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11 Energy and Brain Boosting After-School Snack Ideas
Aug 06, 2021
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The first thing the kids do when they arrive home from school at the end of a long day is looking for a snack. Do you frequently find yourself lingering in front of an open fridge, gazing at the contents, unsure what to give them? Or maybe they merely grab a Coke and a bag of Doritos on their way to your study area. Mindless eating is both dull and unsatisfying. It's also, as you're presumably aware, unhealthy.

Changing up your child's after-school snacks will help them avoid snack tiredness while adding nutritional value and variety to their food.

Snacks provide you with consistent energy during the day and aid in the regulation of your appetite. They also aid in the development of hunger and fullness cues in children and can assist in the promotion of a healthy diet.

Children are developing, and they may have increased calorie requirements due to physical activity, whether it is simply playing outside or participating in sports. Young children's stomach room is less than that of adults, thus suggested portion sizes are lesser. They may require one or two snacks each day, although older children may require only one unless they are highly physically active.

Snacks can fuel both the intellect and the body, which is especially crucial for school-age children completing schoolwork. Food converts into glucose, which is the primary source of fuel for the muscles and the brain.

Snacks can help children focus on homework or energize them for after-school pursuits, and they are also an excellent way to compensate for nutritional deficiencies in children's diets.

For example, if your child does not like drinking milk with dinner, a smoothie made with fruit and yogurt can be a terrific way to increase their dairy intake.

healthy snacks for kids

What are some tips on making healthy after-school snacks?

  • Protein + fiber: Integrating a protein source with a fiber-rich carb can provide your children with an energy boost while keeping them full until dinnertime.
  • Choose whole foods: Choose fruits and veggies, lean meats and fish, whole grains, and other items often found on the grocer's outskirts over artificial treats that are high in preservatives or artificial sweeteners, fats, or sodium.
  • Reduce sugary choices: Sugar consumption among children in the United States is excessive, promoting obesity and other diseases such as the onset of diabetes or heart disease.
  • Use fruits as natural sweeteners: If your child does not eat anything green, consider sweetening a green smoothie with fruit. Be patient and persistent; it could take some time, but your child may ultimately accept greens. Oranges, pineapple pieces, green grapes, and spinach may be blended to make a drink that looks like greens but tastes like tropical fruit bliss.
  • Be flexible: Even the best-laid plans can go wrong from time to time. If your child is hungry and it's almost dinnertime, but they've not had a chance to snack, offer them an apple or a small glass of milk.
  • Get the kids involved: Letting your child select and prepare their own snacks can enable even the pickiest eaters to expand their horizons. Give children the ingredients to assemble their trail mix. Allow them to pick a cereal, add nuts, and even a few chocolate chips and raisins. Likewise, you can allow kids to create their own yogurt parfait by selecting the yogurt, nuts, fruit, and other elements.

Try these suggestions — or put your own twist on them — the next time your kids feel hungry after school.

Apple Crunch

Spreading protein-rich peanut butter over half apples is a simple and inexpensive snack that kids will like. Choose a store-bought spread with no added sugar or salt if possible. According to your child's preferences, you may simply substitute strawberries, celery, sliced banana, or cucumber for the apple.

Hummus and Pita or Veggie Sticks

This is another fantastic snack choice for your children, especially if you choose whole-grain pita and vegetable hummus. Whole grains contain B vitamins, which aid in the reduction of brain inflammation. Kids naturally would love this, as vegetables are satisfyingly crunchy and will go well with a tasty dip.

Dried Apricots or Dried Mangoes

These dried fruits are filling, sweet, and flavorful, plus they're high in the immune-boosting antioxidant beta-carotene. Just a little handful will suffice for a satisfying snack because dried fruit, while a terrific substitute for sweets, has far more sugar than fresh fruit and is also rich in fiber.

Guacamole and Chips

Just try to ensure you use multi-grain tortilla chips. One significant advantage of multi-grain chips is that they will supply your child with great energy. Furthermore, the avocado used in guacamole is a good source of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. These acids will improve blood circulation to your child's brain. Avocados are very high in vitamin E and will shield your child's brain from the damage caused by free radicals. Avocados can also help with antioxidant absorption and cholesterol reduction. Because they contain potassium and vitamin K, they also lower a person's risk of stroke.

Fruit Skewers

Make easy rainbow fruit skewers with the kids; they'll have a great time arranging them in the correct color order. Use whatever fruit you have available. You can be imaginative and design fruit faces or animals.

Yogurt and Fresh Blueberries

Try mixing Greek yogurt with blueberries. Yogurt is excellent for reducing stress and anxiety. Blueberries are also beneficial to the brain in that they can increase learning and memory.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are high in heart-healthy unsaturated fats, increasing mood, immunity, mental function, and brain growth. Children should acquire roughly 30 percent of their daily caloric intake from fats, which is a crucial component for proper growth and development and the production of essential hormones. Encouraging children to obtain them from unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats will benefit them in the long run. If they don't like eating individual nuts, make them a small peanut or almond butter sandwich on wholemeal bread.

Kale Chips

Try baked organic kale chips that have been mildly seasoned with barbecue flavor. According to studies, consuming a lot of kale and other leafy green veggies causes less cognitive impairment as you get older. When compared to other leafy vegetables, kale provides the most value.

Banana

Bananas contain slower-release carbohydrates, which help to keep energy levels stable. Bananas are compact and inexpensive since they are pre-wrapped in nature's own wrapping, sweet, easily digestible, and high in nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, and B6. Bananas include nutrients that can help prevent sleepiness, mood changes, and irritation.

Avocado Toast with Turkey

Turkey and avocado toast is a delightful, fast, energy-boosting snack. Although not as inexpensive to purchase, you might consider smoked salmon, rotisserie chicken, or ham as alternate options.

Veggie Fries

Is your child a big fan of fries? The good news is that they can enjoy them while also benefiting their brain. For example, your kid could enjoy organic carrots that have been oven-fried and sprinkled with olive oil and salt.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Sliced or string cheese with pear or apple slices
  • Trail mix
  • Healthy wrap
  • Healthy pizza
  • Smoothies
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Tortilla chips with salsa
  • Popcorn
  • Pudding
  • Coconut, granola, and chocolate clusters
  • Fruit muffins

Brain and Energy Boosting Tip

Of course, in this day and age, many kids rely on the convenience of electronics, whether desktop computers, tablets, and especially smartphones. Children are a lot more idle or sedentary, especially if they are glued to these devices, and it only fits that we find means by which our children will be encouraged to get up and move. To assist your kids in keeping themselves focused and energized for homework, consider using adjustable desks for their study space at home, so they can easily switch between sitting and standing, depending on their comfort while keeping them determined to finish schoolwork.

FlexiSpot is just in time for the new school year coming this fall as they offer two standing desk types for young children and growing teenagers.

These nutritious after-school snack ideas recipes are sure to keep your kids happy after school, helping them ward off after-school cravings and giving themselves a brain boost before they get into their schoolwork or after-school activities. Having simple snacks like these waiting for when the kids get home will make your afternoon ritual so much smoother.