One of the first things your child is most likely to say when he or she gets home is “I’m hungry.” Coming up with different snacks each day can be tough and they can only eat so many granola bars and carrot sticks before getting bored. Today we’ve round up 10 easy and healthy after school snacks for you to put together with or without the help of your little ones.
Apple and nut butter sandwiches
This is a simple snack to put together. The sweet and tartness of the apple perfectly complements the saltiness of the peanut butter and the different textures between them make it fun to eat. You can substitute the peanut butter with other nut butters as well. For extra crunch and flavor you can sprinkle in some granola or dried fruit.
Nut butter of your choice – Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter
Granola or dried fruit if desired.
Was and place the apple on its side. Cut the apple into slices across fruit through the core. Cut out the core and remove seeds. Spread peanut butter on half of the apple slices. Sprinkle granola or dried fruit onto the butter if desired. Top with the other slice of apple and enjoy.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 3 kernels and wait for them to pop. When they pop, immediately add the sugar and remaining popcorn kernels. Stir so that the kernels are coated by the sugar. Cover with the lid.
Once the corn starts popping, pick it up and give it a quick shake, to prevent burning, every few seconds until popping slows down, between 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Pizzas are a crowd favorite and this version is easy to throw together. You can even ask your little ones to help by making their own. You don’t have to use English muffins. This would work equally well with bagels, flatbreads, or if you’re trying to get your kids to eat more vegetables, you can eliminate the English muffin and make the pizza on slices of zucchini.
English muffins, split in half
Toppings as desired
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Top each English muffin half with a layer of tomato sauce and sprinkle with your cheese. Add any toppings that you would like. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edge of the English muffin is brown and crispy.
Trail mixes are not just for hiking. They’re a great snack on the go between activities that give an extra boost in energy to keep your kids going until dinner. A trail mix is easily customizable with your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and other add ins. Here are a few of our favorite combinations:
- The traditional GORP (Granola, Oats, Peanuts, Raisins): Peanuts, raisins, M&Ms.
- Popcorn trail mix: Popcorn, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, dried cranberries, dried apricot
- Tropical trail mix: various dried fruit (banana, mango, strawberry, etc), raw almonds, shredded coconut, maple syrup, salt
- Sweet, salty and spicy: Peanuts, pretzels, cinnamon, brown sugar, cayenne pepper (optional)
Yogurt Covered Fruit
This is easily adaptable to what kind of fruit you have on hand. It would work equally well with blueberries, strawberries or even raisins. The trick is to eat them fairly quickly before they all melt.
Fruit of your choice
Greek or regular yogurt (plain or vanilla)
Prepare a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Wash (and cut if desired) the fruit of your choice. Dip the fruit into the yogurt. Place on a cookie sheet and put into the freezer until frozen (about 1-2 hours). Remove and place into a storage container.
If you’re using Greek yogurt, you might want to add a little bit of honey into the mixture to slightly sweeten it.
Baked Tortilla Chips (+ Dip of your choice)
Chips and dip is a favorite and by making your own baked chips, you can control how much salt and fat your child is taking in. It’s so easy to make, you’ll wondering why you haven’t been doing this all your life.
Good-quality corn or flour tortillas
Neutral vegetable oil, like grapeseed or canola
Flaky sea salt
Seasonings, if desired
Cut up a tortilla like a pizza and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with seasoning if desired. Place into a 400 degree F oven. Bake for approximately 6-7 minutes, or until crisp and the edges start to turn brown. Remove and cool.
You can dress them up to make them sweet with some cinnamon and sugar, or savory with a light sprinkling of garlic Parmesan. Or you could just leave them plain to be eaten with a dip of your choice.
Popsicles / Smoothie
Blend together fruit for a smoothie or pour them into a popsicle mold and you have a frozen treat. Either is great for the after school munchies.
There are a wide variety of combinations that you can make and it comes down to the person preference of you and your kids. Here are some of our favorite combinations:
- Classic strawberry smoothie: Strawberry + banana + Greek yogurt + soy milk
- Tropical paradise smoothie: Mango + pineapple + orange juice
- Peanut butter smoothie: Milk + peanut butter + banana
- A green smoothie (you can’t see the green!): Spinach + mixed berries + banana + orange juice
If you’re mixing together a popsicle, keep some of the fruit whole as a surprise inside.
Homemade Fruit Snack
If you can make jello, then you can make this tasty and healthy fruit snack.
1 ½ cup fruit (of your choice)
2 tbsp honey
½ tsp vanilla (optional)
2 ½ tbsp gelatin (3 Knox packets)
Heat your fruit, honey and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat until the fruit is soft. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the gelatin, stirring as you pour. Keep stirring until all the gelatin has dissolved. Pour the mixture into a lined pan and put into the refrigerator to set. Once set, cut into individual pieces. Alternatively you can pour the mixture into silicone molds with fun shapes and pop them out once they’re set.
Two Ingredient Cookies
This simple cookie only has two ingredients for its base: bananas and quick oats. Add in different mix-ins to the base to customize the flavor. It’s simple enough that the kids can help with a little adult supervision.
2 large old bananas
1 cup of quick oats
Mix-ins like chocolate chips, raisins, cranberries, nuts, etc
Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a bowl, mash the banana using a fork. Old bananas are best, but newer ones are fine too. If using newer bananas they will need to be mashed up a little more.
When fully mashed, mix in the oats. Bananas vary in size so use your judgment when it comes to adding in the oats. If using mix-ins, add less oats otherwise the cookies will become too dry and not hold together.
Add in the mix-ins of your choice and mix well so that they’re well incorporated.
Spoon the mixture onto a greased cooking sheet. (Editor’s note: a greased sheet will make getting the cookies off pain free). Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!
These are light and easy to make for a quick snack after school. You can enlist the help of your child as well to pile on their own ingredients.
Cooked rice noodles (vermicelli)
Optional: cooked shrimp or tofu
Dip the rice paper into a shallow bowl filled with water to dampen it. You don’t need to soak it as the wrapper will continue to soften outside the water.
Place the wrapper on a flat surface and working quickly layer in your ingredients in a line across the wrapper: rice noodles, carrot and cucumber sticks. Top with your optional protein if desired.
Fold in the two sides and roll it up like a burrito.
What is your favorite snack to give your kids?