HealthBeat

Healthy After-School Snacks

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - When your kids get home from school, they may head straight to the fridge. 

While dietitians say after school snacks aren't always a bad thing, what's inside them may be. 

The school year is here and that means schedule changes are in order. 

Along with the changes in schedule come changes in meal times.

"My kids get cranky when they're hungry and then by supper time if they're not satisfied with what they're doing they're not going to eat supper at all" Ashely Kozlik said. 

After school snacks are common in many households, but are they healthy?

"My oldest, she is really big on the sweets so that's a little hard to get her to eat anything but cookies. My youngest though, she likes the fruit snacks and the celery and peanut butter," Kozlik said. 

"We are really battling kids having problems right now as far as what their nutritional intake is," Registered dietitian Kristin Sousek said. 

Sousek says it's not uncommon for after-school snacks to be unhealthy. 

While dietitians say it's necessary to have an after-school snack, make sure you're looking at the label. 

"If they're coming home to bags of chips and unhealthy granola bars, snack cakes... that's what they're going to be consuming," Sousek said. 

That's why she suggests having your child help prepare the food. 

"Empowering your kids to come home and have a little bit of fun and create a snack that comes from clean whole foods is probably a better choice for them," Sousek said. 

Sousek says an after-school snack is important for kids, especially when there's a large gap of time between lunch and supper. 

"Sometimes they come home and they are awfully hungry and really as caregivers and parents we  need to have healthy snacks available for them," Sousek said. 

Which is why she suggests avoiding snacks with added sugars, high carbs, and instead reaching for whole foods that require a little preparation. 

For a list of easy-to-make, after-school snacks click here.


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