I am looking for some low fat snacks to feed my children after school. Can you suggest some of your favorites?

Healthy after school snacks are just what kids need to give them energy but not allow them to be “stuffed” before dinner. To start one’s quest for healthy snacks, I would advise my clients to steer clear of the “snack” food aisle. Here you will find oodles of potato chips, cheese curls, nacho chips, and buttery popcorn options. It is true…amongst some of these high fat/salty snacks are baked and low sodium options but even these are still not at the top of my list of healthy kid-friendly snacks. Healthy snacks for kids should contain a mixture of three things: protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrate. So, steer your cart past the snack aisle and peruse the perimeter! There you will find an array of healthy options. Bring out the blender and combine a low sugar fruit juice (Healthy Balance from Old Orchard), ½ a banana, plain yogurt, and ice for a tasty treat (add Kiefer for extra protein!). Your kids might enjoy a ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese (or Greek yogurt) topped with blueberries and chia seeds. Hard boiled eggs (just the egg whites) or tuna fish mix up well with a little bit of light mayonnaise and can be placed inside half of a whole grain pita. Another great snack idea is to think “finger foods”. Kids love to eat with their hands so provide them with a variety of options to pair together such as: Low fat string cheese and trail mix, sliced 2% cheese wrapped around low sodium lunch meat paired with dried fruit, a handful of almonds and a pear, sliced apples dipped in a small amount of peanut butter. I am also a huge fan of hummus! This is a healthy and tasty bean-based snack. It pairs well with carrots, whole wheat pita chips, or rice cakes.

One of the most important things to get your kids to eat healthy snacks is to introduce healthy foods early on in their life and re-introduce various foods if you are met with resistance at first. Talk to your kids about why various foods are good for them and then lead by example by choosing healthy foods yourself. Get your kids involved in the grocery shopping experience and get creative in the kitchen by trying new recipes and letting your child create his or her own dish. It is also a good idea to not focus too much on eating/food and make sure to find fun family activities to “do” together.

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