When kids get back from school, they’re hungry. It’s going to be at least three hours before you can cook like a man and create the masterpiece known as dinner. Unless you want some hangry kids, you’re going to need a post-school snack. The easy way to go is some pre-packaged, processed junk food, but that’s not going to help provide the kids with daily nutrients. They’re certainly not getting nutrients at lunch either (have you seen lunch menus) so give them an afterschool snack that doesn’t have ingredients you can’t name.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies
You can never go wrong with these classics. Sliced apples, oranges, cucumbers, and/or berries will have them growing like weeds. If the kids want a little flavor, then make some ranch dip for carrots, peanut butter for celery and a little caramel for the fruit. Keep in mind that a snack doesn’t have to be 100 percent healthy. We don’t have to force feed them artichokes and live in fear of them developing rickets. The goal is to give them a healthy snack that’s actually beneficial to them and will hold them until dinner. A little ranch or caramel isn’t nearly as bad as a bag of potato chips or cheese curls.
Nuts and Cheeses
For me, this has always been a great combination for a snack. The soft chewiness of the cheese goes well with the salty crunchiness of the nuts. You don’t have to go all out either. There’s no need to spend a ton of money on certain nuts unless you like them. A canister of peanuts or bridge mix will go a long way to satiate that after school hunger. The same goes for the cheese. I like slicing up some mild or sharp cheddar, but any cheese will do. I’d just stay away from the stinky cheeses. Nothing gets kids riled up faster than some stinky cheese. That’s science right there.
Let’s Not Forget the Drinks
This whole exercise is pretty much fruitless, no pun intended, if you decide to let them wash down their fruits and nuts with sugary drinks and soda. The best option is always water. It’s just what the body needs, and let’s face it, no one drinks enough water. If the kids want some flavor, then 100 percent fruit juice is my favorite. Stay away from “fruit juices” made from concentrate and have loads of added sugar. If you see the word corn syrup, run away.
For more great ideas for back to school snacks, then explore dadsthatcook.com.