Skip the bag of crackers and try these 3 healthy after-school snacks ::

I don’t know about your kids, but mine come home from school absolutely starving. Instead of grabbing the usual pack of crackers or granola bar, check out these healthy snack alternative courtesy of UNC Health Care. These originally appeared on their Health Talk blog.

Peanut Butter Butterflies


4 stalks celery
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup mini pretzels


Wash celery and cut stalks into thirds.

Spread peanut butter onto the celery.

Add two raisins for eyes and two mini pretzels for wings.

Sandwich sticks

Sandwich Sticks


All amounts as needed.

Whole-wheat bread
Cheese sticks
Deli meat
Cherry tomatoes
Dill pickles


Cut bread, cheese sticks, deli meat, tomatoes, dill pickles and olives into bite-size or cubed portions. Use whole-wheat bread instead of white for increased fiber.

Use skewers to make sandwich “kebabs,” making sure to put a mix of vegetables, meat and cheese on each. Add more or less of each ingredient, depending on what your child prefers.

Sweet ’n’ Salty Nori Popcorn

Sweet ’n’ Salty Nori Popcorn


1 tablespoon nori seaweed flakes
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels


Grind the nori seaweed flakes, 2/3 of the sesame seeds, sugar and salt into a fine powder. This can be done by hand with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. (Dried seaweed contains antioxidants and can be a good salty snack by itself.)

Add oil to a large saucepan with a heavy bottom. Add three popcorn kernels, cover with a lid and cook over medium heat until they pop. Oil can be very hot, so it’s always good to have a grown-up make the popcorn.

Immediately add the rest of the popcorn kernels, replace the lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally until all the kernels have popped. Popcorn is a great snack for older children, but it can be a choking hazard for toddlers.

Transfer the popped corn to a large bowl. Sprinkle your sweet and salty nori mixture over the popcorn and mix with your hands until every piece is coated. Top with the remaining sesame seeds.

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