Keeping your kids eating well is harder then ever before! Forget about all the junk food they are bombarded with everyday, some of them aren’t even getting a lunch time! Many kids have lunches as early as 10:00 in the morning, or are opting out of lunch all together in order to take more classes. Either way, this all too common scenario means kids are coming home from school starving! Many kids eat more calories in snacks when they come home then would be in a meal. Then shortly after, they are eating dinner, which can easily lead to weight gain. Follow these tips to master the after school snack.

Tip 1: Timing is Everything


If your child has an early lunch, or no lunch, one option is to change up when they are having their meals. For example, have one small morning snack like a piece of fruit. Another slightly larger snack in the afternoon such as apples with peanut butter, a protein bar, fruit & cheese stick, yogurt, etc…Then, have them eat lunch when they get home. This will help avoid junk food after school and keep them feeling full when they need it the most.

Tip 2: Junk Food 


Don’t keep junk food in the house: I know I am going to get some eye rolling with this one, but there shouldn’t really be junk food in the house. Chips, cookies, pretzels, popcorn, any food that doesn’t have nutritional value really shouldn’t be there. The best thing to teach kids is those types of foods are appropriate at parties, bbqs, holidays, special occasions, etc…but, if they are available everyday, they can easily become part of your child’s daily routine. Let’s be honest, while they have those fast little metabolisms now, we all know that doesn’t last forever. And, there is no definitive moment in your adult life where you don’t like that stuff anymore. So set your kids up for success and make it easy for them to choose a healthy snack after school.

Tip 3: #Delegate

Let them participate: Kids are more likely to be open to new foods when they had a part in the decision or preparation of it. Instead of demanding your child eat veggies, say I have carrots cucumbers, or peppers here, which do you want today? If it is a snack that requires some prep work, let them help out. Who knows, in a few years they might be able to use these skills to make dinner for you #delegate!

Tip 4: Protein Power

Simple carbs like pretzels, popcorn, cookies, goldfish, etc…will spike and crash your child’s blood sugar, making them hungry for more. Including high protein snacks will keep them feeling full and energized. Try incorporating yogurt, hummus, guacamole, cheese, nut butters, or some of the suggestions below


          Real Frozen Yogurt Pops

Stick a popsicle stick in a small container of yogurt and freeze. Or, spoon yogurt into an ice pop mold and freeze

          Boneless Chicken Wings

 Marinate chicken breast with BBQ sauce and hot sauce. Cut into bite size pieces and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes

          Toasted Chick Peas

Rinse and drain a can of chick peas. Coat in a bowl with salt, pepper, (additional spices optional). Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes rotating half way through

          Cucumber Sandwich

Cut a cucumber and use the two halves as bread for a turkey or chicken sandwich

Photo Cred cucumber subs: Make the Best of everything