Enter disclaimer text ## Our kids have always been snackers. Back-to-school will probably just bring on the snack gene even more fierce! Admittedly, we’ve not been the best at providing whole, nutritious after-school snacks because we have four different appetites and preferences. But honestly, how hard is it to insert a few healthy snacks into the routine?
I was provided with these ideas by Jo Bartell, a registered dietitian nutritionist and think they are totally doable as part of the fall routine. Which is your favorite?
Five RDN Approved After-School Snacks from Jo Bartell
RDN Jo Bartell says that the key to any snack combo is a blend of protein & fiber. As a general rule, she suggests you shoot for snacks that contribute more than 3 grams of fiber and more than 5 grams of protein. Instead of dreading after-school snacks, see it as an opportunity to incorporate valuable nutrients that are often missed in other meals. Jo has come up with 5 easy snack ideas that fit the bill and will keep your child fueled and focused until dinnertime!
- What: 1/2 cup cottage cheese + 1/2 cup blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and/or raspberries. Why: Cottage cheese is a super underrated food that is both versatile and jam-packed with protein. For a sweet and ultra-satisfying snack, pair cottage cheese with fiber-filled and antioxidant-rich mixed berries.
- What: 3 tablespoons hummus + veggie sticks (carrots, radish, jicama, celery, bell pepper, broccoli or endive leaves). Why: Hummus packs in the plant-based protein with chickpeas, and the other ingredients, which are typically tahini and olive oil, are wonderful sources of heart-healthy fat to slow down digestion and keep you feeling satiated throughout the afternoon. Think outside of the box with colorful and crunchy veggie dippers–more color and variety in the veggies you choose means more beneficial vitamins and minerals!
- What: A brown rice cake or two topped with a tablespoon natural nut butter, sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Why: Getting in whole grains throughout the day is super important, especially if those whole grains are replacing their white (refined) counterparts. The fiber-filled rice cakes will go perfectly with vitamin-C packed strawberries and healthy fat + protein filled nut butter to keep the energy up until dinner.
- What: Pistachios and fruit. Why: Pistachios always help crush hunger with their crunch and combo of protein, fiber, and healthy fat. As a bonus, pistachios are a fantastic source of both potassium and vitamin B6. Pair them with antioxidant-packed plums and you have a delicious solution for your child’s afternoon sweet craving. Try Setton Farms’ new Pistachio + Plum Chewy Bites as your one-stop-shop for a powerful and delicious combination of pistachios and plums that will provide you with powerful energy to get through the afternoon. Setton Farms is my favorite brand of pistachios- they even have naturally flavored pistachios!
- What: 2 corn tortillas rolled up with 2 tablespoons mashed avocado, sliced tomato and cucumber. Why: Corn tortillas contribute whole grains and fiber, so choose those over flour tortillas whenever you can. Avocado adds flavor, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that works to lower bad cholesterol (a.k.a LDL) and raise good cholesterol (a.k.a HDL). And, even though we usually don’t think of avocados as a source of fiber and protein, they are actually super rich in both! Again, sneaking in tomatoes and cucumbers will add crunch and an extra vegetable serving or two for the day.
About Jo Bartell
Jo Bartell is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a master’s degree and has extensive training and experience guiding individuals with various health conditions in achieving nutrition-related goals. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Skidmore College, and earned an MS in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University (NYU). At NYU, she also completed her dietetic internship. She currently lives in San Francisco with her own private practice nutrition counseling and consulting business. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Bay Area Dietetics Association, along with several Dietetics Practice Groups of AND including Women’s Health, Weight Management, Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition, and Nutrition Entrepreneurs. When she’s not working, she loves food shopping, cooking, traveling, riding horses, and long walks around the city with her dogs, Winston and Nikki.
Find her on Instagram @she_dishes
About Setton Farms
Setton Farms is a family-owned business based in California’s Central Valley and are the 2nd largest producer and processor of pistachios in the United States. The business started as a small bakery in Brooklyn in 1959 and expanded to growing pistachios in 1987. They are a vertically integrated company and are able to focus on every step of the pistachio process from harvesting, to processing, to shipping. The processing plant has a 1.7MW solar power system and their post-harvest operations are 100% solar powered. Their products range from plain pistachios to flavored pistachios to their iconic Pistachio Chewy Bites. Check out their website or find their Pistachio+Plum Chewy Bites on Amazon.