Your tween usually gets home from school between 3:30 and 4 p.m. They’re hungry, but dinner is nowhere close to being served. This is the perfect time for a healthy snack, which will keep their hunger at bay until suppertime and provide them with a healthy dose of the nutrients their bodies need. Are you still hard at work and lacking time to prepare the snack? Or are you still at the office and your tween is home alone for a few hours?
No need to panic! A bit of planning is all it takes to turn the inconvenience into a win. Because anyway, your tween is old enough to get their own snack when they’re hungry, no? All you have to do is put some healthy options at his/her disposal, and the rest takes care of itself.
The best way to get everything in order is to designate a specific space for your kid’s snacks. I recommend using a vegetable crisper or the cheese drawer in your fridge and filling it with your tween’s goodies. Give a fun name to the drawer in question: if your tween’s a girl, consider “Miley Cyrus’s secret snack stash.” For a boy, you can name it after an athlete they like, like hockey player Carey Price.
Every week, ask your child to write a list of five nutritious snacks they’d like to have in their drawer. If they have a cell phone, they can text it to you. As such, they play an active role in the decision-making process and will get to enjoy the snacks they picked out for themselves.
Here are a few healthy, child-approved snacks you can start filling the drawer with:
- Raw veggies and dip they can make themselves (send him/her the list of ingredients by email or text Monday during the day)
- Fruit skewers with a few marshmallows
- Apples slices for making “sandwiches” with Graham crackers and peanut butter