The Best After-School Snacks for Before Practice
After a long day of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, kids have an even longer line-up of rehearsals, practice, and homework before hitting the hay. Whether elementary-, middle school-, or high school-aged, kids require a tasty after-school snack. That is especially true when they’re headed off to soccer practice, swim team, football conditioning, or dance rehearsal. Practice calls on mental and physical reserves, getting kids moving, learning, and making friends in the process. Whether the activity is fencing, baseball, basketball, softball, marching band, cheerleading, or any of the hundreds of other after-school practices, your child needs to fuel up with a hearty after-school snack beforehand. Keep them full and focused with the help of some of the best after-school, before-practice snacks. We’ve scoured the grocery store aisles and recipe boxes to find great power snacks for before a workout or practice that will keep your kids energized.
Granola bars are delicious. They are also the ultimate, healthy eat-on-the-go food, so we see why families have been relying on them for after-school snacks for years. We like to customize our granola bars, so instead of buying them from the grocery store, we recommend using our recipe for homemade Cranberry Almond Granola Bars. It’s a tasty treat that packs in both fruit and nuts, and your kids will love that it keeps them full all afternoon.
So full of potassium and good nutrients, we are always looking for unique new ways to add bananas to meals and snacks for our kids. Beyond a plain banana, fruit salad, or a banana sandwich, these baked banana chips have become a go-to snack for those hours between school and practice. They’re easy to eat on the go and they are both filling and nutritious, plus, if you make them at home, you can control any added salt or sugar content.
Roll-ups are another great on-the-go snack that is both energizing for kids and easy to make for moms and dads. Add last night’s leftovers and other foods you have in the refrigerator—chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers—to a whole-wheat wrap for an easy-to-transport and easy-to-eat after-school snack. Roll it up, and you are on your way. Try a Spinach Roll Up for a vegetarian option.
Peanut Butter and Crackers
Peanut butter and crackers is a classic snack for a reason. There are few spreads quite as filling or as ubiquitous as peanut butter. Just a few crackerfuls of peanut butter will keep your little player full throughout practice and give them the energy to run, swim, dive, or dance all afternoon.
Hummus and Pita
We have yet to meet a child who doesn’t like hummus, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great snack that comes in many tasty flavors, and it’s in spreadable, dip-able form. You can make your own (try our recipe for Red Pepper Hummus), or you can find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Either way, when it’s transported on the vehicle of tasty, toasted pita bread, hummus is a filling and healthy alternative to a food like potato chips.
There is no shortage of ways to customize a quesadilla. From the classic chicken and cheese to a tasty apple quesadilla, it’s a great after-school snack—served either warm or room temperature—for kids who are headed to practice. Add you child’s favorite meat for a dose of protein or create a veggie-filled quesadilla for a vegetarian option. Try two of our favorite quesadillas with these recipes for Grilled Chicken Quesadillas or Easy Microwave Quesadillas.
English Muffin Pizza
Skip the drive-through window and instead whip up one of these single-serving pizzas in the kitchen for a before-practice snack. With just a few ingredients—an English muffin sliced and toasted, topped with a bit of cheese and a few slices of pepperoni, you have a warm, substantial snack. It’s a healthier version of a child’s favorite food—pizza—with none of the delivery costs or guilt.
This after-school snack is infinitely customizable, and it is easy to add your child’s favorite fruits (or veggies, if you want to make a vegetable skewer snack). Add banana, apple slices and grapes, and substitute seasonal fruits and berries throughout the year. Great for kids on the go, this snack is so easy to throw together and eat in the car on the way to practice, or you can keep a container of ready-to-go skewers in the refrigerator. Try our recipe for Fruit, Cheese, and Herb Skewers to start.