For kids to do their best in school they need to have healthy eating habits.   But with fast food and junk food screaming out from every corner, it can be hard to find quick, healthy snacks that appeal to fickle palates.

Kids tend to chow down after school, especially if their class has an early lunch period. It’s easy to write off the after-school hours as an inevitable pig-out session, but the afternoon can be a great opportunity to get kids to eat healthy food. Keep these tips in mind as you plan snacks for your kids.

After-School Energizing SnacksPlan the night before. Leave snacks in labeled containers on the counter or in the fridge. This is especially helpful if parents are at work when the child gets home from school.

Work with what your kids like to eat. If your kids won’t eat vegetables at the dinner table, don’t bank on carrots and ranch dip being a big hit in the afternoon. For kids who love salty snacks, offer pretzels along with string cheese and dried fruit. For those with a sweet tooth, try high-protein cereal topped with dried cherries and yogurt.

Think mini supper or light lunch. Traditional snack fare can be nutritionally void. But a turkey and cheese rollup on a fajita-size whole-wheat tortilla is healthy and yummy. Some kids might enjoy a cup of soup or half a slice of leftover pizza.

Keep Snacks Healthy

Save the milk and cookies for dessert. To boost your child’s energy after school, opt for foods that offer more than empty calories.

Make Snack Time Fun

Kids are more likely to accept healthy snacks if there’s an element of fun. Shake up your snack routine by trying new ways of preparing nutritional foods and letting the kids take on some of the work.

CONTINUE READING Fun Ideas for After-School Energizing Snacks

READ MORE articles on healthy eating habits.