NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Ready for a Snack

Ready for a Snack

 

          School is out for the day and students head for the exit doors.  After a busy school day, students need an after-school snack to recharge their energy stores.  In their ideal world, kids would probably gorge on the “three c’s” - cookies, candy and chips. But with a rising obesity rate, parents need to pay extra attention to what their children are snacking on.

          According to a USDA study, for some students after-school snacks provided about one-third of the children’s calories.  Children need the energy and nutrients provided by these mini-meals, because they have smaller stomachs.   

          However, when high fat, high sugar snack foods are combined with screen time—either TV or computer—instead of active play time, children are likely to gain more weight than they should for optimum health.

          Fortunately, an abundance of tasty, nutritionally sound treats do exist. The best foods for after school snacking include a fruit, vegetable, and/or a dairy product.  Foods in those groups are nutritious, generally low in calories and can take the edge off hunger without spoiling an appetite for the evening meal.  Refuel your student with these nutrition-packed snacks.

          - Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed cereal and freeze.

          -  Stuff a whole-grain pita pocket with ricotta cheese and Granny

Smith apple slices. Add a dash of cinnamon.

          - Mix together ready-to-eat cereal, dried fruit and nuts in a sandwich bag for an on-the-go snack.

          -  Spread a scoop of frozen yogurt on two graham crackers and add sliced banana to make a yummy sandwich.

          - Top low-fat vanilla yogurt with crunchy granola and sprinkle with blueberries.

          - Make snack kabobs. Put cubes of low-fat cheese and grapes on pretzel sticks.

          - Toast a whole grain waffle and top with low-fat yogurt and sliced peaches.

          - Spread peanut butter on apple slices.

          - Blend low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana for thirty seconds for a delicious smoothie.

          - Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over a corn tortilla; fold in half and microwave for twenty seconds. Top with salsa.

          -  Fill a waffle cone with cut-up fruit and top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.

          -  Dip baby carrots and cherry tomatoes in low-fat ranch dressing.

          -  Dip graham crackers in applesauce.

          -  Sprinkle grated Parmesan Cheese on hot popcorn.

          For a make- ahead snack, this version of homemade granola bars is a hit with students of all ages.

 

Monkey Bars

Makes 12 bars 

Bottom of Form


vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm water
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup dried currants

           Heat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray.

          In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the oats, cinnamon and flour and mix well.

          In a small bowl, combine the apple juice, vanilla extract and 1/2 cup of warm water. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the banana and currants.  Spread the dough into the prepared pan.

           Bake until the top is golden, about 1 hour.

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