Read how I am making a goal to feed my kids protein packed after school snacks for each day of the week. Includes my meal plan, shopping list and some great ways to save on everything I need from my sponsors at Albertson’s
I recently read an article about some of the reasons that kids have trouble focusing after school during activities and homework time. It had a lot of great suggestions, but one that really stuck out to me was that your child may simply be hungry. It suggested to remedy this by making sure to include protein rich foods as part of an after school snack.
This was a bit of a light-bulb moment for me! I always try to have a healthy after school snacks on hand, but I rarely think about being sure to include protein in them. I know my son doesn’t eat much at lunch, and after a busy day of school, it’s no wonder that the light snack I provide doesn’t give him the fuel needed to stay focused through homework time and other activities going on in before dinner.
As we are approaching the start of a new school year this inspired me to change up our after school snacks a bit. I know that this is going to seem like a lot of extra work at first, but I think in the long run it will be a lot easier, healthier and less mess then having the kids scavenging for snacks all evening long. So, I have been brainstorming some ideas for easy, kid-friendly after school snacks that are packed with protein and have come up with a week’s worth of ideas that I think fit the bill!
1. Mini Pepperoni Pizzas: Use half of a toasted English Muffin as a crust for these yummy mini pizzas. Spread a layer Prego Fresh Mushroom Pasta sauce on top then add shredded cheese, and pepperoni. Bake for 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees. Make up a big batch then throw in a freezer bag for an easy homemade microwaveable pizza.
2. Peanut Butter Balls- Mix Peanut butter, powdered milk and honey for an easy snack that is packed with protein and fun to eat. Check out the recipe here.
3. Make ahead Fruit and Yogurt Parfait– layer 1/4 cup of fresh diced fruit (I like strawberries the best), 1/2 cup of Dannon Oikos Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt and 1/4 cup of uncooked quick oats. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the oats get soft and yummy (the longer the better). Stays good for up to 3 days in the fridge.
4. Quick Quesadillas- This is probably my son’s favorite snack, and its so simple, he can do it himself. Just sprinkle a little shredded cheese between two flour tortillas and microwave for 30-45 seconds, and done! A healthy protein filled snack without the fuss!
5. Cracker Sandwiches– make your own “munchable” snack by cutting up some squares of lunch meet and cheese paired with some yummy crackers! If your kids are anything like mine they will love seeing how high they can load up their cracker sandwiches
In an attempt to get organized before school starts back up, I want to stock up on everything that I need to make all of these snacks. That way, throwing them together on a busy school day won’t be a problem! Now is also a great time to stock up, because a lot of them happen to be on sale this week during Albertson’s Huge Anniversary Sale. This means there are huge savings throughout the store on everyday items as well as their “mix and match” items that let you save additional money. See local store ad for full details.
Below I have included a shopping list as well as indicated which items are on sale through 8/5/14 at Albertson’s.
- Thomas English Muffins 6 pack (on sale for $2.29, qualifies for “mix and match” sale final price as low as $1.79 each)
- 1 can Prego Fresh Mushroom Pasta Sauce (on sale 2 for $5)
- 1 Package Essential Everyday Shredded Cheese (on sale for 4.99)- half for pizzas, half for quesadillas
- 1 package pepperoni
- 1 cup Peanut Butter (“JIF Peanut Butter to go” on sale $2.19, qualifies for mix and match final $1.69)
- 1 cup Honey
- 1 cup non-fat powdered milk
- Fresh Fruit, you pick the variety (special savings around the store)
- Dannon Oikos Vanilla Greek
- Yogurt (on sale 10 for $10 plus get a free dozen is Albertson’s AA eggs)
- Quick Oats Oatmeal
- Mission Flour Tortillas ( 2 for $5 plus buy 2 and get a free 30 count package of Mission Corn Tortillas.)
- Essential Everyday Lunchmeat (on sale for 2.99)
- Essential everyday cube cheese (on sale for 2.99)
Equipped with my meal plan, shopping list and some amazing deals on almost everything I need, I’m ready to keep my kids full and focused with a protein rich afternoon snack!