100 calorie packs surged onto the snack food market with a vengeance and people loved them! So handy and convenient, so portion controlled! Yes, they’re easy and quick and when they’re part of your childrens’ lunches they can make a nice pre-portioned addition. However, many parents also give these to kids as afterschool snacks, when kids are starving and need real sustenance. A 100 calorie pack, as an afterschool snack, will not fill a 12 year old. I’m sure you find that your kids reach for pack after pack and soon an innocent 100 calorie packs turns into a 400 calorie pack. It never surprises me when I hear this because 100 calories of refined carbs does not sound satisfying at all. Kids (and adults) need a mix of protein and carbs at every meal and snack. The carbs give you quick energy, and if they’re whole grain (which they should be) that energy will last for a few hours. The protein gives sustained energy, so kids aren’t starving an hour later and can actually make it until dinner without raiding the cabinet again.
So, what should you have on hand for afterschool snacks?
- Yogurt and berries – protein to keep kids full. Fruit for carbs, vitamins and antioxidants.
- Graham crackers and yogurt dip.
- Peanut butter and whole wheat Ritz crackers.
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Whole grain pita bread and hummus
- Hot chocolate made with low-fat milk.
- Low-fat pudding and an orange.
- Cheese stick and 100 calorie pack (they’re OK when paired with a source of protein)
- Almond 100 calorie pack with OJ (again, a source of protein in your 100 calorie pack is OK)