After a long day of playing hard and learning the ABC’s and 123’s, any kid would be hungry! It can be hard to find a good snack after school when everyone is tired and just wants to fill up their tummies with whatever is easiest to grab—even if that means junk food.
Here are some ideas you can prep ahead of time so getting that after-school snack is as nutritious as it is easy. The kids might even be able to get their own snack.
Buy already cut veggies or cut them yourself, add a bit of ranch dressing and voila! You can cut veggies days in advance and keep them in a cup with some water to keep them fresh and crisp. Or simply store them in zipper bags with a slightly damp paper towel.
Single serving yogurt cups are a good start. Add some granola or some nuts and seeds to liven it up.
Cinnamon toast is a first venture into “cooking” for many kids. Keep a bottle with a sprinkle top filled for kids to use on their own. Or you can mix up some butter with cinnamon and sugar so all that’s left to be done is toast and spread.
Poke an almond into a whole dried apricot for a snack with a little surprise. Many sliced fruits don’t keep well, but dried fruit is great for snacking.
When the bananas start to get overripe, peel them and freeze. A simple smoothie with banana, ice and milk is delicious after a long day. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter and a few drops of vanilla for extra flavor.
Peanut butter crackers are an after school favorite. Add thin slices of apple for a little something extra.
Trail mix is satisfying after school but can be expensive and then there’s the little pile of raisins left behind by a kid who didn’t like them. Make your own with your kid’s favorite stuff and pre-load into baggies.
Popcorn is easy to make ahead and easy to store. It can also be transformed into something more interesting with a few additions. Try nuts or a light caramel coating.
Pinwheels are fun to eat, easy to make, and have endless variations. Spread a tortilla with cream cheese spread and top with some ham or turkey then roll up and slice. Try your own creative combos.
Crackers, tortilla chips or pretzels dipped in just about anything is a great snack. Whip up classic hummus or sub in edamame or black beans—really any bean will do. Salsa or guacamole is great too, if your kids get into that kind of thing.
Cookies for a snack? Why not! An oatmeal cookie with raisins or cranberries and some nuts might be a better choice than many other snacks.
Just like cookies, muffins can be a filling snack. Sneak in some bran or zucchini to make them healthier.
As long as we’re at it, why not include cheesecake in our list of snacks. Ok, it’s not the real deal, but close enough to make you want to steal their snack. Add a few tablespoons of strawberry jam to a few ounces of cream cheese then spread on a graham cracker.
Pop some single serving applesauce containers into the freezer the night before and the next day the kids will enjoy apple slushies.