Even though you’re fairly confident you packed a full lunch for your child, comprised with not only a main dish but also sides and snacks, they come home from school as if they haven’t eaten since breakfast. I’m always quite shocked by how kids with such little bellies can eat so very much and still be hungry. Ah, to have the metabolism of a 7-year-old.
The after-school hours tend to be the most chaotic. There’s after school activities, homework to be completed, and in just a couple of short hours, it’s dinnertime. Most days I feel that by the time I’ve given my kids their snack and cleaned up, it’s time to commence dinner prep, and I’m just praying I can leave the kitchen at some point before midnight.
In order to avoid the feeling of residing in your kitchen, we’ve come up with some awesome clean after school snacks that everyone can enjoy to tide them over until dinnertime. They’re packed with nutrients, easy to prep, and most importantly tasty and exciting enough that your kids (even the pickiest of eaters) will actually be into eating them.
Here are 10 clean after-school snack recipes to get you through the whole school year. Find your favorites or rotate through them all.
1. Cheerio Cereal Bars
Melt ½ cup of honey with ½ cup of peanut butter until just combined. Mix in 3 cups of Cheerios (or your favorite small cereal), and press into a parchment paper-lined 9×9 pan. Refrigerate for one hour and cut into bars.
2. Flourless Zucchini Chocolate Muffins
Prepare one box of Simple Mills chocolate muffin mix, and add in one medium-sized shredded zucchini. Sprinkle some chocolate chips or coconut on top and bake according to package directions.
3. Apple Slice Cookies
Core one apple (I prefer using Granny Smith, but you can use whatever type you like). Slice into 1/3-inch-thick rings. Spread with your favorite nut butter (or sunflower butter for nut allergies), and top with dried fruit, chocolate chips, coconut, cinnamon, or anything else!
4. Banana Sushi Rolls
Spread 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter on half of a whole wheat tortilla. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt on the other half. Place full, peeled banana at one end of the tortilla. Roll and slice. Sprinkle with chia seeds to finish.
5. Granola Yogurt Bark
Top a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread 1 ½ cups of yogurt across the baking sheet (about ½ inch thick). Top with 1-2 tablespoons of granola, chocolate chips, and coconut. Freeze for 2-3 hours until set and then break apart. Freeze broken pieces for a quick grab and go snack.
6. Pepper Pizzas
Skip the pizza dough and sub in a healthy crunchy veggie instead. Slice a bell pepper into 2-3 inch slices. Top with 1 tablespoon of shredded mozzarella cheese and microwave for 30 seconds or until cheese is just melted. Top with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and a few slices of organic, nitrate-free, pepperoni.
7. Funfetti Yogurt Dip & Fruit Kabobs
Mix ½ cup vanilla yogurt with 1 tablespoon of rainbow sprinkles. If you prefer added sweetness, you can also add in a small drizzle of honey. Mix to combine and serve with animal crackers, letter cookies, and fruit kabobs.
8. Apple Sauce Ice Pops
It doesn’t get much easier than this one. Pour 1 apple sauce cup (with no added sugar) into a popsicle mold. Freeze until solid, and you’re done!
9. Zucchini Banana Bread
A filling snack packed with fruit and veggies. Combine 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour with 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp salt. Add in one egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, two mashed bananas, and 1 cup shredded zucchini. Mix and pour into bread pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Makes 10 slices that can easily be frozen and thawed when needed.
10. Veggie Hummus Cups
Fill the bottom of a small mason jar with 2-3 tablespoons of hummus. Cut carrots, peppers, and cucumbers into ¼ inch sticks and insert one end into the hummus filling the cups. You can also mix in some whole wheat pretzels sticks to the mix for some variety.