• Mayo Clinic Minute: After-school snack ideas

After a long day at school, a nutritious snack can fuel your student's growing body and avoid an attitude meltdown.

These afternoon servings of food provide energy for the daily physical activity that's recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and they can boost brain power for homework too.

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So before kids hit the backyard or the books, it’s best to hit the kitchen.

"You want to  have some good nutrition, so that kids can play after school or do their
homework," explains Dr. Vandana Bhide, a Mayo Clinic pediatrician.

The key with snacks is controlling blood sugar.

"You don’t want peaks of sugar in your bloodstream, because, then, you can be very down after that," adds Dr. Bhide.

To avoid those spikes, skip the sugary drinks and treats, and reach for snacks that combine healthy carbs and protein.

Dr. Bhide suggests small snacks, including:

  • Peanut butter on apples
  • Veggies and dip
  • Sliced cheese on whole-wheat crackers
  • Pita chips with hummus
  • Homemade trail mix (with low-salt nuts, low-sugar cereal and dried, unsweetened fruit.)

"It allows a very constant level amount of sugar in your bloodstream – which provides good blood flow to the brain and to the muscles," says Dr. Bhide.

And that’s good for getting back to work or heading outside to play.

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