Healthy After-School Snacks for Kids

Back-to-School sales are starting to pop up as the weather gets a little cooler each day. Soon the kids will be back to talking about classes and new friends and coming home hungry from a full day. Snacking doesn’t have to be an unhealthy part of your kid’s diet if you keep them nutritionally sound and teeth friendly! At Dr. Cobb’s office, an Olathe Pediatric Dentistry practice, we have a top-five list of the best after-school snacks for your kids.

1. Fruit and Cheese Skewers. Are you looking for something simple that takes very little assembly but is interesting enough for picky kids? This snack is for you. Using wooden skewers (or toothpicks for a mini version), alternate cheese and seasonal fruit such as apple slices, strawberry halves or grapes. You can even get kids involved in assembling the kebabs. For an extra special touch, add a dollop of vanilla yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a dip!

2. Vegetable Boats. Parents may remember celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins called “Ants on a Log.” They are just as popular today, but you don’t need to limit your ingredients to celery and peanut butter. Try a savory version with cucumbers cut lengthwise and scooped out with a melon baller and filled with cream cheese. For a little more pizzazz, sprinkle with cumin and salt.

3. Whole Wheat Pita Chips and Hummus. Kids tend to eat something that they’ve had a hand in creating. Cutting whole-wheat pitas into triangles with a pizza cutter and sprinkling them with shredded Parmesan is simple enough for most age ranges. Bake at 400-degrees for 8 minutes or until brown and crispy. Serve with a dip such as hummus or salsa. This is sure to please your little chef!

4. Homemade Ice Pops. Ice pops always get a seal of approval from kids, but they can be high and sugar and lack protein. Making your own allows you to control the amount of sugar and using yogurt as a base gives some all-important protein for a good, energy-sustaining snack. Blend yogurt, honey, and chunks of your child’s favorite fruit (canned peaches and pineapple work really well) and then freeze. You can buy a fancy Ice pop tray or use an ice cub tray with plastic wrap and tooth picks.

5. Nuts. This seems like a easy snack, but one that we frequently forget for kids. Nuts provide a low-sugar, high protein burst of energy for kids who need it after a long day. If your child doesn’t like a particular nut, try a different one or a seed variety (like sunflower or pumpkin). There are so many different types, you’re sure to find one that appeals to your little ones taste buds.

This article is brought to you by Dr. Cobb The Kid’s Dentist, an Olathe, Kansas provider of comprehensive, high- quality pediatric dental care. If you wish to make an appointment for a dental cleaning or evaluation, feel free to contact the office of Dr. David J. Cobb.

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