10 Allergy-Friendly After School Snack Ideas
Today I have 10 Allergy Friendly After School Snack Ideas that will get you through that witching hour that seems to come in the late afternoon. It is that time when the kids are home from school and moaning about how hungry they are but it is just not quite time for dinner yet.
And, if your house is anything like mine after school, then this is the time of day when you are unloading the days lunchboxes, going through all of the papers that come home in those backpacks, bugging those kiddos to get their homework done, and trying to think about dinner preparations all at the same time.
This is also the time that the kids are just tired and hungry and not really in the mood to hear the nagging…or really even listen to it.
As tempting as it can be to just hand over a sugary processed snack, this is a perfect time to fill them up with something nutrient dense and protein-filled. It will not only tide them over until dinner, but will also go a long way in keeping their moods a little more stable so that your afternoons can go just a bit smoother.
After all, it is always easier to whip up that wonderful meal for the family when the kids are not yelling at each other…or crying…or hanging off of your leg…
So.. keep some of these ideas on hand for a quick treat after school.
10 Allergy-Friendly After School Snacks Ideas:
1. Power-Packed Energy Bites – our family’s newest favorite after school snack. These take 5 minutes to throw together and are packed with protein, omegas, and nutrition.
2. Trail mix with Dairy Free Dark Chocolate pieces for a treat (Enjoy Life Foods has great Nut-Free Trail mixes) or make your own with: chopped raw nuts such as almonds, pecans, cashews, pistachios, or macadamias (if not Nut-Free), raisins, dates, apricots, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, dark chocolate pieces, etc.
3. Kid Friendly Smoothies – get creative and add different fruits, greens, chia or flax seeds
4. Sliced Bananas, Apples, Pears, or Celery with nut butter or nut-free sunflower seed butter for dipping. Make “Ants” or “Ladybugs” on a Log – top Celery sticks or thin Apple Slices with nut or nut-free butter and top with Raisins (for ants) or dried cranberries (for ladybugs).
5. Gluten-Free and Allergy Friendly Granola Cookie Bars cut into small pieces.
6. Home-made air-popped popcorn tossed with organic coconut oil and sea-salt.
7. Raw vegetables (sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, celery, etc) with hummus or salad dressing for dipping (try pureeing vegetables into your hummus)
8. Dehydrated/Dried Fruit (sulfite free) served with some Pumpkin Seeds or Sunflower Seeds for a punch of protein.
9. A batch of Allergy Friendly Muffins – freeze and just take them out as you need them. These Gluten-Free “Bran” Muffins are packed with good nutrition.
10. Smoothie Pops – turn a smoothie packed with healthy ingredients into a popsicle. Freeze in your favorite mold and serve for a fun treat.
My best tip is to make sure some of the ingredients from the above ideas always make it on to your grocery list each week so that you can keep your freezers, your fridges, and your cupboards stocked with some super simple snacks to throw together.
That witching hour will be a lot less spooky when the kids (and you) have that nutritious snack to get you through until dinnertime…
What snack ideas can YOU add to this list?
Kim Maes is the creator of the Cook It Allergy Free iPhone and iPad Apps, which customize recipes to meet multiple food allergy needs. She also writes the recipe blog Cook It Allergy Free, where she shares her passion for teaching others how easy and delicious it can be to eat whole, pure allergy-friendly meals that the entire family will enjoy. Kim went back to receive a Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition after her son and her husband were diagnosed with Celiac Disease and other food sensitivities.