A very dear friend of mine has two boys with somewhat hectic after school activities and asked for some more ideas as to what to feed them for afternoon tea. As anyone with children will know that idea of 6 small meals is not such a bad idea, particularly come mid afternoon. It’s a sure-fire way to keep little minds focused & happy and little tummies full as googs. I’m thinking that some of these ideas are suited to older children who have sporting activities after school and really need some sustained energy.
This project has reminded me of when I was looking after my grown up cherubs (as a nanny) in New Zealand & I’d pick up Mackie & Erin after school & we’d wait about 20 – 30 mins for Jay to finish so I would take afternoon tea and everyone would eat in the car, I used to check their lunch boxes and if they (Erin) hadn’t eaten her piece of fruit, she had to eat that one & then another one & then she could have a choc chip cookie or muffin, generally I’d take them fruit, cucumber, capsicum or carrots & something sweet. It was enough to keep them going until dinner time. Anyway I put my thinking cap on, tested a few recipes and consulted friends with kids as to what they serve their little ones come afternoon tea time. I also thought a little outside the square.
We’ve, because I haven’t done this alone come up with some mostly healthy, fun and hopefully yummy ideas.
Hot weather snacks:
Obviously fresh fruit is a given and coming into summer there are so many options, mango, watermelon, grapes (fresh or frozen) peaches, apricots, nectarines, blue berries, strawberries, kiwi fruit (although not too many as it can cause rotten nappies in little ones & yes I am speaking from experience)
Muffins are a great option as you can add grated apple, sultanas, seeds etc and have a bit of a play around. Banana muffins are a definite winner with the kids & adults I know. (But maybe wait until the prices go down a bit more)
Fruit smoothies in insulated cups can be made from pretty much anything, best way to save money is to use whatever fruit is in season, add milk & some yoghurt and Vvvvvvvvvvvdddddddd blend away. I remember when we were in Marrakech we used to freeze little containers of yoghurt, normally I wouldn’t advocate buying the little containers of yogurt as they are more expensive, but for the convenience I figure it’s worth it, you could always transfer the yoghurt into smaller containers.
Cooler weather snacks:
I made some mini pizza’s today which all the kids in mother’s group seemed to enjoy and the best thing was that they tasted good warm or lukewarm to room temp which means they may even work for lunches too.
Sausage rolls, party pies, soup in thermal mugs and I was even thinking porridge with sultanas, dried or grated apples & cinnamon would work, particularly in winter & for those kids who are playing sport and need something to keep them going. You’d need to put it in a thermos or thermal cup to keep it hot.
I thought about meatballs, but really I do think they need to be warmer to hot to still taste good.
Other snack type things could be olives (yes kids love them or the ones I know do) Hummus, tzatziki, Mashed Avocado with some lemon juice to stop it from going brown. Little bread sticks, Pita breads with falafel, cucumber, carrot, capsicum sticks. Banana & Peanut butter on raisin bread. Cheese & vegemite on saladas or any dried biscuit, cherry tomatoes, kabana, hard boiled eggs. Little tins of tuna (or buy a big tin and break it up into smaller containers.
I think this is definitely an area where any other suggestions are welcome and much sort after as we all want to try to ensure our kids are eating healthily and give them variety, nothing worse than the same thing every day. If we can get them involved in the cooking & preparing of the food then they’re more inclined to eat it.
There is a great magnet we got from the maternal health nurse which reads, we decide what they (the children) eat and when they eat, they decide whether to eat and how much. It’s a rocky road at the best of times and everyone has an opinion about this subject. There will be days when all they eat is pasta or only green things or perhaps nothing at all. However I do think as long as for the most part your children are eating relatively healthily then the occasional packet of chips or icypole isn’t really going to hurt. Everything in moderation as they say.