These healthy after school snacks aren’t just nutritious but are fun and educational. In our house, we like to call them snacktivities!
With my family being at home so much right now and homeschooling, it seems like my kids want to snack ALL THE TIME! Am I the only one? So I decided to develop healthy after school snacks that are fun, nutritious, and incorporate some learning. And that’s how these ‘snacktivities’ were born.
6 Healthy After School Snacks
Whether you are homeschooling, virtual learning, or back at school, every kid needs a snack. So why not offer healthy after school snacks that encourage learning.
This is a great way to introduce primary and secondary colors. Your kids will love playing with their “paint” as they use their imagination making creations and exploring how primary colors mix to create secondary colors.
What You Need: Food coloring, white plate, clear containers, Greek yogurt, and popsicle sticks.
How To Set Up This Snacktivity: Just take Greek yogurt (pro tip: it’s also a good source of protein and calcium) and put it into three little clear containers. Next, add food coloring to each container. You want to create the three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow.
Learning Outcome: To introduce primary and secondary colors for ages Pre-K through first grade.
STEM Vegetable Building
STEM is the hot buzzword right now when it comes to learning, so I wanted to be sure I am incorporating homeschool STEM activities as much as I can. In this healthy after school snacktivity, you encourage your children to use their engineering and critical thinking skills to build the tallest tower or a piece of artwork out of our raw food materials.
If you have a child that struggles to eat vegetables or a picky eater, this snacktivity is a great way of exposing them to these foods. There’s no pressure to eat the food. Instead, they are just having fun! And when the pressure is off, your child is more likely to accept the new food.
What You Need: Celery and carrot sticks, pretzels, and a “glue” (nut butter or hummus)
How to Set Up This Snacktivity: Instead, the ‘building materials’ are edible and packed full of nutrition – carrots, celery sticks, and whole-grain pretzels. Then the ‘glue’ to hold them together is equally nutritious. You can use anything from natural peanut butter to hummus or sunflower seed butter.
Learning Outcome: To use their engineering skills and creativity to build the tallest tower before it falls over.
Edible Solar System
This edible Solar System was a huge hit with my kids because they could use different sizes and colors to create a realistic solar system that they could eat. As we built the edible Solar System, we discussed the colors of the planets, the sizes, and the distance from the sun.
I have found that my kids need a more tactical experience to really retain information and this snacktivity is perfect! It’s easier to remember Mars is the red planet when you see it as a red grape tomato. Plus, you can really get creative with a variety of healthy after school snacks.
What You Need: Blueberries, grapes, grape tomatoes, cheese, carrot slices, oranges, and raisins
How to Set Up This Snacktivity: You can use any food you have at home that either already looks like a planet (such as grapes, blueberries, and grape tomatoes), or you can cut your food into the shape of a planet (for instance, cutting cheese into a circle or slicing carrots). We used an orange slice to create the sun and then worked out from there, arranging our ‘planets’ in the distance from the sun.
Learning Outcome: Learn the planets of the solar system and their relationship to the sun.
What makes math more fun? FOOD! And nothing gets my kids more excited for math than when snacks are involved. And my favorite snack food for practicing math skills is popcorn since it’s so easy to make a bunch of it, and it’s also a source of whole grains and fiber.
What You Need: Popcorn, paper, a pen.
How to Set Up This Snacktivity: Take a blank piece of paper and add your math signs. You can put addition signs on one paper, subtraction on another, even multiplication or division depending on your child’s skill level. Then add the popcorn on the paper for the math problem and solve it by putting the correct number of pieces. And when they get it correct, they can eat their answer.
Learning Outcome: Use the popcorn to complete math problems to get your kids more excited about math
Complete the Pattern
Completing patterns is a great way to boost your child’s critical thinking skills. But patterns in a workbook can get a little boring. To amp up the fun factor, I like to take the patterns off the page and onto the plate. This snacktivity makes the perfect healthy after school snack, and it only takes a minute to set it up.
What You Need: Healthy snacks (we used grapes, carrots, blueberries, and chocolate chips)
How to Set Up This Snacktivity: Gather a few snack foods such as bite-sized pieces of fruit, sliced cheese, or even nuts. Then place each snack in small, individual bowls. On a plate, use these snack pieces to create a pattern. Then, create the pattern once more, but leave a few blank spaces. Your child can then complete the pattern by choosing the correct foods to fill in the blanks. Once they complete the pattern, you guessed it! They get to eat their snack.
Learning Outcome: To recognize and be able to complete a pattern to build critical thinking skills.
Fractions can be an intimidating concept. So if you want to take the stress out of math and make it more fun, get rid of the worksheets and grab a pizza instead. A pizza is perfect for introducing the idea of fractions to young children (and it’s pretty easy to keep their attention when they know they can eat pizza after too).
What You Need: Pizza, homemade flashcards with fractions written on them
How to Set Up This Snacktivity: This snacktivity can be done with a snack-sized pizza, like making a homemade pizza on a tortilla. Or you can even do this activity with a takeout pizza at mealtime.
Create a few flashcards with different fractions written on them—for instance, ¼, ½, ¾. Next, slice your pizza into quarters (or even eights, depending on how challenging you want to make the activity). Then, using a few separate dishes, arrange your pizza in various configurations. You can create a pizza with ¼ of the pie removed and one with ½ removed. Now, give your child the flashcards and let him label the pizza. Which configuration shows ¼ of a pizza? Which shows ½?
Learning Outcome: To introduce and solve fractions by using the pizza slices to match the flashcard!
When it comes to healthy after school snacks, I always look for opportunities to include fun and educational learning. When kids get an opportunity to play with their food, eat something healthy, and learn, you have a winning combination for an interactive learning experience they will enjoy! Which activity do you think your kids will enjoy most?