Lately, I have been on an after-school snack kick. When the kids get home from school, they wash their hands, come to the bar and I serve the same snack to everyone at the same time. But this post isn’t as much about what I serve for after-school snack, but rather why I serve after-school snack.
First, nostalgia. The after-school snack is one of my favorite memories from childhood. I remember coming home from school and my mom would have little parfaits cups full of pudding or or homemade chocolate chip cookies or a big batch of popcorn made. (Interestingly, I don’t remember many carrots or apples.) I was excited to see what treat she would have out when we got home. I wanted to give my kids the same happy memories, so I have really been trying to have a snack ready when they get home. (And I even like to make it cute if I can.)
Second, crossroads. Ezra Taft Benson said it is important to be at the crossroads of your children’s lives. I believe this means big crossroads like driving, dating, college, marriage, new babies, etc. But I also believe this means the daily crossroads- the comings and goings. And coming home from school is a crossroad. Everyone sits at the bar together and we eat after-school snack together. We hear about each others’ days, reconnect and touch base just for a moment before we scatter again.
Third, food. The kids are hungry when they get home. I am pretty sure Crew skips lunch altogether just to get out to recess. Since, I don’t want them snacking on and off for the next 2 hours, we have a one-time, universal snack and then the kitchen is closed until dinner.
Sometimes the snacks are comforting and fun.
But most days I try to use the after-school snack as an opportunity to get in one more serving of fruits and vegetables because I know we don’t get enough. And because they are so hungry, they will eat more fruits and veggies during the after-school snack than at any other time.
Here are some easy after school snack ideas:
Fruit dipped in yogurt
Carrots and ranch or hummus
Hot chocolate and graham crackers
Cucumbers and salt
Crackers and cheese and apples
Cottage cheese and pears
Apples and peanut butter
Toast and jam
Celery and peanut butter
If you want some fancier after school snack ideas click here.
On good days, I prepare the after-school snack at lunch time so I am not making another mess in the kitchen. Or I cut extra vegetables at dinner prep the night before.
I can tell the structure and consistency of my after-school snack is working because Crew asks me every day, “Mom, what’s for snack today?” I love that he is excited too.