Back to school we go! If your children are anything like mine, they are a jumble of emotions right about now—excitement mixed with anxiety and a sprinkle of anticipation. In a week or so, things will settle down into the semblance of a routine. In the meantime, we can be certain of one thing, each afternoon our kids will come home from school famished.
It might be a side effect of all the newness and the need to be “on” for six consecutive hours—the antithesis of summer—but more than anything it’s the day’s structure. The sudden inability to nibble on-demand sends their appetites into a tailspin. I like to use this midday hunger as an opportunity to fuel my children’s bodies as opposed to trying to quickly satisfy with junk food or harder yet, hold them at bay until dinnertime.
Some healthy snacks to keep in mind:
- Ants on a Log: The cavity of celery sticks filled with either peanut butter or cream cheese and dotted with raisins or dried cranberries.
- English Muffin Pizza: Lightly toasted English muffin topped with tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Baked until golden.
- Roll-Ups: Cheese and ham or turkey slices rolled into a tortilla and sliced into one-inch rounds.
- Yogurt Parfaits: Vanilla yogurt layered with granola and berries, bananas or chopped apples.
- Devilled Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs, cut in half lengthwise. Yolks removed, mixed with mayonnaise and returned to the egg cavity.
- Nachos: Tortilla chips spread on a baking pan and sprinkled with tomatoes, olives, and scallions. Topped with shredded cheddar cheese and baked until melted. Serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping.
All of these will be in my children’s midday rotation but their hands down favorite is the following treat. Enjoy and welcome back!
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz cream cheese, softened
¾ cup toffee bits
Mix the sugars, vanilla and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Gently stir in the toffee bits. Serve with sliced apples.
NOTE: If you would like to slice the apples ahead of time, place them in a container and cover with pineapple juice. The apples will not brown and miraculously will not taste like pineapple.