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Afternoon Tea for Two

Refuel and reconnect with your child by turning after-school snack time into tea time.
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Listening and Speaking
Social Skills
Cooperation
Following Directions

Afternoon tea has long provided a chance for people to unwind and recharge while enjoying one another's company. Why not tap into this centuries-old tradition and create your own after-school ritual? By sharing a simple snack and conversation, you and your child can reconnect and recharge after the busy school day. It will become a time you both look forward to.

Remember, this is not the time to press your child about her day at school. Instead, make general conversation about family news, the weather, events you are looking forward to, the food you are sharing, or even about your day. If you don't pressure your child to share information about school, eventually she will do so on her own.

It's important to remember that in addition to the quiet time, children need an energy boost after school. There can be as many as five or six hours between lunch and dinner for many families, yet active young children need healthy food throughout the day to power them through. Sugary or starchy snacks might taste and feel good at first, but they result in a physical, emotional, or behavioral crash later in the day.

Consider preparing and serving snacks such as cheese, whole grain crackers, and sliced veggies and fruit with dip. These snacks give your child the energy she needs without the negative side effects. Plus, you can make the snacks together ahead of time so they are ready to eat or take on the road right after school. Many wonderful snacks can be prepared over the weekend at a relaxed pace and then enjoyed all week long.

Read on for some great teatime recipes:

Carry-Along Trail Mix

There are a trillion different combinations for this popular snack. Here is one recipe to try. (Note: Do not serve to children under 4.)

What you need:

  • 3 cups whole grain cereal (puffed corn, toasted oat, Chex)
  • 1/2 cup plain or yogurt-covered raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit pieces
  • 1/2 cup cashew or pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup mini whole grain pretzels

What to do:

  1. Ask your child to help measure the ingredients.
  2. Stir it all together.
  3. Store in airtight containers, and it will be good for weeks.

Cheese Crisp Balls

These deliciously simple balls are easy and fun to make. Mix them up, shape, bake, and enjoy.

What you need:

  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz. butter or soy margarine
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup rice-crisp style cereal

What to do:

  1. Take the grated cheese and butter out of the refrigerator to soften for 10 minutes.
  2. Let your child carefully scoop or pour wheat flour into a measuring cup. Repeat with a cup of rice cereal.
  3. Have your child mix the softened cheese with the butter while you hold the bowl steady.
  4. Stir in the dry ingredients, as your child slowly pours the flour and cereal into the bowl.
  5. Here comes the fun! Use clean hands to shape the mixture into small balls or any desired shape.
  6. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Yummy Yogurt Dip

Whip up this simple dip to serve with fresh fruit or whole-grain breadsticks.

What you need:

  • 8 oz. low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 3 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

What to do:

  1. Invite your child to help you measure the ingredients.
  2. Place them in a blender or food processor.
  3. Allow your child to turn the blender on low and watch the ingredients mix together until smooth.
  4. Serve right away or chill and eat later.

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