5 Healthy Afternoon Snack Alternatives to Junk Food

Shantie Toolsie  | March 25, 2019

Every parent has experienced it: the kiddos come home from school and the first thing they do is reach for a snack. While they might find cookies, chips or pudding a delicious way to curb pre-dinner hunger, parents realize that this probably isn’t the best option. But how do you get your kids to switch to healthy snacks they can still be excited about? Read on for some delicious (and easy) recipes they’re sure to love!

1. Fruit Leather

So it’s not quite Fruit Roll-Ups, but it’s a lot healthier and can be made at home for a lot less money. They’re also portable, so perfect for after-school activities or athletic practice. Fruit leather only contains three ingredients: fruit, lemon juice and sugar or honey! You’ll need about four cups of fruit per tray of leather, but you can use just about any fruit so long as it can be cooked and pureed. Here is a great recipe for classic strawberry fruit leather.

2. Veggie Chips

If your child is craving something salty and crunchy, serve them up some healthy veggie chips instead of greasy potato chips. You can make your own veggie chips, but also consider delicious brands like Harvest Snaps or PopCorners. These brands offer seasoned varieties, or you can buy plain flavors and add your own low-sodium seasoning blends. They’re sure to taste so good, the kids won’t even suspect they’re eating vegetables!

3. Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

Yes, you read that right. Ice cream may not be your first thought when it comes to “healthy” snacking, but with this two-ingredient recipe, you can easily make a tasty frozen treat the kids are sure to like just as much as real ice cream. You may even find yourself or your spouse indulging now and then, so make a big batch.

4. Cheese

It’s no secret that most kids love cheese. Plus, cheese is actually good for them in moderation. It provides beneficial protein and calcium, and will satisfy hunger longer than sugar or carbs. Low-fat cheese sticks and crackers or pretzels are always a good choice for an afternoon snack. If you want to up your cheese game, also consider making cream cheese and cucumber crackers, grilled cheese snackers or cheesy tortilla roll-ups!

5. DIY Go-GURT

Go-GURT is popular for kids and convenient for parents to put in lunch boxes or bring to soccer practice, but Go-GURT is full of sugar and ingredients kids can do without. Opt instead for making your own! It’s easy with this recipe. It preserves all the fun of yogurt in a squeeze pouch while making it just a bit more healthy and sustainable than the store brand. Looking for good drink alternatives to soda? Check out our blog post here for healthier drink ideas. Happy snacking!

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