After School Snack Attack!?!?

Updated on August 27, 2010
J.P. asks from Ventura, CA
16 answers

Since I have recently established that my kids are crazy after school because 1) they need to decompress and 2) they need to re-balance their sugar levels and metabolism---I have a new question. What do I feed them when they come home?? I'm thinkin cookies and milk aren't the solution here. If I could bake/make a snack similar to like a 2000 calorie survival bar--only without 2000 calories, white flour, and sugar/corn syrup, maybe that would be good. Or do I give them a 2nd lunch--sandwich, fruit, cheese, etc.? They are eating me out of my house right now--literally in the fridge every 5 minutes. And these are girls-- ages 5 and 6!!!!! Something hearty and filling and healthy. Any ideas/recipes out there????

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answers from Boise on

As the weather cools off, a nice minestrone soup with lots of beans (protien) would be nice. Make a big pot at the beginning of the week. Put it in a crock pot so it is warm when they come home.

handfulls of nuts and seeds are good and healthy.

Protien is good for blood sugar.

I would AVOID soy and splenda that one poster offered up. Splenda is an excitotoxin and soy can disrupt the thyroid/estrogen levels.



answers from Phoenix on

PROTEIN!!!! Peanut butter has lots of protein to balance glucose levels. Cheese does too. Try some PB toast and a glass of milk or cheese and apples.

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answers from Denver on

protein always with the carbs! My kids love these:
Homemade granola bars
Combine: 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c honey
5T nut butter
1 egg
2T milk
3T canola oil
2t vanilla
add in: 2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
2 c INSTANT oats
1/2 c flaxseed
1/2 wheat germ
gently stir in: 3 c rice cereal
your choice 1/2 c dark choc chips
1/2 dried fruit (we like dried cherries or raisins, but I have done with craisins, apricots)
1/2 sliced almonds
press into greased 9x18 pan
bake 350 20 minutes slice when cool



answers from Los Angeles on

i just made whole wheat blueberry muffins last night that have only 170 calories a muffin and little fat. key is to use whole wheat flour instead of white and you have a much healthier filling snack. easy to make too! just google for the recipe... theres several out htere that are good..



answers from Provo on

my mom always baked muffins or bread (the kind that doesn't need to rise). find a recipe for something like zucchini bread or banana bread. you might have to play around with it a little at first, but just substitute some or all of the flour for whole wheat, the sugar for honey, some or all of the oil for applesauce. i've made recipes that call for 1 cup of sugar but i substituted only 2 tablespoons of honey and they were surprisingly sweet!



answers from New York on

I have found my kids want something snack like after school but I want them to eat something nutritious. I make them little cookie sandwiches. Take 2 nilla wafers spread peanut butter on each one and put a slice of banana between. You can also use nutella and strawberries if they don't like peanut butter and banana. It's important to get a protein in there or they will continue to be hungry. Oatmeal cookies also work well if they want a bigger cookie because the whole grain takes up space in the tummy.



answers from Pittsburgh on

We give string cheese, crackers, fruit, good old fashioned cookies and milk, peanut butter crackers, veggies and dip. And, of course, the occasional Oatmeal Creme Pie. lol



answers from Fort Collins on

Apples & peanut butter
banana (maybe with a yogurt)
cheese & crackers



answers from Denver on

Recently I have been freezing yougurt on a stick, they think they are getting an ice cream treat and it seems to fill them up and still stay healthy. My kids also love string cheese so we also do fruit and string cheese as a snack as well. I am looking for new ideas so I can't wait to read your answers.



answers from Denver on

I have this same problem! Protein, and lots of it, is the answer. I have about a 20 minute drive tafter I pick my kids up, so it is crucial that I bring them something in the car to eat. I have started bringing "chocolate milk" which is really Carnation Instant Breakfast drink. between the powder and the milk, they are getting a good dose of protein. (Note: I am going to look into switching this to a vanilla flavored protein powder and carob powder mix - I don't think they need all the additives that are in the Carnation mix).

So the milk gets us home, but won't last us until dinner. Thus, I invented "Mama Tea" when my kids were just starting school. I had always had a British style tea and snack for myself around 4pm, so I expanded this to be a mini meal for all of us - just like the Brits. The other benefit is that it provides a civilized, focused moment for us all to sit down at the table and share news about our day. When they were younger, I would put out a multi-compartment dish filled with nuts, fruit, cheese, etc. anything that was nutritious and had protein. I would serve them decaf English breakfast tea with lots of milk and some Agave sweetner (although my youngest has now gravitated to decaf chai, with milk) and after all of the "brain food" was finished, we could each have a cookie.

