Getting your kids involved in activities in the kitchen is not only fun, but it's also a great way to introduce them to healthy foods. Children are often more likely to try new foods if they had a hand in preparing them -- and what better time to engage them in an activity than right after school when their tummies are grumbling and you need to start preparing dinner!
Make a parfait
Parfaits hit the trifecta of kid-friendly snacks. They are healthy, super-easy to prepare and totally customizable. The key to making a good parfait is having fresh ingredients available for layering and a whole grain cereal or granola available for a little crunch. Yogurt is an ideal after school snack because it is packed with probiotics and protein -- especially Greek yogurt. This helps to regulate little digestive systems and truly holds kids over until dinner. Get your kids started by setting out all of the parfait ingredients -- plain yogurt, honey, fresh berries, cereal or even peanut butter -- and let them go to town. Since all of the ingredients are healthy, you don't have to worry about controlling the ratios or layering. Just give them small bowls, so it's no big deal if they fill them up.
Fun and easy to prepare, let your kids make roll-ups the next time they are in the mood for a quick, savory snack. Offer up whole grain tortillas, cream cheese and their favorite lunchmeat for an after school snack that is made to be eaten on the go. Go from savory to sweet by having them spread their favorite nut butter on a tortilla and wrapping up a banana. Or make it a hot, taquito-style snack by adding cheddar and salsa and heating it up for 30 to 40 seconds.
Buying bulk foods that your family loves is a cost-effective way to make sure your kids always have healthy snacks they enjoy available. Fill canisters with healthy, bulk foods like whole grain cereal, dried fruit (cherries, raisins, bananas, pineapple, apricots and cranberries), sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pretzels and peanuts. Give your kids a cup, a spoon and canister access and they will have all of the tools they need to whip up a batch of their own signature trail mix blend. Now, that's something any mother would be proud of!
What kid doesn't like to build stuff? Harness your child's love of blocks and all things stackable in the kitchen for an easy and delicious after school snack. Offer up crackers, cheese and apple or pear slices and let your kids build their very own culinary creation. Sweeten up the deal with peanut butter, cream cheese and slices of peach, melon or berries. You can even mix it up by offering graham crackers or melba toast instead of the standard soda cracker. Your kids are sure to devour their creations in half of the time that it took to build them.