You’re just back from the school run, having traipsed through the rain with umpteen bags. You need a cuppa and some dry clothes. But the kids are already asking “What can I eat while I’m waiting for tea?”.

It’s when most of us grab the biscuit tin, or a packet of crisps, or some kind of dried-fruit snack for them. When you’re spinning plates – work, laundry, groceries, homework, pets, family commitments, cooking, budgeting – it can feel like a challenge too far to worry about rustling up a healthy snack at this point in the day.

But there is a way to feel supremely smug about your parenting prowess, in the time it takes for the kettle to boil. Dips!

Try these three healthy options:

  1. Slice an apple from the fruit bowl and serve with a dollop of peanut, almond, or cashew-nut butter for dipping. Packed with protein, and slow-release carbs.
  2. Wash and roughly chop a carrot into batons (no need to peel) and serve with a pot of hummus dip. High in protein, low in cholesterol, and great for vitamin C.
  3. Wash and slice up a cucumber and serve with a side of guacamole. Tasty, rehydrating, and loaded with vitamins A, C & E.

They’re simple and yes, a little obvious, but sometimes still overlooked when you’re short on time. But actually they take just a few moments to prep. If you’re children are anti-veg, a rice cake or breadstick is a good back-up plan.

A different choice

The other approach – to help you avoid the need for after-school snacks – is to opt for school dinners at lunchtime.
Now that school meals are meticulously planned against National School Food Standards, they ensure your child’s energy and nutrient levels are just right, keeping them on good form — in class and at home – right through ‘til teatime. No more pestering. No more grumps. And less lunchbox hassle for you, too.

Children in year R, 1, and 2, school meals are free.
For year 3s upwards, a hot school meal costs less than a take-out coffee! Speak to your school office to sign up!

Questions? Call us on 02380 332226. We serve 1.7m nutritious school dinners in 47 Southampton schools each year. Find us on Facebook: fb.me/CityDinnersSouthampton