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After School Snacking: Healthy & Easy Afternoon Snack Options

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

With the new school year just around the corner (or maybe already here) it's time to start thinking about even the smallest of school-year details: the always important, and necessary, after school snack. As children adjust to their new, regimented school schedules it's important to remember that it's up to us help their systems maintain the energy level they need to not only make it through the school day but also the adjustment to a new schedule.

With constantly moving and growing bodies it's easy to understand why your little scholar is constantly hungry. Your little scholar may not always make the wisest of snack decision, however, and that's where you come to the rescue! To help you keep your little one filled up on nutritious snacks here are a few healthy and QUICK snack choices that you can even make ahead of time.

Everything is better on a stick! To make a standard snack a lot more fun try making no-cook shish kebabs! Stack cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, cucumber slices and more on a kebab stick with a favorite fat-free or homemade dressing for dipping! Pile up melon balls, berries, and apple wedges to make a fruity, sweet version.

Roll it up into a pinwheel! For another great treat start with a whole wheat tortilla or pita. Spread on a thin layer of hummus or fat-free cream cheese and layer on sliced veggies. If your child would rather have a sweet-treat use peanut butter and fruit slices instead! Roll your tortilla or pita up tightly and place toothpicks every inch. Cut in between the tooth picks to create colorful, tasty pinwheels!

Mix-it-up yourself! Instead of paying more for premade and processed trail-mix, make your own mix-up with the ingredients that you love. In a gallon bag mix your favorite unsalted (or lightly salted) nuts, granola, seeds and dried fruit. Just shake it up and put it away; a simple solution for busy weekdays! For even bigger smiles, add part of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the mix for a sweet treat.

Oldies are still goodies. Sometimes in a world that's constantly moving forward we forget the old-school favorites can be the best. The old standby of celery sticks filled with peanut butter and raisins (a.k.a. ants on a log) is still a snack time favorite. So are ham and cheese rolls (as simple as they sound) apple slices to dip in yogurt or peanut butter.

Finally, to agree with Shrek's Donkey, nothing is better than a parfait! Create your own sweet concoction with non-fat yogurt, fresh berries, fat-free whipped topping, and granola layered together in a parfait glass (or any clear glass that allows you to see the colorful layers).

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > After School Snacking: Healthy & Easy Afternoon Snack Options

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