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EASY HEALTHY AFTER SCHOOL SNACK IDEAS

When 3pm hits, most kids (and adults for that matter) are in need of a healthy snack. School days, especially at the beginning of a new school year, can be long and exhausting. To keep energy levels up for that impending play date or soccer practice, a nourishing after-school snack is key. These five are sure to keep your kids satisfied right up until dinnertime, and they’re so tasty you might even find yourself reaching for a bite!

1. Salt & Pepper Roasted Chickpeas
Anyone who loves a crunchy and salty snack will rejoice over these tasty morsels. Roasted chickpeas with a little oil and seasoning are high in protein and fiber and make a great wholesome snack. They’re quick and easy to roast up, and you can mix up the seasonings if your kids are feeling bold! Cayenne, lime & paprika make another great combo.

To prepare:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas.
3. Sandwich the chickpeas between paper towels and pat down to remove excess water.
4. Toss them in a bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Spread chickpeas across the baking sheet and remove any skins that have come off.
6. Roast for 20-25 minutes, rotating throughout so they cook evenly.
7. Cool, serve and enjoy!

2. Stove Popped Cinna-corn
Stove popped popcorn is a quick go-to snack that can be spiced up (pun intended!) in all sorts of tasty ways. “Cinna-corn” is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth, without going overboard on the sugar. (Feeling savory? Try topping with freshly grated Parmesan, and a dash of salt and pepper)

To prepare:
1. Add 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil to a large pot over medium heat.
2. When the oil is hot, add kernels and cover with lid, then shake the pot to avoid burning.
4. When the popcorn is all popped, transfer to a large bowl.
5. Mix ½ tsp of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
6. Toss spice mixture with popcorn, and enjoy!

3. Apple Slices & Nut Butter
September marks the beginning of apple season, which is all the more reason to enjoy this simple but oh-so-delicious snack. Fresh apples pair perfectly with protein-packed nut butters.

To prepare:
1. Slice apples into thin slices.
2. Add a thick layer of almond, peanut, cashew or whatever nut butter you desire.
3. If you’re feeling like a treat, sprinkle with chocolate chips or granola!

4. Fresh Fruit Snack Smoothie
Smoothies are a delicious way for your kids to fill up on fiber, essential vitamins and antioxidants. They’re great for busy afternoons as they can drink them on the go and will keep your kids full for several hours. Plus – a blender can make handfuls of spinach disappear with the press of a button!

To prepare:
1. Combine frozen berries of your choice with 1 banana, a scoop of plain or vanilla yogurt, orange juice, and a handful of spinach.
2. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
3. Add additional juice or water, if necessary, and blend until you reach your desired consistency.

5. Baked Pita Chips & Fresh Salsa
Toasting whole-wheat pita bread is a great way to serve up a healthy “chip” with the same desired crunch as the store bought variety. A mild salsa pairs well, and helps boost your kids’ veggie intake.

To prepare:
1. Brush a whole-wheat pita with a light layer of olive oil and cut into small wedges.
2. Place pita wedges on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
3. While the pita chips are cooling, chop fresh tomatoes and red onion and add to a medium bowl. Add chopped garlic and cilantro and mix. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and stir in salt to taste.

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