After-School Snacks for Kids of All Ages

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:

Satisfy crunch cravings with colorful, fresh-cut veggies served with creamy dressing. Click for natural options.

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 Sammyâ„¢ 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.

Something more
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.

About Diet Diva

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.

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