It's late afternoon and you can hear the school bus slowly rolling down the street. In a few minutes, your child will run through the door, throw down her backpack, and announce, "I'm hungry!"
Luckily, quick snacks for kids don't have to be sugary, overly processed, or devoid of nutrition. There are plenty of wholesome options that only take a few minutes to make. If you're looking for some healthy, tasty snacks that you can have ready by the time your child kicks off his sneakers, try one of these five ideas.
1. Homemade Hummus Plate
Kids love the creamy texture and nutty, mild flavor of hummus, and it's easy to whip up a batch of this protein-packed dip. Scoop the hummus into a small cup, and serve it on a plate with rainbow carrots or other sliced veggies, such as red bell pepper or cucumber. You can even give them a few whole-grain crackers for dunking.
2. Rainbow Smoothies
Make a sweet, blended drink in your child's favorite color. Start with 3/4 cup low-fat milk and a frozen banana, and then add the brightly hued fruit or veggie of your child's choice. Try red cherries or strawberries, purple blueberries, yellow mango or pineapple, or even a handful of green baby spinach.
3. Cottage Cheese Parfait
If your child isn't crazy about yogurt's sour tang, try cottage cheese instead. It has just as much protein and calcium, but the flavor is milder. Layer it in a glass dish sundae-style with fresh fruit (like berries or chopped pineapple), crunchy granola, and a few chocolate chips.
4. Nacho-Style Tostada
Fans of salty, crunchy snacks will love this quick, clean take on the Tex-Mex treat. Lightly brush a corn tortilla with olive oil and toast it until it's crisp. Scatter the tortilla with shredded cheese and toast it until the cheese is melted. Then top with salsa and a handful of black beans.
5. Open-Faced Almond Butter Sandwich
Though delicious, a full-size sandwich is too big for a mid-afternoon snack. Spread creamy, high-protein almond butter on a slice of whole grain toast and top it with sliced banana. Before serving, give it a dusting of ground cinnamon and cocoa powder—it's an easy way to make this simple snack feel special.
From creamy dips to sweet parfaits and crunchy tostadas, there's a quick, clean snack to satisfy every little eater. The only question left is which one of these quick snacks for kids will your child want to try first?