Nothing quite compares to the hunger of a child after school. You know how it goes – the kids arrive home, walk through the door and proceed to graze all afternoon then have no appetite once dinner rolls around. Sound familiar?
When it comes to after school snacking - the key is to have planned snacks ready. Once the youngsters are helping themselves, you’ll find they invariably choose foods you don’t want them to eat and portion sizes can get out of control. An after-school snack should not fill them up completely but take the edge off their hunger so they maintain a healthy appetite at dinner.
When deciding what to offer as an after school snack, dietitians Anna and Alex from The Biting Truth recommend focusing on foods from the five food groups that deliver plenty of nutrition. Here are 6 after school snack ideas to add to your repertoire.
1. Raspberry Coconut Slice
Kids are often looking for something sweet after school so it’s great to have some healthier treat recipes up your sleeve to keep them satisfied. This healthy take on a classic slice is deliciously sweet, moist and full of flavour - making it perfect as an after school treat.
This recipe is a great one to get the kids involved, so get them in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon and whip up this slice to enjoy as an after school snack for the week ahead.
2. Bliss balls
Bliss balls, protein balls or energy balls (whatever you like to call them!) are easy to make and kids love to eat these bite-sized pockets of goodness. By making them yourself you can also pack them full of nutrition. The best part for busy parents - store them in an airtight container and they’ll keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge!
Regardless of the season, smoothies make for a great after school snack. For a satisfying smoothie combine fruit, milk, yoghurt and a wholegrain cereal (e.g. oats, weetbix). Instead of adding sugars like honey we prefer to use overripe fruit (e.g. overripe bananas) or dates as these will naturally sweeten the smoothie.
4. Healthy pikelets
Healthy pikelets are always good to have on standby when hungry kids come home from school and can't wait to grab some afternoon tea before running out to play. To bump up the nutrition in your pikelets, swap white flour for wholemeal flour and reduce the amount of added sugar. Serve with fresh fruit and a dollop of yoghurt for a delicious, wholesome snack!
5. Sausage rolls
Your kids will love these healthy sausage rolls made with chickpeas and veggies. Encased in flaky puff pastry and filled with healthy ingredients, they make a classic Australian recipe that can be enjoyed as a yummy after school snack. You can use any vegetables you like and can swap the chickpeas for mincemeat or another type of legume. Make them in batches to store in the freezer for busy weekdays!