When kids get home from school, they usually want a snack. A long day of school works up quite an appetite. That being said, most snacks that your kids will go for are not very healthy.
Chocolate, chips, juice, and candy are all go-to options. But, of course, they are as far away from healthy eating as can be. Furthermore, these sugary and acidic foods aren’t good for your children’s teeth. Therefore, today we want to talk about healthy snacks for school-age kids.
Not only are these snacks healthy for your child’s body, but for their teeth as well.
The Best Healthy Snacks for School-Age Kids
We know that kids can be picky eaters, so we will include a wide variety of healthy snacks for school-aged kids. You should be able to find at least a few snacks on our list that your child will like.
1. Yogurt – Plain
A great after-school snack for school-aged kids is yogurt. Plain yogurt is extremely healthy for several reasons.
First, it contains calcium that is great for teeth and bones. Moreover, it also contains protein, which is good for growing muscles. Finally, yogurt contains phosphorus, another essential substance to keep teeth healthy and strong.
Just be careful to select plain yogurt that does not have added sugar. Even plain yogurt can have added sugar, and this should be avoided.
You can always go for yogurt that isn’t plain, like berry yogurt. However, this will contain more sugar than plain yogurt. Fruit-flavored no sugar added options are an excellent substitute if your child gets sick of plain yogurt.
In addition, you can add fresh fruit to plain yogurt. Yes, fruit has sugar, something we will discuss below.
2. Fresh Fruit
If you want your kids to have a healthy after-school snack, fresh fruit is always a great option because it contains many vitamins. It’s an excellent way to get some nutrition into your child without complaints. There are many different fruits, which is ideal because kids can be picky eaters. You should be able to find several fruits your kids like.
However, many people are concerned about the sugar fruit contains. That said, fruit also has a good deal of water that will wash the sugar down. In addition, fruit sugar doesn’t tend to stick to the teeth, so it’s OK as far as oral health is concerned.
In addition, you may want to stay away from an abundance of acidic fruits, especially citrus fruits, because the acid can act on the enamel of the teeth.
Plus, you should stay away from dried fruit such as raisins, which contain large amounts of sugar and not much water. It’s not great in terms of the sugar content, and it’s not good for teeth either. They tend to stick right inside the grooves of the molar teeth.
3. Fresh Vegetables
Although you might not have as much luck with your kids, fresh vegetables are always a go-to option. Kids usually aren’t the biggest fans of vegetables, but there are quite a few to choose from, and you should be able to find several that your kids will eat.
Some options are broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and celery. Remember, these vegetables will contain more nutrients if they are eaten raw, not to mention picky kids prefer raw, rather than cooked, veggies. Your kids might give you a hard time with this one, but some dip on the side might help.
Ranch dip might not be the healthiest, although if it gets your child to eat its veggies, then so be it.
Of course, vegetables contain many minerals and vitamins that your child needs to grow big and strong. In addition, crunchy vegetables such as celery and carrots are good for the teeth because they help clean your teeth while eating them.
4. Nuts & Seeds
Yet another after-school snack ideal for kids is nuts and seeds. Nuts contain a good deal of protein and calories to provide energy. This should allow them to get through their after-school homework without crashing.
Moreover, nuts also contain healthy fats that your body needs to function properly. Nuts also contain various beneficial minerals and phosphorus, good for tooth health.
The same thing can be said for many seeds. The good thing is that there are dozens of options between nuts and seeds to choose from.
You can always mix multiple types together to keep things interesting and provide your child with a bit of variety. For example, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds, make a great trail mix type of after-school treat.
5. Cheese & Whole Grain Crackers
Our next recommendation is cheese and crackers. Cheese is great because it is rich in protein, good for those growing muscles. It may have a lot of calories, so it’s also a good energy provider. Moreover, cheese is sugar-free, so it’s not bad for the teeth. It’s also not acidic.
That said, cheese contains many different minerals and vitamins, mainly calcium for those teeth.
Moreover, there are many kinds of cheese, so you should be able to find at least one that your child likes. If cheese isn’t enough, combine it with a whole-grain cracker. Crackers are low in sugar and fat yet high in carbs and fiber.
The next healthy after-school snack is boiled eggs. They might not be overly exciting, but some kids like them. Moreover, eggs contain plenty of essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
Although eggs contain a good amount of cholesterol, their nutritional value is relatively high. If you want to spice them up a bit, turn those boiled eggs into egg salad or deviled eggs. Just go light on the mayonnaise because you don’t want your child to eat too much fat in the middle of the afternoon.
7. Toasted Whole-Grain Pita with Hummus
Try some toasted whole-grain pita with some hummus to switch things up a bit. Whole-grain pita contains essential vitamins and minerals necessary for many different bodily functions and fiber, good for the digestive system. On that same note, it’s also not acidic or sugary, and it doesn’t contain much fat.
Of course, pita on its own is not that attractive, so combining it with hummus is a good choice. Hummus is relatively low in fat and sugar, and it’s not acidic either. Yet, the chickpeas in the hummus contain protein, minerals, and vitamins.
8. Rice Cakes and Oat Cakes
Another simple healthy after-school snack is rice and oat cakes. Now, rice cakes have fewer calories and less fat than oat cakes, so this is something to think about.
That said, both don’t contain any sugar, and they aren’t acidic. As a result, they might be a bit boring, although they do often come in various flavors. Also, they are pretty hard and crunchy, so they help clean teeth while eating them.
It is no secret that kids can be picky. Therefore, finding healthy snacks for them can be quite a challenge. However, between the eight options that I have discussed above, you should be able to find a few that your kids will enjoy.