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Part of the afterschool snack challenge is finding ways to keep your kids enjoying healthy snacks so that you don’t find yourself doling out processed foods every day at 3:00 pm. One of the best ways to get kids invested in what they are eating during snack time is to have them prepare it themselves. Here are 10 simple snacks kids can prepare with minimal supervision from mom or dad.
- Nacho Dip. Nachos can be a healthy snack as long as you don’t overdo it. Kids can layer fat-free refried beans with cheddar cheese and parents can heat it up in the microwave. Kids can then finish layering with nutritious toppings like avocado chunks, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce and spoon the dip into a tortilla or eat as a dip with tortilla chips.
- Turkey Rollups. Give each child a whole wheat tortilla wrap on which they can spread softened cream cheese. Add a few slices of turkey and some shredded carrot. Kids can then roll the tortilla and enjoy.
- Ham and Pineapple Kebabs. Give kids a bowl of pineapple chunks and a bowl of cubed ham. The kids make their kebabs by piercing the pineapple and ham with wooden skewers. All sorts of sliced fruit and cubed cheese can be used.
- Apple Slices with Peanut Butter. Apples may seem ordinary to kids until they have used an apple slicer, which simultaneously removes the core and slices the apple into equal pieces. Collect the slices and serve on a plate with a scoop of peanut butter.
- Cup-of-Fun. If your kids can’t decide between popcorn, pretzels, peanuts or raisins, have them make a little “cup of fun” by tossing all the ingredients in a bowl and then dividing into individual portions. A variety of ingredients can be included such as shredded coconut, chocolate chips, cereal, and dried fruit.
- Afterschool Pizza. Pita bread makes for an instant pizza crust. Kids can spoon a little pizza sauce in the center and top with mozzarella cheese and whatever toppings are on hand. Parents can then put it in a baking sheet and pop it into a 375 degree oven for a few minutes for the cheese to melt and the toppings to warm. If you don’t have pizza sauce, just sprinkle cheese on top of the pita and add sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Yogurt and Granola Parfaits. Kids can jazz up plain or vanilla yogurt by making a parfait. Using a clear class, alternate layers of yogurt with some layers of granola and some sliced strawberries.
- Pretzels with Chocolate Dipping Sauce. It doesn’t take much to make pretzels a little more interesting. Kids can melt about 1/3 cup chocolate chips in the microwave (parent supervision recommended) and use as a dip for the pretzels. White chocolate works well too, and peanut butter or honey mustard are other dipping sauces your kids might enjoy.
- Prosciutto Wrapped around Cantaloupe. Kids love the contrast between the saltiness of the prosciutto with the sweetness of the melon. Parents can prep the melon slices (scoop out the flesh and remove the rind) and then kids can wrap the prosciutto around the melon and secure with a toothpick. Serve with a side of crunchy breadsticks.
- Cheese Panini Fingers. Crisp fall days require something substantial for snack, and grilled cheese is a perennial favorite with the afterschool set. Kids can easily prepare their Panini; use whatever cheese you have in the fridge to make a sandwich, and Panini presses do the work quickly and with much less clean up than using a pan to grill the sandwich. Be sure that a parent is on hand to use the Panini press.
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