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14 Healthy Afterschool Snacks Your Kids Will LOVE

Thanks to Betty Crocker® Fruit Flavored Snacks for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion.

I am kind of a stickler for what my kids are eating. It is important to me that they consume healthy foods while still having the opportunity to feel like a kid. My feeling is that by making healthy foods fun for them now they will make better choices about what to eat later on in life. Here are a few ideas for easy, healthy afterschool snacks. These treats can be also made to accommodate food allergies and food preferences, so feel free to get creative and enjoy!

  • Healthy After School Snack Ideas 1 of 14
    14 Healthy Afternoon Snacks That Your Kids Will LOVE.jpg
  • Fruit Kabobs and Lollipops 2 of 14
    Fruit Lollipops

    This one is super easy. Just cut up your child's favorite fruit into large pieces and string them on a skewer. You can place fruits in school colors, holiday colors, or even your child's favorite colors. You With just one or two kabobs you could be giving your child an allergen-free vitamin and nutrient packed snack!

    If an entire kabob is too much for you, simply put one piece on a popsicle stick and make fruit lollipops! You can also get real creative by making these fun caterpillar grapes!

    Photo credit: PartyBluprints.com

  • Cracker Sandwiches 3 of 14
    Cracker sandwiches

    When I was a kid I lived on cracker sandwiches, coming home from grade school and making them for snack. Depending on my mood I chose either cheese or PB&J in-between the crackers. My best friend preferred to fill her cracker sandwiches with cream cheese and jam. Tonya Staab is so creative that she made hers look like toy pieces. To make these treats healthier, go for organic, all-natural fillers and whole grain crackers. If your child is allergic to wheat, there are several alternatives on the market made from rice, corn, beans, and lentils.

    Photo credit: TonyaStaab.com

  • Trail Mixes 4 of 14
    Trail Mix

    For snacking on the go, try to fill a small bag or snack container with a combination of healthy treats. The beauty of this snack is that it can be pre-made or taken to go. You can use natural dried fruit, nuts, seeds, healthy dried cereals or popcorn (preferably unbuttered). For added flavor we include a few allergen-free mini dark chocolate chips. Dark chocolate has antioxidants, you know!

    Photo credit: Babble.com

  • Smoothies 5 of 14
    Smoothies

    Smoothies are a terrific treat because you can make them according to taste, and even hide a few nutrient packed fruits or vegetables! My son's favorite is made with coconut milk, bananas, mango, a few berries and (even though he does not know it) a bit of spinach. We also do one with coconut milk, bananas, pure cocoa powder, a smidge (using my own technical term) of allergen-free chocolate syrup and protein powder. We usually hide a bit of spinach in that one too. (Shhhh… Don't tell the kids!)

    Our trick for a successful smoothie is to keep as many of the fruits frozen as possible. The fruit will last longer and will keep those smoothies cold!

    Photo credit: TheCentsibleLife.com

  • Vegetables and Hummus 6 of 14
    Vegetables and Hummus

    Kids love dipping their snacks! You can put out a small variety of vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli and cauliflower with a little bit of hummus for a great, healthy afternoon snack. If your child does not like hummus and is not allergic, they can dip those veggies in a nut butter instead. Click here to learn more about the variety of healthy nut butters on the market.

  • Yogurt Parfait 7 of 14
    Yogurt Parfait

    You see these in stores all the time, and they are super easy to make at home. Just take a glass and fill it with yogurt, add granola or another healthy dry cereal, then top it off with fruit such as berries, raisins or bananas. If your child has a dairy allergy, you could do the same using yogurt made from sheep's milk or coconut milk.

  • Ice Pops 8 of 14
    Ice Pops

    Remember when we were kids and the most sophisticated way to make an ice pop was to put fruit juice in an ice cube tray and when it freezes stick a toothpick or popsicle stick in it? Now stores carry all sorts of adorable ice pop molds in different shapes and sizes. Just fill them with 100% fruit juice (or a combination of juices) and freeze. You can also put pieces of fruit in there for a really cool or blend your favorite healthy fruits together before pouring them in the popsicle molds.

    Photo credit: SavoringtheThyme.com

  • English Muffin Pizza 9 of 14
    Muffin pizza

    This was another favorite in my home when I was a kid. Using half an English muffin, I put tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese on top. I put it in the toaster and then ate my delicious homemade pizza muffin! To make this treat healthier, use a whole wheat, whole grain or gluten-free English muffin as well as organic sauce. Your child can also add a favorite topping such as spinach or mushrooms.

  • Fruit and Yogurt Bites 10 of 14
    Yogurt bites

    This one I learned about from a friend. I think she found it on a blog or on Pinterest. While it is a terrific idea I am not claiming to take credit for this one. She starts with bite sized pieces of fruit, typically raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas. Then she dips them in a bit of honey and then Greek yogurt. Then she puts them on wax paper and freezes them. Once frozen, the covered fruit can be put in small bags or containers. For those with a dairy allergy, this can also be done using yogurt made from sheep's milk, almond milk or coconut milk.

  • Ants on a Log 11 of 14
    Ants on a Log

    This is my younger son's favorite treat! He had it first at preschool and asks for it often as an afternoon snack. Typically ants on a log is made by filling in celery with peanut butter, then adding a few raisins. However, with the rise in nut allergies some schools are giving this to kids with cream cheese or another filler instead, so you could use either one. When we make ours with cream cheese we choose one that is organic and low in added sugar. Then we also sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, which we call the dirt. For a higher protein alternative, swap out the raisins for seeds or nuts.

  • Sliced Apple Sandwiches 12 of 14
    Apple Sandwiches

    These are a super fun healthy snack! Start by taking the core out of the middle of an apple. Then slice the apple sideways, so that they are lying neatly on top of one another. Take two of the slices and turn them into a sandwich by putting your child's favorite nut or seed butter in the center. If your child is allergic to apples, this can be done with pears as well. You can even make a banana sandwich by slicing down the middle of a banana! Some kids love it when you take the apple sandwich, top it off with cinnamon and put it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften the apple and melt the nut butter a bit. Yum!

    Photo credit: Babble.com

  • Veggie Chips 13 of 14
    Veggie Chips

    Several years ago I purchased a dehydrating machine so I can make my own dried fruit and vegetables, but they can be made in the oven as well. Many dried fruits and vegetables on the market have added oil, salt or sugar. Dehydrating is not just for apples either. You can use a variety of fruits and vegetables, make them to your preference and season them as you wish.

    Photo source: Babble.com

  • Pinwheels 14 of 14
    Pinwheels

    Several of my friends do this one because it is super easy! There are whole grain, whole wheat and even gluten-free wraps on the market. Just lay one out, fill it with a slice of turkey or chicken, a piece of cheese, or whatever healthy fillers your child prefers. Keep it small and simple since this is just a snack. Roll it up tightly and cut it into slices. You can even split one wrap between two kids. They will get protein, fiber and fun, all rolled up into one!

 

Jessica also recently wrote:
Why Michelle Obama Wants You to Drink More Water
The Unexpected Benefits of Good Dental Hygiene
6 Reasons Why Giving Back is Good for You
8 Ways Music can Help Improve Your Life

Read more from Jessica at FoundtheMarbles.com.  And be sure to follow her on Twitter too!

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