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Healthy After-School Snacks

Updated on August 11, 2009

I'm Hungry!

Is this what you hear from your kids, when they get home from school or when they call you at work?

Some kids eat an early lunch at school because of the scheduling. I have heard of kids eating lunch as early as 10:30 AM. Of course, they are hungry when they get home!

You can have healthy snacks prepared for them, or some of the following snacks are so simple, kids can make them on their own.

Trail Mix

http://www.istockphoto.com
http://www.istockphoto.com

Trail mix is so easy, kids can do it. Just mix crunchy and salty with fruity.

Select 2-3 combinations:

Peanuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios  (In case of nut allergies, use pretzels, popcorn or sunflower seeds

Cheerios, Chex, Kix, Crispix (lower in sugar)

Dried cranberries, apricots, banana, raisins, cherries, pineapple

Dark chocolate chips


http://images.main.uab.edu/
http://images.main.uab.edu/

Strawberry Smoothie

1- 8 oz cup strawberry yogurt

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice

1/2 cup milk

In blender, combine yogurt, strawberries, pineapple and milk. Blend for 2 minutes. Should make about 4-8 ounce glasses.

http://www.herbalmagic.ca
http://www.herbalmagic.ca

Celery

Mix cream cheese and crushed pineapple together. Spread on celery ribs.

Use cottage cheese and pineapple on celery.

How about peanut butter and raisins on celery?

Use prepared Hummus as a dip for celery.

Or make your own Hummus:

1 can garbanzo beans

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

In a blender, blend the garbanzos, garlic and lemon juice until smooth

Keep blender running and add olive oil until well blended.


http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com
http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com

Apple Punch

This is s-o-o-o easy and s-o-o-o refreshing!

1 can frozen apple juice, 12 oz. can

1 -33 oz. bottle sparkling water

1 cup water

Place the frozen apple juice into a pitcher. Pour the sparkling water over and stir gently until apple juice is melted. Dilute with 1 cup water.

Soft Pretzels in Your Bread Machine

This is a good weekend project with your kids.

You will be using the dough cycle on your bread machine. This will knead the dough and let it rise one time. After the dough rises (about an hour) remove it from the bread machine and shape it into pretzels by hand. Let it rise again and then bake in a conventional oven. Do not try to bake them in your machine.

1 3/4 cups warm water (feels room temperature on your wrist)

1 package active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

4 1/2 to 5 cups unbleached flour

1 egg

1/4 cup coarse salt

Measure warm water into your bread machine. Sprinkle with yeast. Add sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Start your bread machine. Keep adding flour until a stiff dough is formed. Be careful not to add too much. You don't want your machine to labor.

After first kneading, dough will rise about an hour in the bread machine.

Turn out onto a floured towel or breadboard. Form into a ball. Cut in half. Set half of dough aside and cover with a towel to prevent drying. Cut remaining half into 8 even pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping remaining pieces covered.

Roll a piece of dough with palms of hands into a 20-inch rope.

To shape pretzels: With the rope, form a loop with ends about 3 inches long. Take ends, one in each hand and twist to reverse positions. Spread the ends apart. Bring the loop over the ends and pinch the tips of the ends to the loop (see diagram) Place pretzels on a large, lightly greased baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Continue for 8 of the pretzels.



Beat egg slightly with a fork. Brush pretzels with egg and sprinkle with coarse or Kosher salt. Set aside to rise in a warm place, 15 to 20 minutes or until they look puffy. Cut remaining half of dough into 8 equal pieces and continue as before.

While first pan of pretzels is baking, second is rising. Bake pretzels in a 400 degree oven for 15 -18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Serve warm or cold. Makes 16 soft pretzels.

I like mine with mustard! Yum!

http://www.vitaminia.com
http://www.vitaminia.com

Rice Cakes

You can buy flavored rice cakes such as white cheddar, caramel, apple cinnamon. These are very good.

Let your kids get creative with them. Try plain rice cake pizzas with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and bacon bits. Microwave for 30 seconds.

Make a tuna melt with tuna and cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds.

Try some almond butter and honey or sliced apple and cinnamon.

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    • judydianne profile image
      Author

      judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Glad you enjoyed it, Coach.

    • Coach Albert profile image

      Coach Albert 7 years ago from San Francisco

      I tried your recipe for the hummus, it was great! Celery is my favorite fiber snack but I always wanted something unhealthy with it, (like cream cheese). Thanks for the healthy option! -Coach

    • judydianne profile image
      Author

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Thanks, Smireles. You can always throw in a banana, as well. Tastes just like a strawberry milkshake!

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 8 years ago from Texas

      Great ideas for snacks. I love strawberry smoothies. Helpful and interesting.