28 Easy After-School Snack Ideas
You know the drill... snacks are the first thing that kids reach for when they arrive home from school. Spend Sunday night making a few (parent-approved) from-scratch, treats that the kids can grab without a fuss. Trail mix, crackers, and granola bars are great homemade snack options that will keep your kiddos fueled through homework and satisfied until dinner.
Tahini-Oat Energy Balls
For a quick, pick-me-up snack when you're on the go, these easy tahini-oat bites are the perfect solution. Full of hearty nuts and creamy tahini, they offer just the right amount of sweet satisfaction. A pinch of salt balances the flavor and brings it all together. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and keept them on hand for emergency snack situations.
Apple-Oat Energy Balls
Back-to-school has got nothing on these tasty, filling snacks. If you don't have almond butter (or have a picky eater in the house), feel free to swap out for peanut butter or your nut butter of choice.
Air-Fried Mozzarella Sticks
These homemade mozzarella sticks offer all of the crispy-coated, cheesy goodness you want without the deep-fried mess on your stovetop. We like to call that a “win-win.”
Spicy, Barely Sweet Supercrunch Granola
Our supremely crunchy, irresistible granola almost feels more like party mix (but still contains all those great whole grains). It stores well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. Aside from eating out of hand, you can also try this on your morning bowl of yogurt, an ice cream parfait, or a hearty salad (think of it as a replacement for croutons). For folks with gluten allergies or sensitivities, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Strawberry Nutella Sushi Cups
No raw fish around here. These decadent dessert “sushi” are filled with a fluffy Nutella mousse and juicy-sweet strawberries. Sweet sushi rice actually serves as a surprisingly delightful vessel for the classic strawberry-Nutella combo. If you plan to set these bite-size cups out for a party, you can also freeze them for 1 hour (instead of chilling in the fridge) so that the filling holds firm for a longer period of time at room temperature.
Cheddar Cheese Snack Crackers
Skip the store-bought version and create your own cheesy snack crackers for afternoon snacking.
Smashed Avocado on Toast
Smashed Avocado on Toast is a great snack before a run or workout. With the perfect combination of healthy fats and carbohydrates, this snack will keep your body energized without weighing you down.
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
These bars are a perfectly portable snack you can prep on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge. The bars will continue to firm up as they chill.
Coconut, Almond, and Goji Bars
These homemade fruit-filled, nutty-flavored bars are perfect for an after-school snack. Packed with antioxidants and superfoods like coconut, almonds, and goji berries, these healthy, portable bars are way better than what you'll find at the store. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and carry this hearty snack around with you to have when you're running low on energy.
Sesame-Soy Nut and Pretzel Mix
Full of salty nuts, pretzels, and cereal and doused with a butter- and Worcestershire-based glaze, the classic snack mix racks up sodium quickly (and who honestly stops at the barely 1/2 cup serving suggestion?). Our Asian-inspired mix saves 160mg sodium per serving with plenty of crunch and bold, salty flavor in a more generous 3/4 cup portion.
Sweet and Spicy Nut and Pretzel Mix
Set a timer to remind you of the nuts toasting in the oven.
Rocky Road Popcorn Balls
Guess what? This is a whole-grain dessert. To keep the stickiness at bay, wear latex gloves coated with cooking spray as you shape the popcorn balls.
Granola Cups with Yogurt and Berries
Brown Sugar-Spiced Nut Mix
From the Kitchen of…Cheryl Slocum, Senior Food Editor
A bowl of nuts in their shells was a coffee table staple for Thanksgiving snacks when Cheryl was young. "Operating the nutcracker was a real draw for us little kids," she says, "but our tastes have evolved to this sweet-hot crispy mix."
Achieve a bronzelike patina on these candied nuts by keeping a close watch near the end of their roasting time. Too long and they'll overdarken and take on a bitter flavor.
Incredible Edible Nutty Putty
Make-Ahead; Superfast and Easy; Just for Fun
"I could measure and add everything for this recipe just fine. When I poured in the milk powder, it got real dusty. I stirred slow then fast. I wish I could make Nutty Putty every day because it's so fun!" --Andrew, Age 5
Double-Chocolate Cereal Treats
Skip your boring breakfast and opt for these decadent chocolate-on-chocolate cookies that boast full satisfaction and a dose of whole-grain goodness. Rich, decadent, and ultra-crispy, these healthy, bite-size snacks are the perfect start to the day. And they're ready to eat in a fraction of the time needed to prepare typical sweet treats.
Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas
Dry your chickpeas as thoroughly as possible before cooking to ensure a satisfyingly crisp result. If you're planning to pack these flavor-coated, fiber-filled poppers as a to-go snack, be sure to allow them to cool completely on a flat surface first.
Apple Chips with Honey-Lemon Mint Yogurt Dip
There's no need to buy pre-packaged apple chips when the real thing is so easy to make at home. We love the sweet and tangy dip with plain apple chips, but you can also serve with apple chips coated in your favorite spice blend--like Apple Chips with Ancho Chile Cinnamon Sugar or Chinese Five Spiced Apple Chips. If you don't have a mandoline, you can use a sharp knife, but your slices won't be quite as even.
Pigs in an Everything Blanket with Cream Cheese Dip
Two finger food favorites collide as pigs in a blanket get an everything bagel makeover. Rather than the traditional canned biscuit or croissant dough, the "blanket" of this playful appetizer is made with fresh pizza dough that is first boiled, brushed with egg wash, and rolled in an "everything" seasoning blend (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic, and coarse salt) before being baked. Using a yeasted dough and this double cooking method is what gives these tailgate-ready bites their bagel personality. Serve them up with a tangy cream cheese dip for a party-perfect snack platter.
Triple Melon Cream Pops Are Summer on a Stick
Perfect for parties, picnics, or anytime snacking, these pops should be a staple in your summertime freezer. For visual variety, you can prepare the fruit purees all at once, and then prepare the layers in different orders. This dish makes great use of slightly overripe melon; the texture won’t be noticeable in the pops, but the extra-sweet flavor will come through. The yield may vary depending on the size of your ice-pop molds; each melon makes about 2 cups pureed mix.
Triple Melon Cream Pops
This recipe originally appeared on Cookinglight.com.
This Peanut Butter and Jelly Pop Tart Recipe Is Sweet Nostalgia
You’re just 30 minutes away from mastering and devouring a warm, fresh treat starring everyone’s favorite childhood couple: peanut butter and jelly. Making your own perfectly portable Pop Tarts for breakfast is ridiculously quick and easy. Best part of this Pop Tart recipe? You can save the leftovers to snack on all week long (if they last longer than a minute out the oven). Pull your ready-made dough out the fridge, slather jam in the center, cover, bake, drizzle with peanut butter frosting, and slay. There ya go—an almost-instant homemade baked Pop Tart recipe sure to please adults and kids alike.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Pop Tarts
Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix
Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix satisfies a sweet and salty craving while giving you an energy boost throughout the day.
Peach-Strawberry Fruit Leather
This kid-friendly fruit snack recipe requires just 4 ingredients.
Fruit and Nut Chewy Bars
Light Pimiento Cheese-Stuffed Celery
Marshmallow Popcorn Treats with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Reminiscent of classic popcorn balls, these salty-sweet treats make for awesome low-fat, lunch box-friendly snacking. Make a batch with the kids this weekend to enjoy throughout the week.