winter it appears that Spring may have officially started! Springtime is usually the time when many of our children’s extracurricular activities are coming to an end – hockey, skating, dance, music, etc. With the extra time on their hands and the warmer afternoons, children are eager to go outside and play when they get home from school. While dinner will likely not be ready for a couple of hours, we know they are hungry after all afternoon in the classroom. Since they will be in a hurry to head outside it may be important to have some healthy snacks on hand. While it’s certainly easy to hand them a cereal bar, rice krispie treat, fruit snacks and other prepackaged foods, having healthier options available will be of benefit to both you and your child – it will give them energy to play, allow them to stay full longer and provide them with lots of nutrition.
Here are some easy but great snacks that you can prep ahead of time and have on hand when your children return home from school. There are many more great snacks that you can certainly try as well, just remember to always include at least two out of the four food groups for a well balanced snack:
- Whole grain crackers and cheese cubes
- Whole grain crackers with nut butter or cottage cheese
- Pita bread or crackers and hummus
- Fruit and vegetable platters
- Homemade trail mix (whole grain cereals, dry fruit, granola, etc)
- Yogurt and fruit
- Whole grain muffins with fruit & glass of milk
- Smoothie made with fruit and milk
- Half sandwich with peanut butter or leftover meat (ie. turkey or chicken)
Note: Don’t forget to wash your snack down with a healthy beverage like water; water is your best choice for hydration when heading out to play!
Janel Genge is a registered dietitian with Kids Eat Smart Foundation Newfoundland and Labrador