The kids are back to school! Those little ravenous rascals have been eating you out of house and home all summer long. It’s finally time to take a break from being snack monitor 24/7. Well don’t close the fridge just yet. Those same kids are about to come home famished, and you’re going to need some clever (and healthy) after school snacks in your back pocket.
Here are two weeks’ worth of after school snacks that are both delicious and fun!
1. “Ants on a Log”
A fun twist on the classic. Grab some celery, your favorite nut butters and some fun toppings and let the kids create their favorite “ants on a log” treat. I don’t like peanut butter, so I love adding almond butter or Nutella to mine. Mix and match raisins, berries and chocolate chips or get creative and add your own toppings! The options are endless! I like including “treats” like M&Ms, marshmallows or chocolate chips with healthy options because I feel like it teaches kids that eating healthy can be fun.
2. Yogurt Chilled Fruit
Remember the Yogurt Chilled Fruit I suggested over the Summer? This works great as an after school snack too! My girls like blueberries, but try it with pineapple, strawberries, or cantaloupe too.
3. Charcuterie Plates
I have learned that if you make food look colorful or fun, most kids will at least try it. Offer a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, and veggies in a rainbow of colors for your kids to choose. I also like to offer dips and some foods I know they already love like crackers or goldfish. @kids.eat.in.color on Instagram has a lot of great tips for getting kids to eat new foods if you are looking for a good resource.
4. Baked Veggie Fries or Chips
My kids love French fries and chips. Over the summer I started substituting those deep-fried empty calories with veggies and surprisingly my kids love them. Here are my go-to recipes for Baked Squash Chips and Sweet Potato Fries. I have also tried using carrots.
5. Banana Bites
Another fun frozen snack. Slice some bananas. Spread peanut or almond butter between 2 slices and dip them in chocolate or Nutella. Freeze overnight. My girls will gobble up dozens of these at a time.
6. Homemade Protein Bars
I love a good copycat recipe! These protein bars are cheaper than fan favorite “Larabars” but equally delicious. They have clean ingredients and are naturally sweet. I have also experimented with adding dried blueberries to mine and they are scrumptious!
7. Cheese Crackers
Go ahead and make a double batch of these cheese crackers. I promise you won’t regret it.
- Mix 4 TBS of softened butter, 8 oz of your favorite cheese (I personally like a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack) and 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Add in 1 cup of flour, 3TBS of ice water.
- Knead the dough together to form a ball. (The dough should feel like playdoh, you can add more water if needed.)
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough and cut them into small squares or circles using a knife, small cookie cutter or bottle cap.
- Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. (Optional: top with sea salt.) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crackers puff up and appear golden.
8. Broccoli Tots
If I can hide veggies in anything I will. Try these delicious broccoli tots to beat hunger after school. They are so yummy, your kids wont even notice they are eating vegetables.
9. Chicken Salad Boats
Chicken salad is a great protein packed snack. If you don’t already have a go-to favorite recipe, just throw some diced or shredded chicken in a bowl with a little mayo, dill and chopped celery. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste. Scoop over a hollowed-out cucumber or onto some iceberg lettuce. I like adding craisins or raisins in mine too, Delicious!
10. Healthy Banana Splits
This is easily my kids’ favorite snack. I think they feel like they are breaking the rules by eating some crazy unhealthy treat, but realistically it’s pretty good for them, give or take a few toppings. Split a banana down the middle and top with yogurt. (I freeze ours so it is the consistency of ice cream.) Let the kids go crazy with toppings. Offer nuts, granola, whipped cream, berries, chocolate chips, marshmallows, granola, peanut butter, etc. Again, this is a good way of pushing those healthy foods while also offering up a treat.
Prepare these snacks ahead of time so that your kids will be reaching for the fruits and vegetables instead of the chips. Encourage them to try new things, but also make it fun. Treats don’t necessarily need to be off limits, just incorporate them with the healthier alternatives.