11 Healthy After-School Snacks

Here are 11 healthy snack alternatives that kids of any age will enjoy.

By Reader's Digest Editors
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    Homemade trail mix

    It's almost time for a new school year, which means your child will soon be raiding the kitchen for after-school snacks. But all those potato chips and cookies can lead to some serious problems for your child's health. Here are 11 healthy snack alternatives that kids of any age will enjoy.

    Combine almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit for a homemade trail mix that will keep your child happy until dinner. But watch out for those serving sizes – nuts and dried fruits are high in calories, so just a half cup a day will do.

    Fruit salad

    The recipes for a great fruit salad are endless. You can use any variety of fruit, then freeze it, top it with cream, or leave it plain. The natural sugar in fruit salad will be an excellent, refreshing substitute for the processed sugar that comes in so many kids’ snacks.

    Rice cakes

    To keep your child satisfied until dinner, keep rice cakes in the pantry. These low-calorie, low-fat snacks will curb their appetite and prevent cravings for greasy, sugary treats. Top with peanut butter or cheese for added protein.

    Veggie sticks

    Raw vegetables are the perfect crunchy snack. A plate of raw carrots or bell peppers is high in the vitamins and minerals that your child needs. But be sure not to drench those veggies in too much high-calorie dip. Instead, try peanut butter or hummus as a healthy dip substitute.

    Frozen grapes

    Nothing is more refreshing than frozen grapes! Simply wash the grapes in a strainer, lay them out on a paper towel to dry and freeze in a freezer safe bag. For added sweetness, try dipping them in granulated sugar before freezing.

    Whole grain bread and peanut butter

    Snacking on peanut butter and wheat bread will keep your child full much longer than if they eat candy and cookies after school. If they aren’t in the mood for a full sandwich, you can make a slice of whole wheat toast, or spread peanut butter on whole wheat crackers.

    Popcorn

    Popcorn is low in calories, but also filling because of the fiber content. Eating a cup or two of plain popcorn will give your child several grams of fiber, which will help keep their digestion on track.

    Yogurt

    Stock up on single servings of yogurt and keep them in the fridge for after-school cravings. Yogurt contains many nutritional benefits, including probiotics and protein. Prefer a frozen treat? Stick the yogurt in the freezer a few hours before the kids get off the bus.

    Hummus and pita chips

    Pita chips are a light and airy snack, so your child won’t feel too full to eat dinner. Stick to homemade hummus, which is often more nutritious than store-bought hummus. Try one of these recipes for a delicious addition to your kitchen.

    Light string cheese

    String cheese is a convenient on-the-go snack, perfect for car rides in between pick-up and soccer practice. Added bonus: Kids will love to pull apart string cheese, so not only will the snack be healthy but also entertaining.

    Chocolate-dipped bananas

    Not all healthy snacks have to be boring. For a sweet treat, dip frozen banana chunks into smooth melted chocolate. Plus: 5 Ways to Make Your Child's Lunchbox Healthier Sources: EatingWell.com, eHow.com, LiveStrong.com, SHAPE, USA Today, WebMD

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    Your Comments

    • Lcohen40

      The best snacks my kids like are Bagelfuls

    • Lcohen40

      The best snacks my kids like are Bagelfuls

    • Lcohen40

      The best snacks my kids like are Bagelfuls

    • Arthur Bassey

      Hmmm, where I grew up, you ate whatever was available and had no option to choose. What you call snacks was a full meal.