After I say goodbye to my students for the day, I open the cupboard where I keep my after-school snacks. By 3:00 in the afternoon I am starving ... and I am sure your students are, too!
Many elementary schools serve lunch early, around 11:00, and stomachs are ready for a refuel by late afternoon. Helping your child choose healthy options will restore energy and allow him or her to focus on homework or other activities after school.
The Family Education website offers two helpful reminders: set a good example and think in terms of finger food. Rather than sharing a bag of chips, be a role model for healthy eating by passing a bowl of sliced fruit. While reaching for chips always seems quick and easy, remind yourself how much more nutrition your student will get in a handful of apples or baby carrots.
Looking for something nutritious to fill those just-washed hands? Your child can grab handfuls of raw fruits and vegetables. Throw in some protein with diary products, cold turkey rolled around cheese, or whole wheat bread smeared with peanut butter. The Family Fun website suggests buying various nuts, seeds, granola, and dried fruit so your children can create their own trail mixes.
Since kids of all ages are more inclined to eat what is handy, purchase sliced fruits and veggies or prepare them the day before. If your student has an after-school program, pack the snack along with lunch. If your child heads home right after school, you can encourage healthy snacking by placing healthy snacks in an easily accessible spot. Keep it simple and nutritious ... it shouldn’t take longer to prepare it than it does to eat it!
Smart Snacking. Family Education. Web. 19, Sept. 2011.
Smart After-school Snacks. Disney Family Fun. Web. 19, Sept. 2011.
Reviewed September 20, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith