Healthy Afterschool Snack Ideas: Tips to Fuel Success

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Looking for nutritious and delicious and healthy afterschool snack ideas to fuel your soccer player or youth athlete? 

When you’re on the go bussing between school and home and then off to practice. Or if you have practice at the school field after school, you’ll want to have a plan for some good snacks to top off your stores and fuel you for a training, practice or studying.

Finding the right balance between tasty treats and nutritional value is crucial for their performance and overall well-being. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of healthy afterschool snack ideas and provide you with a comprehensive list of afterschool snack ideas that are perfect for enjoying at home after school, packing in a gear bag or keeping in a cooler or on ice.

healthy afterschool snack ideas, soccer snacks

What makes a good afterschool snack

A good afterschool snack for soccer players and youth athletes should be balanced, providing them with essential nutrients to replenish energy levels, promote muscle recovery and support optimal performance during practice or training sessions. (1)

Here are a few key factors to consider when selecting snacks:

  1. Balanced snacks: Opt for snacks that combine a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. This balance helps sustain energy levels, repair muscle tissue and maintain satiety.
  1. Nutrient density: Choose snacks that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Nutrient-dense options can help support immune function, combat inflammation and promote overall health.

Snacks to eat at home

These snacks are ideal for making at home since they require refrigeration and maybe an oven or microwave. If you’re heading home after school and before heading out for practice or training sessions and games try one of these snacks:

  1. Apple slices with almond butter
  2. Low fat Greek yogurt with mixed berries and granola
  3. Homemade granola bars
  4. Whole grain crackers with hummus
  5. Veggie sticks and pita chips with guacamole
  6. Hard-boiled eggs and crackers
  7. Quinoa salad with veggies
  8. Baked sweet potato fries with string cheese
  9. Homemade energy balls
  10. Whole wheat toast with mashed avocado and tomato
  11. Caprese skewers with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil
  12. Fruit smoothies made with yogurt or added protein powder
  13. Mini whole grain muffins with fruit and nuts
  14. Bean and cheese quesadilla with whole wheat tortilla and salsa
  15. Leftover pasta salad 

Snacks to Pack in Gear Bags

These snacks are convenient and do not require refrigeration, making them perfect for packing in gear bags:

  1. Granola bars 
  2. Protein bars 
  3. Dry cereal 
  4. Whole grain pretzels or pretzel sticks
  5. Nut butter packs (single-serving packs of almond butter, peanut butter, etc.)
  6. Mini (shelf-stable) hummus cups with whole grain pita chips or baby carrots
  7. Mini muffins (bake ahead with whole grain flour and add fruits or nuts)
  8. Energy balls or bites (homemade with ingredients like oats, nut butter, and dates)
  9. Dark chocolate squares or chocolate-covered nuts (in moderation)
  10. Rice crackers or rice chips (choose options with whole grains)
  11. Whole fruit (such as apples, oranges of banana)
  12. Dried fruits like mango, cranberry, cherries or your favorite
  13. Trail mix made with nuts, dried fruit and other mix-ins like dry cereal
  14. Fruit cups in natural juices (choose options without added sugars or syrups)
  15. Applesauce or fruit squeeze pouches
  16. Peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole wheat bread

Snacks to Keep Cool in a Cooler or Ice Bag

These snacks require refrigeration to keep them fresh and cool, making them suitable for a cooler or ice bag:

  1. Cheese sticks or cheese cubes
  2. Deli meat roll-ups (choose lean options like turkey or chicken)
  3. Greek yogurt cups or yogurt parfaits with fresh fruits and granola
  4. Chilled fruit cups or fruit salad
  5. Cold pasta salad with vegetables and lean protein (chicken, shrimp, etc.)
  6. Cold wraps or sandwiches with fillings like chicken, turkey, or veggies
  7. Chilled vegetable sticks with dip (hummus, ranch dressing, etc.)
  8. Cold sliced melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)
  9. Cold grapes or berries
  10. Yogurt tubes or pouches (choose low-sugar options or natural Greek yogurt)

Remember to use ice packs or frozen water bottles to keep these snacks fresh and cool, ensuring they stay at a safe temperature until it’s time to enjoy them.

Conclusion

Promoting good nutrition and providing a variety of healthy afterschool snack options is essential for the optimal development and performance of soccer players and youth athletes. 

Plan ahead and have a variety of snacks with carbs and protein for packing in gear bags and in cooler lunch bags. This ensures that you’ll have a range of convenient and nutritious options to fuel your body before and after practices or training sessions.

Remember, a balanced diet is key, so aim to include a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats and nutrient-dense ingredients in your snacks. 

It’s also important to consider individual preferences, dietary restrictions, and any food allergies when selecting snacks.

So, pack those gear bags and coolers with nutritious snacks, and watch them thrive both on and off the field!

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