The After School Snack Attack
Put those after-school munchies to rest! We know, kids are ravenous after a full day at school. And with lunchtimes that can range from really early to quite late, your child’s after-school snack needs can be tough to manage. Consider the growing boy who arrives home after school, in search of a second full lunch. As long as he is eating healthy food, Swedes dietitian Molly Sleger says parents should allow it.
“Micromanaging someone else’s diet takes away their ability to identify hunger,” she said. If a “second lunch” means that your child isn’t as hungry at dinner, Sleger says that’s okay. It’s okay to serve last night’s leftovers as an after-school snack. In fact, it might be a blessing to not have to rush home from activities in order to make an early dinner.
But if you are concerned your kids are eating too much after school, Sleger offers these three tips:
- Limit screen time.
- Prepare healthy snack choices so they are just as easy as grabbing a prepackaged treat. That could be a quesadilla with microwaved cheese or yogurt with mixed-in nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit or sprinkles. You could also set out cheese and crackers with grapes.
- Think like a kid. Offer PBJ in a variety of ways: on bread, pita, crackers or tortillas. Or set up hummus with fresh veggies to let your kiddo dip.