We have a snack problem at our house. Namely, we like them too much. And by “we,” I mostly mean my six-year-old, but she learned it from me. [Cue the commercial flashback now: "I learned it from watching you, okay?!"] Given the choice between three meals and all-day snacking, we’d both choose the snacks, hands down.
And it’s not that snacks are bad – except when they are. Except when they are high-calorie and less-than-filling. Except when we eat them at the wrong times – like right before dinner or bedtime. Snacks can also be bad – or at least annoying – when I’m trying to think of something healthy and filling to give Annalyn right after school. So in an attempt to be a little more organized – and a lot more healthy – we sat down and made a list of simple after-school snacks I’ll keep on hand this year.
It took my daughter and me about five minutes to come up with this list, and several of the foods are already in our fridge or pantry. But not everyone is so fortunate.
Snacks are a problem at other houses, but not for the same reasons. For the 16 million kids living in poverty, finding nutritious snacks can be a challenge. And since kids who eat healthy foods are better equipped to succeed in school, this is a big deal. That’s why I was excited to learn that Champions for Kids has a SIMPLE Giving program to address this issue.
To ensure children have access to nutritious snacks, Champions for Kids is teaming up with Dole, Emerald, Kellogg Company and Walmart. You can participate by simply purchasing and donating snack food items at your local participating Walmart from August 1-18. If your Walmart store is participating, simply purchase breakfast foods and place them in the purple donation bins at the front of the store after checkout. (To see a list of participating stores, click here.) All of the donations go to children in the school district where the Walmart store is located!
Now, for our list of SIMPLE after-school snack ideas. We bought a bunch of these foods earlier in the week in preparation for school starting today – and grabbed a few extras to drop in the SIMPLE Giving box on our way out the door!
- Apples (sometimes with peanut butter)
- Clementines or mandarin oranges
- Cantaloupe or other fresh, seasonal fruit
- Applesauce cups
- Canned pineapple, mandarin oranges or other fruit
- Dried fruit like raisins, banana chips, craisins or apple chips
- Yogurt-covered raisins
- Carrots (with ranch or veggie dip)
- Celery (with peanut butter and raisins if I’m real ambitious)
- Slices of red or green peppers
- Edamame (not in our house, if I’m being honest, but maybe yours)
- Wheat Thins or Cheez-Its
- Graham crackers
- Dry cereal (usually Cheerios, but Golden Grahams are a family favorite, too)
- Granola bars (I prefer the ones with extra fiber and/or protein so they last)
- Pepperoni slices (or lunch meat roll-ups)
- Almonds (or other nuts) (Walmart has several flavors and I love them all!)
- Yogurt tubes
- Pudding cups
- Cheese sticks
What are YOUR favorite (simple, healthy) snacks?
About Champions for Kids
Champions for Kids makes it simple to give children in local communities the resources they need to thrive and seeks to ignite generational change by fostering a habit of giving among youth and parents in America. The core values of Champions for Kids are simple, yet profound, and drive their efforts to mobilize millions to help children — All children should have: Someone who cares; a Place to belong; Hope for tomorrow and provisions for their journey. All children.
I’m participating in this program on behalf of Champions for Kids and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.