Snacks or Treats? Heading Back to the After School Dilemma

School is just about to start up again and one of the questions I hear often is “what’s a good and easy after school snack I can feed my children?”

Good question.

First off, let’s define what a “snack” is…. words it as;

a small portion of food or drink or a light meal, especially one eaten between regular meals.

Now, let’s look at what a “treat” is….

entertainment, food, drink, etc., given by way of compliment or as an expression of friendly regard.

The reason I’m looking at the distinction between these terms is that we’ve gotten caught up in serving “treats” as “snacks” these days and believe it or not – too  much of a good thing is no longer a good thing!  Even if we’re talking grain-free, nut flour based, date sweetened, raw, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, etc., etc., etc….  Getting our kids hooked on these paleo-blessed treats will land them in a similar space as eating any snack foods.  Under nourished and full of cravings.

A good after school snack should consist of the same healthy ingredients a proper meal would deliver – good fat, protein and carbohydrate from vegetables or fruit.  Sourcing is just as important here so always buy fresh, organic, grass-fed and whole foods.  One of the best ways to avoid bad snacking is to just not keep bad snacks in the house!  Fresh fruit, pre-prepared veggies, lunch meats, nuts & seeds, and the occasional grain-free muffin are essentials for a kid’s grab-and-go lifestyle!  The following are some examples of tasty and nutritious snacks:

Sliced apple with nut butter
Celery stalks with nut butter and dried fruit (the old “ants on a log” idea)
Avocado with a spoon!
Salmon Jerky
Roasted veggies – beets, carrots, butternut squash cubes make wonderful sweet snacks
Dried fruit
Plain yogurt with berries and a squeeze of raw honey or maple syrup
Kefir “milkshakes” – blended with frozen berries
Hummus and cucumber slices