With the start of the school year back in full swing, a lot of attention is being paid towards school lunch. I find there’s one [mini] meal of the school day that often gets overlooked: the after-school snack. Learn some simple tips to ensuring your child makes the most of their after-school snacking.
Despite the fact that my kids aren’t of grade-school age just yet, I consider myself the aficionado of snacking [for Moms and kids]. I have toddlers, and toddlers snack like there’s no tomorrow! As a registered dietitian and mom who spends the better part of my days in the kitchen, I’ve pretty much embraced the snacking culture in this household. When it comes to feeding my kids, I always try to make every food choice count and snack time is no exception. Here are a few of the simple guidelines I follow to ensure that my kids have the perfect afternoon [or after-school] snack to help them power through their day.
Think of snacks as mini meals, and aim to include 1-2 food groups each time your child eats. In a world where most kids end the school day and head off to soccer practice or music lessons, make snacks count by using foods with filling nutrients like protein. Chobani’s Kids yogurt line contains 2X more protein than the leading kids’ yogurt brand, making it an essential component for an energy packed afternoon snack. Knowing that these kid-friendly tubes and pouches are made with natural, non-GMO, wholesome ingredients makes me feel good about that snack-a-tizer they often want before dinner.
Have it all laid out beforehand. When kids come home to a snack that is already prepared, it can help them make better food choices. This technique will minimize the likelihood of them reaching for something less nutritious from the pantry or fridge on their own. This also helps you ensure they are consuming the necessary nutrients during their day. Another benefit of being actively involved during snack time is being able to promote the importance of portion sizes. Portioning out their snacks for them will help them visually understand the amount of food they need to feel satisfied, but not stuffed.
Keep healthy pre-packaged snacks on hand. This is where Chobani Kids tubes and pouches play a pivotal role in my family’s snack time routine. They’re easy for kids to maneuver in the car on the way home from school or on the way to afternoon activities without any prep work required from mom or dad. Having these and other healthy pre-packaged snacks around the house is also useful to quickly pacify their sometimes random hunger spurts that need to be satisfied ASAP.Kids hungry after school? Fill their tummies with @Chobani Kids yogurt so they don't spoil their dinner! Click To Tweet
Make a list of favorites. Getting kids to skip the usual empty-calorie snacks is simple: You just need a stash of healthy alternatives they actually like! I recently created a list of 25 healthy snacks for kids that contains many of my kids favorite snacks, which I use to reference before grocery shopping. Having this list of what they like helps me ensure the house is stocked with ingredients to build a healthy snack.
Whether you’re on the go or at home, try to make snack time a priority. It’s a great time to promote healthy eating habits and supply your kids with valuable nutrients that their growing bodies need, so try and make each choice count!
Disclosure: I am proud to partner with Chobani to bring you healthy recipes that are both kid tested and parent approved. Because of these great partnerships I am able to share delicious and nutritious family-friendly recipes. As always all opinion and ideas are 100% my own.