My children have been in school for a month, but for many families, the day after Labor Day is the first day of the new school year. It is also the first day of after-school snacks. What your children eat after school has a big impact on how well they are able to do their homework.

You want to give it some thought before they walk in the door.

My kids are polar opposites. My daughter likes to start her homework as soon as possible; my son prefers to wait until the morning. (How do I know this? The Homework Personality Quiz!) However, they both want a snack the minute they get home from school. In fact, if they don’t have a snack immediately, they might die of starvation.

So, I let them eat something. There are, however, a few snack rules:

  1. Easy. Easy to make and easy to clean up. I have enough problems with breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is no way I want to deal with planning, cooking or cleaning up another meal. After-school snacks must be quick and simple.
  2. Healthy. Basically, this means low sugar. I am not a health food fanatic; I just don’t want to give my children anything that will make them wild, fidgety and unable to concentrate all afternoon.
  3. Dinner-Friendly. Most of us don’t overeat fiber and protein- it’s the refined sugar and processed carbohydrates that cause the problems. Don’t make your children's after-school snack too much like dessert. It should tide them over until dinner, not spoil it.

My Favorite After-School Snacks:

I save these snacks for after school- rarely in lunches- so my kids don’t get sick and tired of them. Of course, there are many, many more healthy, easy, dinner-friendly snack ideas. Please, share some of yours!