Healthy Snacks for Active Kids
 at Home

School’s out, practice is canceled, and your kids are full of energy at home. 

Does that mean a choice between hours preparing “fun” snacks, or expensive and not-so-healthy fast food options? No! Homemade kid-friendly snacks can be simple, cheap, fast and nutritious. Here’s how.

fruitYour child’s main fuel throughout the day and during sports is carbohydrate. Adding a protein or healthy fat keeps kids going through intense activities longer than an hour and a half.

Proteins and fats slow down the release of energy and are important for healthy growth and development.

What does that look like in terms of snack options? Pick some things from these lists to fuel your active child and save yourself hassle and money. Best of all, you always know what is in the snacks you bring from home. No hidden sugar, salt or unhealthy fats.

Carbohydrate foods (pick two)

Non-perishable

  • Fresh fruit
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Crackers
  • Dry whole-grain cereal
  • Low fat or homemade granola
  • Low-fat banana bread or muffin
  • Whole wheat English muffin
  • Carrot sticks or other veggies

Perishable

  • Frozen fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Toast
  • Whole-grain pita or wrap
  • Oatmeal
  • Leftover whole wheat pancakes or waffles

Proteins and healthy fats (add one of these for extra energy or a longer workout)

Non-perishable

  • Snack pack tunaSoccer Sidelines
  • Mixed unsalted nuts
  • Peanut or other nut butter

Perishable

  • Cottage cheese
  • Hummus
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Hard-boiled egg

Quick Recipes

When you can prepare something ahead of time, here are a few easy ideas.

Ants on a log: Celery sticks filled with peanut or other nut butter and topped with raisins.

Simple smoothie: Frozen fruit, Greek yogurt, and a small amount of 100% fruit juice. You can even add spinach or kale to get some extra veggies in.

Banana roll up: Spread peanut butter on a whole-wheat tortilla and wrap around a banana.

Power sandwich: Scrambled egg inside a whole-wheat English muffin or mini bagel makes a quick and easy sandwich to go. Add chopped peppers or salsa.

A Note on Hydration

Does your child need a sports drink during their activity? Most of the time the answer is no. Unless your child is running around or skating constantly for 90 minutes or more, water is the best choice.

Although your child might seem tired after school, energy drinks are not a healthy choice. The ingredients could be harmful to children under 18-years-old. Boost your young athlete’s energy with a healthy snack and water instead.

Active for Life is a nonprofit organization committed to helping parents raise happy, healthy, physically literate kids. 


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