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.
1. No-Bake Granola Bars
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.
2. Toasted Quinoa Energy Bites
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 sealed 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!”
3. Milk and Cereal Bars
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.
4. Homemade Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn can be a fast, healthy snack, and you don’t need to make it in a bag. The popcorn maker lets you eliminate extra butter and salt. Add your own unique seasoning or try one of these.
5. Breakfast Smoothie Quicksicles
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.
Yum! These look good
Using these ideas for a Kids Cooking Class during spring break! So excited! Each child is taking home a Snack Bar Maker set!!!
Definitely guna try!
I no longer have kids in the home but those look delish!!! I would enjoy those healthy snacks!!!
I love all these ideas! I have hoped to foster a love of cooking in my grandchildren, and they would love making some of these themselves!
Those look yummy and easy to make
Already thinking of ideas to use for this certain tray
some of these can be very keto friendly. I couldn’t find the recipes, but I have the idea, so I’ll move forward with it.
Is there a recipe for the bars pictured with blueberries kiwi, etc?
Not my recipe, but this is probably what you’re requesting.
Custom snack bars look yummy!
My kids are both grownups now; but I would love the breakfast smoothie quicksickles.
I need to make healthy food for both of us!
Great ideas for making after school snacks or taking them in my own lunch bag!
Thanks for sharing this information.