The Seedy Side of Healthy Afterschool Snacks
Every parent has been there. You see the school bus door slide open, and your child bursts through it as though propelled by a thousand winds. Here they come, running toward the house, picking up speed with each stride. You wonder, “How can they run so fast with such a full backpack?” It is, indeed, a mystery. But fueled by hunger, run fast they do, and before the front door has closed behind them you hear their calls for food! “I’m hungry. What do we have to eat?” Don’t panic, parents. We have the answer. We have the healthy afterschool snacks that will hold your kiddo’s appetite over until dinner. The healthy afterschool snacks that aren’t full of fat, salt, preservatives, artificial coloring and empty calories. The healthy afterschool snacks that you can have at the ready ahead of time if you’re at work when the kids get home. Yep – those snacks. The best kind! And you can eat them, too… Two of the most popular snacks for all ages are pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. These treats are so tasty and fun to eat, many people don’t even realize the host of nutritional benefits they offer. In sunflower seeds we find they are packed with Vitamin E, Copper, and Vitamin B1. They are also high in Manganese, Selenium, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6, among other nutrients. Pumpkin seeds offer many of the same beneficial vitamins and minerals, and are a great source of Zinc, protein, and Iron. If these sound like healthy afterschool snacks – or anytime snacks, for that matter – it’s because they are! Our recommendation to make them these healthy afterschool snacks as tempting as possible? Create single portion bags with a mix of both, and add in some other flavorful favorites. Think dried fruit, chocolate chips, peanuts and almonds. The mix can be eaten alone, added to yogurt, or even used as a topper for a piece of peanut butter toast! In fact, combined with peanut butter the fresh fruit options expand. Consider coating a banana in peanut butter and rolling it in the mix, or adding it to a bowl with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter and using it as an apple dip. Filling, flavorful and fun, it beats a bag of chips or frozen chicken nuggets any day!