I can’t be alone in struggling to navigate the sugar battle with my kids…. it’s one thing for me to eat healthy and cut back on sugar but it’s another to try to enforce that strictly with my kids. And I don’t. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we aren’t eating candy and ice-cream every day, but if they go to birthday parties, have events at school etc, they’re eating all sorts of sweet things, and that’s ok to an extent.. they’re kids! But knowing that weekends can end up being a sugar free-for-all despite our best intentions, during the week I do try to keep us all on track with healthy after school snacks. It just so happens that that is the time of day where all my healthy intentions can unravel in an instant so if the kids and I are all on the same page in that pre-dinner window that’s a win-win for me…. I stick to plan, and the kids aren’t all hopped up on sugar. In this post I’m going to share a few of our favorite after school snacks to keep us going until dinner. You can really play with some of these and modify to your kids tastes, and they are all super easy.
First up, really simple but a big favorite in our house: apple “nachos”. This looks super fancy to the kids but for us moms it really couldn’t be easier! Sliced apples, drizzled with peanut or almond butter (I put a spoonful in a small ziplock, cut the corner off and squeeze it over the apples), a few semi-sweet chocolate chips for them, shredded coconut and chia seeds for me, and ta-da, an easy healthy snack. Sure they could just dip their apple slices in PB but whenever I make it like this, the plate gets gobbled up in no time! 1 purple and 1 gray for the PB, and an orange on my side of the plate for the added chia and coconut!
Next up, another easy way to get them to eat fruit: banana “sushi”… ok so really its a banana wrapped in a tortilla with peanut or almond butter to help it all stick. See the theme here moms… it’s not about fancy food, it’s about the way it’s presented to them.
Use a whole grain tortilla, add in some other things like chopped nuts if your kids like them (my 2yo loves crushed pistachios… expensive taste!). The possibilites are endless and if they get to help it’s a lot of fun for them too! Use half a banana and 1/2 a whole wheat tortilla for 1 purple, 1 yellow and 1-2 tsp for the nut butter.
This next recipe was a big experiment but it turned out great and it didn’t last long: maple brittle. I think of this as orange container heaven! I took unsweetened coconut flakes, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and spread them in a 9×13 pan lined with foil (first version I used parchment paper and it didn’t end so well for the pan or the brittle!!!). I melted 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan and 1/2 cup of maple syrup and heated on low/medium heat for a few minutes until they were combined, then I poured that over the nut/seed mix and baked it at 325F for 15 minutes, then turned it and baked another 10 minutes. I considered each 3″x3” piece a tsp, and an orange container. It s a great sweet treat, packed with those healthy fats! Yum. Later this week in part two of of our healthy kid snacks series I’ll share some delicious quinoa breakfast bars, some grainless breakfast bars, and even a sneaky kid friendly veggie option to snack on or add to a dinner!