After school is an important time for kids to refuel after a long day of learning and especially if co-curricular activities are on the agenda.
I often get asked for some healthy, yet still appealing after school ideas, which can easily fit into a busy schedule.
It’s beneficial to use this snack time as an avenue to get in additional nutrition but it’s also important this snack does not encroach on our kid’s appetite for dinner!
The key areas to focus on when it comes to kids snacks are:
Protein: used for growth and development, muscle repair and neurotransmitter synthesis
Complex carbs: necessary to fuel busy bodies and brains and supply B-vitamins, which are used by the body to covert food into energy
Healthy fats: needed for brain function and development, especially the essential fatty acid DHA found in fatty fish
Other important specific vitamins and minerals include
Calcium: required for normal development and maintenance of the skeleton in addition to proper nervous and cardiac system function
Iron: important for transport of oxygen around the body, red blood cell and energy production
Zinc: necessary for cell growth and immunity
With a new school year about to start, I thought now is a good time to share some snack ideas, some of which can easily also be packed into a lunch box and enjoyed throughout the day.
Mango Smoothie Bowl – a fun alternative to smoothies and just as easy to make!
1 large frozen bananas, peeled and chopped
½ cup mango, fresh or frozen [can replace with other fruit if preferred] ½ cup milk of choice
1 tbsp. greek yoghurt
handful of ice
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and thick.
Pour into two bowls and allow kids to decorate with toppings of choice!
Fruit n’ yoghurt Ice-blocks
Blend 1 cup of fruit puree (eg strawberries/mango/passionfruit), 1 cup natural yoghurt, 1 tbsp. LSA or muesli and optional honey. Pour into ice-block moulds and freeze.
Snack plate – variety truly is the spice of life, especially when it comes to feeding kids!
Try putting together a snack plate with a mix and match of your kids favourite foods, some examples include:
•Diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, baby carrot sticks, popcorn, almonds and dates
•Brown rice crackers, sliced cheese, hummus, cucumber and blueberries
•Boiled egg, dried mango/pineapple, strawberries, cucumber and popcorn
•Leftover roasted sweet potato, blueberries, diced avocado, feta cheese and roasted chickpeas/fava beans
•Organic/natural corn chips, diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, hummus and cucumber
•Flaked baked salmon, diced avocado, seaweed crackers, edamame beans and cherry tomatoes
If you can find a bento style lunch container, this ideas works well taken to school.
Carrot Chips with Chucky Guacamole
2 large carrots, peeled and cut length ways
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 ripe avocado, pip and skin removed
1 roma tomato, finely diced
1 tbsp. fresh coriander, finely diced, optional
1 squeeze lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed, optional
Preheat oven to 180C, line a baking tray with baking paper.
Brush carrots with olive oil and evenly space on the tray.
Cook for 15-20min until tender and remove from the oven.
To make the guacamole mash avocado in a bowl, stir through tomato, coriander and a squeeze of lime.
Serve carrot chips with guacamole.
Vanilla & Raspberry Chia Pudding Cups
Cooking: setting time 4 hours or overnight
4 tbsp. chia seeds
½ cup milk of choice
¼ tsp. vanilla extract or paste
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1-2 tsp. honey, optional
In two small containers, place half of the mixture in each, stir well and make sure chia seeds are well covered with the milk.
Cover and put in the fridge overnight or for around 4 hours.
Add raspberries and honey to a blender to create a puree, adjust sweetness to suit and set aside in the fridge.
Once the chia pudding is set, pour the raspberry puree on top of each pudding and sprinkle with coconut flakes.
Cover and put back into the fridge or serve immediately.