Preparing for the After-School Snack Stampede!

Young boy drinking a glass of milk

Young boy drinking a glass of milk

It may be hard to believe, but summer vacation is drawing to a close and school is right around the corner. It’s time to plan for lots of things like new classrooms and teachers, unexpected supply needs, extracurricular activity requests – and hungry kids arriving home from school.

Although it’s easy to succumb to the appeal of ready-made, processed snacks, it can be just as easy and inexpensive to offer healthy but delicious options in single-serve sizes. Following are some quick and simple suggestions:

  • Store sliced veggies in the refrigerator and serve with hummus or low-fat ranch dressing.
  • Mix dried fruit, unsalted nuts and popcorn in a snack-size bag for a healthful trail mix.
  • Wrap sliced, low-sodium deli meats like turkey or ham around an apple wedge.
  • Store hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator for kids to grab any time.
  • Purchase fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits for easy “grab-and-go” options.
  • Offer a single serving of individually wrapped string cheese or low-fat yogurt.
  • Add club soda to a ½ cup of 100% fruit juice for a tasty alternative to soda.

With just a bit of advanced planning, it’s a snap to halt the snack stampede and wind up with satisfied and healthier school-age kids!

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Author: Ginny Hinton – ghinton@ufl.edu

Santa Rosa County Extension Agent with UF/IFAS. Focus areas include nutrition, food safety, injury prevention, and healthy families. Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from University of West Florida. Master’s degree in Public Health/Health Education from University of South Florida.
http://santarosa.ifas.ufl.edu

Living Well in the Panhandle

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