My last article focused on health ideas for school snacks and lunches. But what to feed your children when the after school munchies hit? This is a great time to load them up with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, quality protein, and some healthy fats. When children are hungry they’ll eat almost anything, why not make it healthy?

Some of my favorite after school snacks include homemade guacamole and carrot sticks, hummus and whole grain crackers, rice cakes with raw nut butter, ants on a log (celery stuffed with nut butter and raisins), homemade vegetable nori rolls, whole grain toast with nut butter and jelly, homemade whole grain muffins with a glass of non-dairy milk, plain yogurt and granola, a bowl of whole grain, high fiber cereal with non-dairy milk (in my house we don’t eat cereal for breakfast but I’m okay with it as an after school snack), and a tortilla roll-up with turkey and avocado.

Don’t be afraid to pull out last night’s leftovers. A friend told me her children once consumed an entire leftover chicken dinner after school AND still ate a healthy supper. Remember, using their little thinking caps all day consumes a lot of calories! Did you know that although your brain accounts for less than 2% of body weight, it burns about 20% of your body’s energy (calories)?

For inspiration, try stopping off at one of Denver’s local farmers’ markets after school pick up. Let your children choose their own locally grown, organic snack fresh from the farm. Click this link to find a local farm stand near you:

Until next time, make every bite count!