Whether the subject is See Dick and Jane Run reading basics or Advanced Earth Science, a day devoted to lessons, lectures and studying builds up an appetite. And that’s the problem: When you’re working your brain, not your body, you need to feed that hunger with snacks that are high in nutrition and lower in calories. Fortunately, our favorite companies have come up with some dynamic snack options that fulfill those requirements:
Snacks for sweet lovers
Except for Halloween, candy isn’t the ideal choice for an after-school snack. Chocolate-covered-caramel-marshmallow bars might seem like a great idea to a first grader, but wise parents know how to offer swaps that can even convince a child who says, “But Tommy says his parents let him eat all the candy he wants!”
Nature’s Path Organic Fruit and Nut Granola Bars Apple Pie Crunch, for example, provides your child with whole grains and protein while featuring the sweet taste that Jimmy or Janie will love. Another great choice for your honey bunny: Annie’s Homegrown Bunny Grahams, which are sweetly crunchy and have fiber and protein. And for children who feel that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the perfect meal, try Plum Organics Kids Organic Jammy Sammy™ Snack Size Sandwich Bars.
Snacks for salt lovers
You might think of adults loving those corn chips and potato chips more than a child. However, you are what you eat – and your taste buds reflect what you’re fed as a little kid. If your child prefers French fries to ice cream and potato chips to candy bars, it’s time to gently steer your small salt-lover into the realm of lower-sodium choices. What if it’s your teenager or young adult who wants the salty foods?
It can be harder to change preferences as we age, but it’s never too late to form healthy new habits. What those salty foods share: The crunch factor. So try crunch-worthy Suzie’s Agave Sweetened Spelt Puffed Cakes, Lundberg Rice Cakes without added salt and Koyo Organic Rice Cakes without salt.
Whatever your age, you have those days where a handful of healthy cookies, a few rice cakes or a piece of fruit just doesn’t satisfy your hunger. This situation can be particularly true if you have a young athlete on your hands. Which is why we’re offering this section in what we’re calling Advanced Snacking! Here’s where combined snacks come into play.
Combine protein with complex carbohydrates for something that will sustain your child, teenager or yourself until dinner. Examples: A sliced-up apple spread with Arrowhead Mills Creamy Organic Peanut Butter or one of those rice cakes that we mentioned spread with low-fat or soy-based cream cheese. You also may want to consider mixing up a tasty smoothie made with almond milk, sliced bananas and a spoonful of protein powder, such as Vitacost ARO Whey Protein.
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com, Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.