Home Parenting Tips A Mom’s Guide to Healthy After-School Snacks

A Mom’s Guide to Healthy After-School Snacks

by Ivy B

As a mom of two little whirlwinds myself, I totally get the chaos that ensues when picking up the kiddos from daycare or extended day. You’re tired, they’re cranky, and traffic is the last thing you need. And if it’s not quite time for dinner, but the kids are hungry, a quick snack could be just the thing to hold everyone over and maintain some semblance of sanity for a bit. But before you reach for that easy bag of chips or swing by the drive-thru, let’s chat about making that ride home a bit healthier (and still fun) for everyone!

Why reconsider what you're feeding to kids in the car after school and healthy after school snacking in the car
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Why Rethink the Car Snack?

It’s super easy to hand over a juice box and some cookies just to get through the ride, but guess what?

Researchers looking into how our kids eat after being picked up from daycare or after school activities found that our kiddos are getting a whopping 290 calories in just that one hour after daycare. That’s about 20% of their entire day’s calorie intake, with a significant chunk coming from added sugars and less-than-stellar snack choices. Yep, that quick snack could be a sneaky culprit in less healthy habits.

Healthy Snack Ideas for the Ride Home

Here’s my little toolbox of stress-free, healthy snacks that have saved my sanity more times than I can count:

  • Veggie Victory: Slice up some carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers. Make them fun shapes, and suddenly they’re way more interesting!
  • Cheese Please: Who doesn’t love cheese? String cheese, little cheese cubes, or slices – they’re always a hit and provide good protein.
  • Fruit Fun: Apple slices, banana pieces, or a mix of berries. Keep them in little containers ready to go.
  • Hydration Station: Water is always the best choice, but if they want a bit of flavor, try infusing water with fruits or opt for plain milk.

Believe it or not, my kiddos like water with fresh lemon squeezed in … no sugar added!

Making It Work

  • Prep is Key: Spend a few minutes the night before or in the morning prepping these snacks. You’ll thank yourself during that car ride!
  • Get the Kids Involved: Let them pick some of the fruits or shapes for the veggies the day before. If they help make it, they’re more likely to eat it.
  • Routine Wins: Kids thrive on routine. Make these healthy snacks a fun and expected part of the ride home. Sing a song about snack time, or make up a little game!

Remember, No Pressure

Every parent knows there are good days and “let’s just get home” days. Dr. Kristen Copeland, who studied these very snacking habits, reminds us that while treats are okay once in a while, this car ride home is also a prime opportunity to foster healthier habits. So, even if today ends up being a cookie day, there’s always tomorrow to try again with some crunchy veggies or sweet fruit!

As a seasoned mom, I’ve learned that these moments are as much about survival as they are about instilling good habits. Keep it light, keep it fun, and keep those tiny tummies happy and healthy on the ride home (at least a good part of the time)!

Rethink Your After-School Snack Game! Did you know that kids can consume up to 290 calories in just the one-hour car ride home from daycare? That's 20% of their daily intake, often packed with sugars and unhealthy snacks! 🍪➡️🥕 Let's make that ride healthier and fun! Discover easy, nutritious snack swaps and tips to turn snack time into a fun, healthy habit that nurtures their growth and keeps those after-school munchies in check.
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Solar May 26, 2024 - 6:40 am

This blog post was well-written. Thank you for the informative read!

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