Do you struggle to come up with healthy afternoon snack ideas? Snacking should be fun! Enjoying the food you eat will leave you feeling more satisfied and less likely to reach for junk food solutions.
Plus, making clean eating pleasurable is a great way to get your kids on board! The average American child today is not eating nutritiously. Data has shown that kids ages 2-18 get 40% of their calories from junk — primarily pizza, soda, and sweets. These empty calories are not helping kids to grow strong bodies or focus in school. In fact, they are doing just the opposite!
Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body and improve your health. While indulging in not-so-healthy options from time to time is totally acceptable, making junk food the norm in your household can be very problematic. With childhood obesity at an all-time high, now is the time to focus on clean eating and setting nutritious examples to live by.
Looking for a little inspiration? Check out these clever ideas to snack healthy any time of day:
Do your kids love pizza? This fun twist on the classic dish is great for after school snacking!
Made with a watermelon base — this pizza is hydrating and packed with vitamins. Watermelon is roughly 90% water, helping to promote digestion and increase water intake in your little ones. Studies have found that many children are dehydrated, potentially causing fatigue and headaches. Although watermelon is mostly water, it includes important nutrients like vitamins A, C, and B6. It also contains lycopene — an antioxidant that helps rid your body of unwanted free radicals and environmental toxins.
Simply slice a round of watermelon roughly 1-inch thick. Spread a thin layer of yogurt (dairy-free if needed) on top. Add your favorite fruits, nuts, and seeds. Let your kids help pick the toppings and decorate. Slice into 4 or more pieces and enjoy!
There is something about a thinly sliced apple that is so satisfying. This fruity snack is perfect for sharing and totally customizable.
Aside from being delicious, apples are a great source of fiber — providing nearly 20% of your daily-recommended intake in one piece of fruit. They also contain notable amounts of vitamin C and a handful of antioxidants to boost your immunity and ward off disease.
Slice an apple thinly into pieces and spread the slices out on a plate or tray. Add your favorite toppings. Some of my regular go-tos include:
- Something that drizzles like nut butter or honey.
- Chopped nuts including almonds, cashews, or walnuts.
- Coconut either shredded or flaked.
- Fresh berries or dried fruit.
- Seeds such as sesame, hemp, chia, sunflower, and pumpkin.
- Granola — find an easy recipe to make your own here!
Sushi can be a blast to eat! Power up for the day with this tasty dish or enjoy it as an afternoon snack to refuel and refocus. Pull out a pair of chopsticks and test your dexterity with these banana bites.
Bananas are a great energizing food! They have plenty of potassium, fiber, and carbohydrates to replenish your body after a tough workout or long day. Bananas are also a good source of vitamins B6 and C.
Peel a banana and cover the outside of the fruit in nut butter. Roll in granola, coconut, and seeds like chia seeds, hemp seeds, or sesame seeds. Cut up into “sushi” slices and chow down!
Knowing what to prep is half the battle! Try incorporating ingredients for these simple recipes on your next grocery list. You and your kids are going to love experimenting with these fun and healthy snack ideas!