Get snack
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Get snack

Jun 17, 2023

Whether you’re a nanny or a busy mum, it can be difficult to stop the kids from heading straight for the biscuit jar when they get home from school. The problem is that easy after-school snacks like biscuits, crisps and sweets tend to be high in fat, salt and sugar, and can take up stomach space that’s needed for more wholesome foods. That’s why the NHS recommends that kids should only be allowed a maximum of two 100-calorie packaged treats per day.

Healthy after-school snacks can have a big positive effect on children’s overall wellbeing by making up for any deficits in their daily diet. If the kids don’t tend to eat many fruits or vegetables at mealtimes, then snacks can help boost their nutrition levels.

The glucose provided by a quick snack can also provide kids with some much-needed brain and muscle power to help them concentrate on their homework or prepare them for after-school activities.

To help you combat after-school hunger pangs without resorting to unhealthy treats, here are a few healthy after-school snack ideas that can be whipped up in an instant. Not only are they more nutritious than packaged treats, they’re super-munchable too.

DIY snacks are often cheaper and far more healthy than packaged snacks, so why not give these yummy light bites a go?

If you’ve got a little more time to spare, why not give one of these more elaborate treats a go? Children will love to watch you make them — or even to help out themselves.

These are simple and fun to assemble, so they’re a great way to encourage kids to make their own healthy snacks. Take a variety of different coloured fruits, for example raspberries, strawberries, mango, pineapple chunks, kiwi fruit and grapes — or whatever else you have to hand. Chop into bite-sized pieces, then let the kids arrange the fruit pieces onto wooden skewers. If they add up the fruit as they go along, it can even help them with their maths skills.

This is a tasty treat that’s easy to prepare the night before. Simply slice a banana and freeze it, then when you get back from school, whizz the frozen banana in a food processor to produce a creamy, healthy snack.

“Ants on a log” is a quirky, fun idea for a healthy after-school snack. Fill halved celery stalks with peanut butter and top with raisins. You can vary this recipe depending on what you have in the food cupboard at the time. For the log, swap celery with cucumber or a banana sliced in half. The filling can be any nut butter, cream cheese, hummus, cottage cheese or another dip. And for the ants, you could also use peas, sweetcorn or any type of dried fruit chopped into small pieces.

Or how about a smoothie? Kids love to watch the colours blend together and transform into a delicious, filling drink. Blend together your child’s favourite fruit with some low-fat milk or yoghurt and voilà! Quick, easy after-school snacks that are packed with goodness.

Or try a banana, oat and peanut butter smoothie. This can be whizzed up in an instant and provides a healthy, energy-packed snack.

These healthy after-school snacks not only look enticing, but are also made from 100% natural ingredients and no added sugar. Take a handful of blueberries, a banana, some Greek yoghurt and a little honey, and blend in a food processor until smooth. Then pour the mixture into lolly moulds. Add some sticks and freeze for a few hours before serving.

Turn pizza on its head by letting the kids create their own masterpieces using fruit. Use mini whole wheat tortillas for the base, then spread with cream cheese. Toppings can include strawberries, raspberries, kiwi and banana pieces. If the kids have a favourite fruit or vegetable then let them add these as pizza toppings. Make it even more fun by letting them name their new “pizza” creations.

You can find healthy after-school snacks when you’re out grocery shopping — it’s just a case of knowing what you’re looking for. When buying snacks off the shelf, make sure to read the nutrition labels. Some products feature helpful “traffic light” labels to help you identify the healthiest options. Look for amber and green “lights” and avoid the reds.

When it comes to healthy eating, it’s important that all caregivers, including nannies and babysitters, provide kids with a good role model. So make a point of joining the kids for healthy after-school snacks when you get home. If you eat what you want them to eat and show them how much you’re enjoying your nutritious nibbles, they’ll soon pick up your healthy eating habits.