Having an easy to prepare afternoon snack is key when my daughter gets home from school. It’s the difference between a happy or cranky toddler afternoon, and I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about 🙂 . Even though my daughter eats her morning snack and lunch at school, all that learning and running around tires her out by the time I pick her up. While the fruit snack is easy to grab, it doesn’t satisfy her and I find a sugar crash thirty minutes later. So, I’ve learned that she needs something well balanced that will give her an energy boost without the subsequent blood sugar crashes. I’ve been experimenting with different things and am sharing a few gluten free afterschool snacks that have been winners in our house.
Banana Almond Butter Gluten Free Granola Bites
Simply slice a banana, cover the edges in almond butter (we use Barney Butter because it’s delicious), and roll them in your favorite certified gluten free granola and coconut shavings. This is a recipe that you can make with your kids, but in my experience when it comes to the afterschool hunger it’s best to have them waiting and ready to eat.
What makes this a healthy snack? Bananas are rich in fiber, antioxidants and they’re full of vital nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Almond butter is a great source of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and vitamin E. They are both heart healthy foods that help regulate blood sugar. Granola has many health benefits too and varies depending on the kind you purchase. We like so many different kinds of certified gluten free granola and try to buy varieties that include chia seeds or flax for the added health benefits. We add shredded coconut for texture and flavor and because it’s also a good sources of protein, healthy fat, iron, fiber and zinc.
Avocado Tomato Gluten Free Bruschetta
This afternoon school snack is simple to make too. You can use a fresh gluten free baguette from a local bakery, make your own, or use a frozen one like Udi’s. Once it’s ready, slice it up into 1/2 inch thick slices that your toddler will be able to chew. Scoop out the inside of an avocado into a bowl and mash it with a fork. I sprinkle red Hawaiian sea salt in there and mix it until it dissolves to bring out the flavors, but any coarse sea salt should work. Next, chop up organic cherry tomatoes. Once the bread is sliced, spoon the avocado on top and then place the tomatoes on top of that.
What makes this a healthy snack? Avocados are a superfood loaded with heart healthy fats and protein. The combination with tomatoes results in a snack packed full of vitamins K, A, C, B5, B6, E, folate and potassium.
Coconut Yogurt Gluten Free Granola Bowl
This afternoon snack is the fastest to make of the three. Combine a serving of coconut yogurt in a bowl with certified gluten free granola. (We are dairy free and use So Delicious yogurt which tastes great, but you can substitute with regular yogurt if you prefer). Mix it together so that the granola is evenly coated with yogurt. Top it with fresh blueberries, bananas and kiwi (or whatever fresh fruit you have on hand). I like to arrange the fruit in the bowl or sometimes I use veggie cutters to make fun shapes. I find that a cute presentation allows me to add more healthy things to the yogurt without my toddler realizing 🙂 .
What makes this a healthy snack? I went through the awesome health benefits of bananas and coconut in the two snacks I listed further up in this post. Strawberries and blueberries are packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, folate and fiber. Kiwi is a superfood that’s heart healthy, regulates blood sugar and is full of antioxidants and vitamin rich.
I hope that the above snacks are a welcome addition in your house and give you ideas for more healthy afternoon snacks.