One way to help them through the day is to provide after-school snacks that’ll give them an energy boost but not spoil their supper. Here are some of our favorite options:
- Serve vegetables or pita chips with hummus (chickpeas make it a good protein source). To make this more kid-friendly, use small metal cookies cutters to cut fun shapes out of bell peppers and cucumbers. You can also fill celery stalks with peanut butter.
- 100-calorie snack packs are convenient and come in handy for portion control. Serve them with a handful of blueberries—they’re full of fiber and a cup has just 80 calories. They are also a source of manganese, which helps convert proteins, carbohydrates and fats into energy, making it the perfect snack companion.
- Hard-boil a dozen eggs on Sunday and have them handy for your kids throughout the week. Eggs are a terrific protein source. For perfectly cooked eggs, put them into a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil, cover and remove from the heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Immediately rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking.
- Sprinkle a fiber-rich cereal over a bowl of yogurt. Choose Greek yogurt, which has twice the protein and will keep you feeling full longer.
- Honey-roasted peanuts can help satisfy a sweet tooth and provide nutrition. They are full of protein and fiber, which will keep your kids full till dinner.
- Serve up some fruit and cheese kabobs, which will provide both antioxidants and protein. Just skewers cubes of low fat cheese and alternate them with grapes, berries, apple slices or banana chunks. Better yet, you do the slicing and dicing, and let your kids do the skewering.
- If you want to treat your kids to candy once in a while, choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate over milk chocolate—it’s a healthier way to indulge them.
One more tip: Dehydration causes fatigue, so be sure your kids are drinking plenty of water. Squeeze a slice of lemon into their glass to add a little potassium and Vitamin C.