Healthy After-School Rejuvenation Snacks
We’ve offered ideas for healthy make-ahead breakfasts and school lunches, but sometimes kids need their biggest pick-me-up when that last bell rings and they head home. Between exercising their brains all day and starting homework and sports practices or music lessons, many children physically and mentally crash. Nothing rejuvenates them more — no, not even a 15-minute Sponge Bob break (despite what they tell you) — than a substantial snack with ingredients like wheat germ to keep them full until dinner time.
Try these healthy and filling after-school snacks to keep your kids energized:
Barbecue chicken quesadilla: Use cooked chicken you have on hand or cooked rotisserie chicken breast (skin removed) to make this tasty dish. Place one soft taco–sized flour tortilla in large skillet over medium heat. Top with 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken, 1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion, 1/2 tablespoon wheat germ, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro and 1 teaspoon barbecue sauce. Top with another tortilla and cook, flipping quesadilla after about 3 minutes, until both tortillas are warm and cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Serves 1 to 2.
Turkey roll-up: A variation on the quesadilla, this version isn’t cooked but instead is rolled into a log and sliced or left whole. We’ve found so many ways to make these tasty tummy fillers, we don’t want to limit you to one. But here’s the gist: Spread one flour tortilla with light cream cheese, light mayonnaise or plain low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with wheat germ and minced herbs, garlic or green onions for added flavor. Top with your choice of veggie: diced tomato or cucumber, lettuce or spinach leaves (stems removed), julienned bell pepper or thinly sliced avocado. Add a layer of thinly sliced reduced-sodium turkey breast and roll up tightly, jelly roll style. To soften the tortilla and help keep your creation intact, wrap the roll-up in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for about an hour. Remove and cut into 1-inch slices or leave whole.
Smoothie: These nutrition-packed drinks are kid favorites. Serve with string cheese and whole wheat crackers for a snack that will easily carry them through dance or football practice. A few recipes boasting the added nutrition of wheat germ include Protein-Rich Smoothie with Wheat Germ and Chia Seeds, Double Berry Banana Smoothie and Raspberry Applesauce Smoothie.
How do you keep your kids energized after school?