After-school Snacks for Busy Families

Truth: It’s almost too easy to feed kids less nutritious options after school.

A walk through any grocery store will yield hundreds of convenience foods that any kid would love to eat but will mostly likely pump them full of sugar. And it’s not that you don’t want to feed your kids nutritious snacks. There are simply too many other things competing for your time, like rest, work, making dinner, and, hey, just keeping the kids alive.

So what’s a parent to do? Start with 10 minutes. Ten minutes of your Sunday can turn into a week’s worth of snacks that nourish your kids’ bodies and have them asking for seconds. Need help? Get your kids involved! Check out these quick and easy snacks to help you jump-start your Sunday snack prep.

  1. The Avodilla is the quesadilla’s hipper, cheese-less cousin. It’s the perfect mix of sweet (from a hint of maple syrup) and salty, and super versatile. The lavash can easily be replaced with flour or corn tortillas, and if you won’t be home to cook it for your kids, make a few on Sunday and have them eat it cold or (if they are old enough) use the microwave to reheat them.
  2. Nutella and banana sushicomes together quickly and can even be made by kids. It’s basically a chocolate and banana sandwich, and who doesn’t want that? You can also riff on this by changing up the tortilla for a piece of warm toast, two slices of their favorite bread for a proper sandwich, or by adding additional fruit like strawberries or coconut.
  3. Fruit kabobs are a fun way to help your kids eat seasonally. Just pick the freshest, in-season fruit every week to skewer up. Get your kids involved in picking out the fruit and even chopping and skewering it. They’ll never get bored because the options will change from week to week, and it’ll mean that much more to them because they helped make it. And if you really want to blow their minds, keep a little freshly whipped cream around for them to dip their kabobs in. You can sweeten it with just about anything, including honey and agave syrup. Plus, you can put the ingredients in a jar with a lid and have your kids shake it like crazy.
  4. Avocado and strawberry smoothies are yet another quick, make-ahead snack that your kids will love. Just chop and puree in your blender with a little honey and yogurt, and it’s ready for hungry bellies after a long day of learning.
  5. Strawberry fruit leather yields the most snacks for the least amount of effort. And bonus: it tastes like candy but is filled with good stuff (feel free to substitute honey or agave for the sugar)! While this recipe has you puree and then cook down the mixture before putting it in the oven, you can easily skip the cooking step and just leave it in the oven longer (like overnight!). For even less clean up, make these on a sheet of parchment paper, then cut the paper into strips once the fruit leather is dry to make your own fruit roll-ups. These store well in the pantry or freezer, and work with a lot of different fruit, so feel free to make a bunch when seasonal fruit is on sale.
By Barbara Ruhs, MD, RDN September 08, 2016

An avid avocado-eater and guacamole-lover, Barb is the Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist for Avocados From Mexico and former sports nutritionist for Harvard University. Her philosophy on food is simple: Enjoy what you eat, prepare food with love, and add avocados to everything! 

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