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The Hood Magazine

Fuel your Kids for After School with Healthy Snacks

Jul 26, 2022 ● By Sanford Health

By: Sanford Health 

School will soon be back in session and fall after-school activities will be in full swing. Your kiddos sit at their desks all day, but their days don’t stop there. Kids who go straight from school to after-school activities can benefit from having a snack to provide extra energy and hydration before running off to practice, training or rehearsal. When you make food fun for kids, they are more likely to eat it and enjoy it! By preparing healthy snacks at home for your athlete, actor, or musician, you can control what goes into their bodies, fueling them in the right ways. 

Sanford Health dietitians share some of their favorite snack ideas for kids below. 

Get creative! 

Trail mix is a kid-friendly, convenient snack that you can toss into their backpacks in the morning. However, it is important to remember that trail mix can include high-energy and high-calorie ingredients, so you only need about ¼ of a cup for a snack. The fun part about trail mix is you can mix and match your child’s favorite ingredients into the recipe. Using items like wheat cereal, dried fruit, and nuts are healthy options to add to the mix. Your child might even have a fun time putting the trail mix together with you! 

Fruits and proteins 

Fruits offer a healthy balance of sugar to be fueled into energy. Apples or bananas are great examples of healthy fruit options. To add a little protein to the snack, pack a nut butter to go along with the fruit. Paired together, this is a great, quick snack that kids can keep in their backpacks or locker throughout the day, ready to energize them for their after-school activity. 

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate 

Water is the No. 1 thing your child needs to stay hydrated during activity. This makes drinking water before, during, and after activity just as important as that snack. Encourage your kids to drink water not only during their activity but also throughout the day. 

Post activity 

After running around with their friends for extended periods of time, your children’s bodies need replenishment. Consider giving them a post-activity snack to replenish that lost glycogen that gets depleted during activity. One of the keys to a healthy post-activity snack is to balance it. An example of a healthy option to stay within those parameters would be a banana with chocolate milk. And remember, WATER, WATER, WATER. Hydration is vital in our body’s recovery process, which will ensure they are ready to hit the field, stage, or court again tomorrow! 

Healthy options, healthy school year 

Good nutrition is a critical factor in ensuring that your little one has enough energy to participate in the after-school activities that they love. Providing healthy, nutritious snack options ensures a great start to the school year. Make sure to remind them that the prime time for snacking before an activity is 30 minutes. This leaves enough time for digestion and for those fuels to start working. So, while it may be easy to pick up prepackaged snacks, candy or chips, remember, healthy options can be simple too!