Snacking is a big part of your child’s day. After school, kids will grab chips, crackers, or cookies if no other easy alternatives are available. Especially older kids, who raid the pantry as soon as they get home. To get kids to skip empty-calorie or high sugar snacks (like many store-bought granola bars), and not ruin their dinner, have ready-to-go snacks available, ones that they actually like and will fill them up.
These eight after-school snack ideas are simple, fun, and delicious. Plus, you’ll feel better knowing exactly what ingredients they contain.
These chewy granola bars don’t require any baking time and are customizable. Throw the bars in your kids’ lunchboxes or have them ready for summer activities. The toasted oats give the bars a classic granola bar flavor when mixed with the brown sugar and honey. Shape your bars and freeze them with the help of a mold. They can stay in the fridge or at room temperature until your kids are ready to grab their treats.
When the kids, or you, need a quick snack or easy breakfast, these bites are easy to make and contain quinoa, a good source of protein and fiber. Make ahead and freeze in a leakproof glass container to keep freezer burn away. Thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours for an easy-to-grab, healthier choice. Christie from South Carolina says, “I absolutely love this recipe for so many reasons. It is super quick and simple to make. It produces a snack that is healthy and delicious. So good!”
Make your own milk and cereal bars at home with your kids. This homemade version is better for your family, but also fun to make! The bars are the perfect portable breakfast or on-the-go snack. The creamy nut butter and honey mixture will have your kids wanting more.
Need a creative way to feed your kids more fruit? Try this frozen treat that’s filled with bananas and strawberries. Drizzle it with honey and top with granola for a little crunch.
6. Veggie Chips
Make healthy fruit and veggie chips at home that your kids can enjoy. Thinly slice their favorite fruits like apples and pears or veggies like sweet potatoes and kale and cook them in the oven on a baking pan. Take it one step further and make a homemade dipping sauce!
7. Crinkle-Cut Fruits and Veggies
Make your kids’ snacks fun by cutting their food with a wavy crinkle cutter. It’s perfect for slicing fruits, veggies, cheese, and more into sticks or bite-sized pieces.
8. Custom Snack Bars
Get your kids more involved in the kitchen and eating healthy snacks by letting them help choose what will go into just-for-them snack bars. Here are a few kid-friendly snack bar combinations your little chefs can mix and match at home.
- sunflower seeds
- fresh berries
- thinly sliced fruits
- dried raisins
- dried cherries
- dried cranberries
- small banana or apple chips
- low-sugar cereals
- toasted coconut
- yogurt chips
Stock up on these ingredients and you’ll have unlimited snacking options. See how some of the ideas shown here come to life with Food and Trend Innovator and registered dietitian Sandy Wolner in this episode of In the Kitchen With Pampered Chef.
What snack is a big hit with your kids? Share your tips and tricks for smart snacking in the comments.