The older our kids get, the more ravenous they seem to be after-school. Plus with the bigger ones being more independent they’ll happily grab their own snacks once at home, so it’s ever-more important to make sure there are some well-balanced options to hand.
When we’re straight on the move to an afternoon activity, we’re always on the look out for convenient snacks to have on the go to give that all important energy boost.
At home though a homemade snack is just perfect and a great chance to give them both protein plus some of their five a day to keep energy levels up until dinnertime (without later snacking ruining their appetite for a meal!).
Here’s some of our go tos:
First things first, make sure they have a good drink. Thirst can confuse hunger signals, and often makes kids feel more ravenous than they actually are. In all likelihood during the school day they won’t have drunk enough for their busy brains and bodies so it’s really important for them to get hydrated. And what better way to do that than with a lovely cup of Small & Wild, as a tasty drink with no added sugar or additives - let them pick their favourite and turn it into a calming post school ritual. And if you can, join them for a cuppa!
Homemade popcorn - this is so super simple but always goes down a storm with our crew. Get some corn kernels and cook according to the instructions. This is usually a 5 - 10 min job, and the kids love to hear them pop. Then pick your toppings, we like to melt some butter, add cinnamon and raw honey and then shake up with the popcorn. Or melt some peanut butter to give a super yummy drizzle. The possibilities are pretty endless! Head to this BBC Good Food recipe collection for more inspiration.
- Snacking platter! Kids young and older relish a grazing plate of sorts, and this is a great chance to get them to have a mixture of fruits, veggies, nuts - all the good stuff. Dried apricots, cubes of cheese, some cherry tomatoes and cashews are winners in our house. Lay out the options and let the kids be in charge of creating their own platter. Nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed has some great advice and inspiration for providing balanced meals and snacks.
Dippers - who doesn’t love a dipper - and these can come in all forms. Whether it’s pitta bread strips and slices of pepper with homemade hummus, or sliced fruit with nut butter. Dips are a great way to get kids to combine protein and veggies or fruit for a balanced snack. The brilliant Joe Wicks has some great dip ideas in his Wean in 15 book which also go down well with bigger kids too.
Mini muffins - when we manage to get organised, we love to make a batch of mini muffins. Get experimental with the fillings and find your family favourites (we make enough for some grown up WFH snacking too!). For some great inspiration, Little Veggie Eats has fantastic recipes for mini bakes. Wrap them up to take out and about as well.
For more homemade, sustainable snacks on the go, do check out our blog kindly put together by Dots Cookin.
We’d love to hear your after-school snack selection too!