Just like adults when children arrive home famished, they will grab whatever is easiest. Often, it's not the healthiest food options they gravitate to first. Keep a few of these recipes prepared and ready to go.
Assign a shelf or drawer in the refrigerator as the "snack shelf" and a jar or cupboard space for non perishables. This is where the kids can grab a quick snack and don't have to ask first.
Stock cut fruit, vegetables, dips, cheese slices, etc. A variety of healthy snack options will keep your children from getting bored, keep them eating right and everyone will be happy. Remember that snacking can be part of a healthy eating plan when you plan what snacks to have in the house.
It's amazing how quickly vegetables are snapped up as long as they are served with dip. Keep a bowl of carrots, celery, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes available for grabbing after school. Most of these dips will also taste delicious with Pita Bread or tortilla triangles, French bread, or large pretzel sticks.
Ranch Dip is a favorite, but you can experiment with others.
Mix a 16 oz. container of light sour cream with dry soup mixes like tomato, vegetable or onion. Allow the dip to blend over night or mix it up in the morning.
Cream Cheese Dip
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese with chives
1 (5-oz.) container sharp processed cheese food
Mix well and keep in the refrigerator.
Marinara Sauce Dip
Keep a jar of marinara sauce in the fridge. After school, warm up a small bowl of sauce in the microwave and serve it with bread sticks for dipping.
Fruit Dip #1
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fruit Dip #2
Combine cream cheese and crushed pineapple to the desired taste and consistency. This also tastes delicious when made with canned mandarin oranges instead of pineapple. Drain as much of the fruit juice as possible to avoid a runny dip.
Fruit Dip #3
Mix cream cheese, apple sauce, a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar. Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
English Muffin "Pizzas"
Spread spaghetti sauce on toasted English muffin halves. Top with sliced olives, deli slices, vegetables and grated mozzarella cheese. Heat in a toaster oven, or microwave until the cheese is melted.
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