Gluten-Free in Clark County

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Tasty after school snack ideas.

What kid doesn’t come home after a long day at school completely starving? It’s always amazing to me how hungry kids can get while learning, playing and doing all that they do in school. So, what do you feed those hungry kids?

As a mom, I want my kids to eat healthy snacks that are going to do more than just fill the void. Balance is key, trying to offer a wide variety of options that meet their nutritional needs. Just giving them a cookie is not going to cut it in my house, I want my hungry kids to be eating a balanced diet. Not just at meal time, but in their snacks as well.

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So many tasty snacks are naturally gluten-free and that means no worries for any gluten-free mom. Popcorn is a great standby. So many tasty ways to top it from butter and salt to caramel or perhaps your favorite taco seasonings.

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If dairy is not an issue for your kids, another tasty treat is a mixture of cream cheese, your favorite nut butter and honey. Whip it all together for a tasty spread on gluten free crackers or bagels or to dip apples or bananas in. In the spirit of fall and back to school, try a pumpkin version. The recipe may say “holiday” but it’s too amazing to only have at the holidays. It mixes up quickly and will keep in the refrigerator all week for after school munching. If the amount of sugar is an issue for you, cut it down a bit, it will still be amazingly flavorful!

How about a plate of nachos to fill the void until dinner time. Corn chips, a bit of refried beans and some cheese work well and are fairly inexpensive too. I often keep a bowl of cooked pinto beans in the fridge for just this use. Dry beans are very budget friendly and cook up nicely in the crock pot. Huge time and money saver.

Veggies and a tasty cream cheese dip will satisfy as well. Every kid loves to dip and you know that most of them don’t enjoy plain raw veggies. Give them a low fat and tasty dip for them and your battle may be won. This is another great “do ahead” idea, keep a container of carrot and celery sticks, and a tasty dip in the refrigerator for easy snacking.

Remember “Ants on a log”? My kids love celery with peanut butter or cream cheese spread on top. Apples are very good with a side of peanut butter as well. A slice of cheese also make a great addition to a sliced apple, one of my personal favorites.

Last tasty treat is a nut and grain loaded cookie. A sweet and “better for them” option from the regular old chocolate chip cookie. Sometimes you have to sneak those whole grains in there, but what a tasty way to do it.

As with anything, a bit of planning ahead can make these challenges easier to manage. Good nutrition does not have to be sacrificed because life has once again gotten busier. Having easy to grab, yet nutritional snacks on hand will help with the “hungries” that school seems to create.