This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mott’s®. The opinions and text are all mine. #MottsMovieBonus
Are your kids starving when they get home from school? Ours are. So we put together some Healthy After-Activity Snack Ideas For Kids for you! P.S. Creating a nutritious snack station has done wonders for our family!
I have a confession to make.
Food battles do not end with toddlerhood.
There. I said it.
And I feel that it’s only fair to let parents know that these battles continue well into grade school.
For example, this is what a typical afternoon in our home looks like:
Kids: Mom, I’m hungry.
Me: Okay, what would you like to eat?
Kids: I don’t know. What do we have?
Me: The same things we always have.
Kids: I don’t remember what we have.
Me: Strawberries. Watermelon. Honeydew. Cantaloupe. Carrot sticks. Cucumber spears. Hummus. Cheese sticks. Pretzels. Applesauce…
Kids: Anything else?
Me: Bangs head against the wall.
It’s kind of maddening at times, especially when you know your children are old enough to get a snack on their own. Unfortunately, when left to their own devices, children may not always pick the healthiest snack option available, which is what led us to create a healthy snacking station in our fridge.
This sounds way fancier than it really is, so don’t be deterred. Basically, I just filled two clear plastic containers with healthy after school snacks that I knew my kids already loved to eat. The only real trick was making sure that these snack buckets enabled the kids to be completely self-sufficient. The snacks inside needed to be things that they could eat or drink without any adult intervention. When deciding upon which snacks to include, I simply focused on things that were nutritious, portion-controlled, and bite-sized or easy to eat. By doing this, I am able to empower the kids to make smart snacking choices on their own and help them get excited about making nutritious life choices like choosing fruit and cheese over candy and chips.
Once I filled the snack stations with their favorite healthy treats, I sat down with them to explain how the system works.
In our home, our kids go to summer activities. This means that by the time they get home from their activities, they’ve already eaten a healthy breakfast, as well as a snack and their lunch. So we decided that they could pick any 1-2 healthy, portion-controlled snacks before dinner without having to ask me if it’s okay. They also know that I’m no dummy and will know if they sneaked some extra treats. (Side note: If you are working on snack ideas for toddlers, I highly recommend explaining to the little bubalas that if they gobble down all of their snacks right away, they’re going to be hungry and sad later on.)
But as with all things, there are exceptions to this rule. If they’re truly starving, or have an activity that runs late and pushes dinnertime back, they can always grab a third item. However, they also know that they have to make smart snacking choices. For example, they know that even though they may want to pick a banana, an apple, and some watermelon cubes, that’s not really going to tide them over until dinner. Instead, they should pick a fruit, a veggie, and some sort of protein – like an apple, some carrot sticks, and a piece of cheese.
It’s also really important for me to share that I don’t get all fancy with these bins. If the snack is already in a container, bonus! I just toss it in the bin. If it’s something I have to prepare ahead of time, no problem! I just cut up the fruit or veggie and shove it into a plastic baggie or container before tossing it in their bins. I also don’t necessarily fill their bins each day, but if I notice that they’ve run out of something – like fresh fruit – I obviously replace it. The idea is to simplify everyone’s life – not make it more complicated!
With this in mind, we also designated the entire bottom portion of the fridge for the kids and their yummy after-activity snacks. This way they aren’t hollering for me while I’m outside herding the baby chicks, relaxing on the back deck, or just trying to go to the bathroom in peace.
Healthy snacks for kids after Activities
Healthy Fruit Snack Ideas:
Bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries, red grapes (only red will do; our kids hate green grapes!), plums, and cubed watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and nectarines (must be peeled; don’t ask!)
Healthy Vegetable Snack Ideas:
Baby carrots, cucumber spears, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, pepper strips, and sugar snap peas
Healthy Dipping Snack Ideas:
Guacamole, yogurt ranch dressing, peanut butter, salsa, hummus, and white bean dip
Healthy Packaged Snack Ideas:
Mott’s® Applesauce Cups, dried fruit, popcorn, graham crackers, 1/2 muffin, crackers, yogurt, granola, veggie straws, pretzels, homemade trail mix, cheese sticks, rice cakes, and sunflower seeds
Milk, water bottles, Mott’s Apple Juice 64oz or Mott’s Juice 8oz 6pk, or sparkling water
This snack station has worked so well for the kids, that I’ve actually taken over half of the “cheese drawer” for my own snack station. This way, whenever I’m starving, I can just reach in and something nutritious to take upstairs to my office. It saves me a ton of wasted calories from just randomly snacking on whatever’s available!
So what about you? Do you do something like this in your home? Share it with us in the comments section below. We love hearing from you!!
P.S. Mott’s products are regularly found in our home and we love that they help us teach our children about how they can make smart snack choices on their own. Our daughter has a very difficult time eating traditional lunch-type foods at school, so you will always find Mott’s Applesauce Cups in her lunch bag. Her favorite flavor is Blueberry!
P.P.S. When you purchase the Mott’s products below, you can redeem your purchases for a FREE child’s ticket to The Secret Life of Pets – OMG!!! Plus, selected products now feature packaging with The Secret Life of Pets characters on it – how cute is that?
Heads up: Just so you know, these offers can be stacked – Purchases of 5 are eligible to receive the Free Childs Ticket as well as the $8 movie voucher!!