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After-School Snacks to Fuel your Gifted KidsMONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 16:26 PM

Hummus is a healthy after-school snack with pita bread or fresh veggies. Gifted kids need to eat delicious snacks to keep their brains running full speed. Digging into a bag of chips sometimes is not an issue, but junk foods can lead to obesity and other serious health problems. Instead of providing not-so-great options for after-school snacking, here are some healthy alternatives to have on hand:

Cheese and crackers

Typical snacks for kids are full of sugar and offer little nutritional value. Cheese and crackers, however, is a great way for children to enjoy protein, calcium and fiber. Whole wheat crackers, or nut crackers for those with gluten sensitivities, can provide an excellent source of long-lasting energy. Add the protein in the cheese, and your kids will have plenty of energy to play sports and finish their homework.

Fresh fruit

Fruit is a tasty alternative to fruit snacks and other super sweet treats. Fruit has natural sugar combined with fiber, which makes for better energy regulation. Fruit snacks provide a high and a crash, but regular fruit adds extra nutritional value that reduces that intense need to take a nap after snacking. Your children could even dip their favorite fruits into Greek yogurt for some extra calcium and fun.

Popcorn

Unlike chips, popcorn is not fried. You can make this great snack with olive or coconut oil to reduce bad fats. Use a little bit of salt and add some awesome extras like a drizzle of sriracha or a shake of nutritional yeast for extra flavor. You could also make a trail mix with popcorn, nuts and dried fruit to spice things up.

Smoothies

Gifted kids are often on the go and don't have time to make themselves a fancy snack. Smoothies solve this conundrum! Keep frozen fruit, orange juice and yogurt on hand so they can toss the ingredients in a blender for a healthy smoothie. Your children could add their favorite veggies also to provide more vitamins and minerals while amping up the taste. Smoothies are easy to drink while on the way to after-school sports, study sessions or club meetings. Plus, you can make them ahead of time and stash the drinks in the freezer for easy access.

Chips and dip

Tortilla chips, salsa and guac are healthy! Your kids may enjoy making their own salsa or pico de gallo with tomatoes, cilantro and onions. Then, slice up an avocado or stick it in a blender for perfect guacamole. Enjoy with tortilla chips or as full-blown nachos with grilled chicken, olives, cheese and lettuce. The bigger the nachos, the less hungry your kids will be for dinner, so remember that!

Hummus and veggies

Children love dipping just as much as adults! Hummus comes in many flavors, from garlic to spicy hot pepper, and is great with pita bread or any vegetable. Cut up some bell peppers, carrots and celery so your kids can grab some veggies and enjoy them with their favorite hummus variety.


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