Now that they are older, the buffet style of little finger foods is no longer substantial enough for them, so now we still have "Mama Tea" but with things like quessadillas, mini hamburgers (the precooked kind you just pop in the micro), chicken flautas, or chicken nuggets. All but the quesadillas are things I buy at Costco; I'm not psyched because they are prepared food with additives, but they are eaten in small quantities and get some points for having lots of protein (and being easy!)

By now, everyone who knows us knows that we have "Mama Tea" around 4pm EVERY day, and it is just as regular as breakfast or dinner. The key is to think of this "snack" as a fourth meal, and to take it just as seriously as you would dinner - they really need that much food when they are in school!

Oh, one more thing I try to do - when packing their lunches, try to put some extra in so that they can eat it after school if necessary. It is not a solution, but it will buy you some time to get the real food in them!
Hope that helps!



answers from Tulsa on

Good snacks high in complex carbohydrates and protein are good choices. They have gone for hours without food and are starving. They may not have even had a very good selection at the lunch line either so they may have even missed lunch. I consider snack time to be a small meal, not just a little nibble. Plus add some water here and that ups their intake of fluids. They often forget to drink water at school until they are so thirsty they are dry.

Always have something substantial for them when they walk in the door. One thing I would make about once a week is Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars. I think it's cookbook recipe but I googled them and there are tons of recipes online. Anything with Oatmeal in it is a good choice due to it's healthy advantages. Our nutritionist at the hospital says Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are not a snack, they are health food.

Two days a week we get kids from school and go almost directly to gymnastics and/or dance so we drive through Wendy's, 5 nuggets for a little over a dollar plus their little cups of Mandarin Oranges is a nice refreshing snack.



answers from Denver on

Hi Julie - I was just wondering - are they eating all of their lunch at school? My son went through this for a while where he would basically have a full meal at 4pm and then still be able to eat dinner later and also want a bedtime snack.

I found out that he was often choosing the "vegan" option at lunch which was basically a Trix yogurt, a cheese stick and salad. He of course ate the yogurt and part of the cheese stick and skipped the salad completely.

I told him he wasnt allowed to order that anymore and we went through the monthly menu and picked days where he wanted to eat at school and days he wanted to take lunch. As soon as he started eating a good lunch, the afternoon foodfest became a lot more manageable.

my rule of thumb for an afternoon snack is less than 200 calories and always has a complex carb and a protein. My kids love cookies and milk - I just make them homemade - basically a peanut butter cookie and I add steelcut oatmeal and some chocolate chips.


answers from Kalamazoo on

Cheese, yogurt, pb - something with some fat and calories, combined with a fresh fruit or veggie. PB on celery, cheese and crackers, veggies dipped in sour cream, ham and cr cheese roll up, yogurt with berries and granola.



answers from Little Rock on

Peanut butter on Whole Wheat Ritz or in our case due to peanut allergies, Soy Butter. Soy butter can be got at Walmart in the Peanut Butter section in the GV brand and is Peanut Free. Also can be got in the Organic/Health Food section of Kroger's in the I.M. Healthy Brand. Another idea would be a half ham or turkey sandwich, fresh fruit, cottage cheese and canned fruit preferable in its own juice or sweetened with Splenda.

I know how you feel. I have 2 boys in school. One in K-4 and one in 3rd. My 3rd grader has ADHD and his medication suppresses his appetite and I suspect that he does not eat lunch or at least not much of it. I used to have a friend in the lunch room who would report to me weekly and let me know if he ate or threw it away. Anyway, he starts asking me on the way home from school (he is in a private school) "What can I eat when I get home? I'm sooooo hungry!" His meds run out at about 4 p.m. and suddenly he has the appetite of a hungry lion. I want to give him something for snack, but not ruin his dinner. I try to keep it small and healthy. My 4 year old gets a lunch and a snack at school and he is a little on the chubby side. I don't feel that he needs the addition snack, but I can't feed one without the other. My 2 year old hardly eats anything and it won't hurt her and she is not going to eat more that a bite or two of super regardless.

Also, dehydration can cause a feeling of hunger. I did not know this myself till recently. It is awful hot out here in Arkansas and they probably could use a tall drink. Here is an article that briefly mentions it half way down at the Slimmer Waist:



answers from Denver on

1/2 sandwich, and a piece of fruit makes a great after school snack.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Smoothies - 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1-2 T. orange juice concentrate and some ice in the blender is our favorite. Any combination of plain yogurt, milk, and fruit is a great balance of protein and good carbs.

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