With soccer back in full swing, some nights the girls aren’t getting home until 8:00 PM. On these nights, we do dinner before practice. Then, when they get home, they have an after-activity snack before showering and going to bed.
Here are a few of my favorite go to snacks (which can also be used as after school snack ideas quite nicely) that are easy to make, contain healthy ingredients, can be made ahead of time, and they’re also tasty
By combining several healthy foods together, you’re able to make an energy-packed super snack that will take your child through the busy hours between school and dinner, or between practice and bedtime.
Cheese and Crackers
Now, I know what you’re thinking, cheese and crackers are boring. Well, it’s true, that a simple cracker and cheese slice might be mundane (but delicious), here are some ways to take this simple snack and turn it into an energy powerhouse!
Instead of regular crackers and sliced cheese, why not try whole-grain crackers with some low-fat cottage cheese? Kids love to dip. You could also try some toasted whole wheat pitas for a twist on the traditional cracker. The pitas can be toasted ahead of time, and they go great with some spreadable herbed cheese.
Watermelon and Yogurt
Your kids are bound to like this one because it’s super sweet and tastes closer to a dessert than a healthy snack. Slice your watermelon into wedges or strips and dip them in some low-fat vanilla yogurt. That’s it.
Your watermelon can be sliced ahead of time. This way, when your kids come running through the door, it’s a simple matter of pulling out the melon slices and pouring a serving of vanilla yogurt into a bowl. Also works well with strawberries!
Veggies and Dip
For a twist on the traditional veggies and dip, you can try hollowing out a cucumber to make a cucumber boat filled with hummus and sprinkled with feta cheese.
Veggies like cucumber, carrots, bell peppers and celery are delicious dipped in guacamole or a ranch dip. The bonus is, you can pre-slice your veggies ahead of time, so all you have to do is put out a plate and open some hummus, guacamole, or vegetable dill dip for an easy, healthy after-school snack. If you have a few minutes on the weekend, try making this delicious onion dip. It stores well in the fridge!
Peanut butter often takes center stage when it comes to nut butter, but there’s a whole world of nut butters out there that are delicious and healthy. There are many ways to make almond butter or cashew butter part of some healthy after-school snacks.
You could get some whole wheat pretzel sticks and dip them in the nut butter. Or you could slice some celery and cover it in nut butter and raisins for a twist on the traditional ants on a log. Nut butters also taste great with sliced apples, and that combo is one of our current favorites for a quick and filling option.
You could even make a nut butter “sandwich” by spreading a layer of your favorite nut butter between two graham crackers. Or sandwich it between banana slices and freeze for this yummy treat!
A Healthy Snack Mix
There are so many ingredients you could toss together to make a healthy snack mix. The best part is that it’s super adaptable to take the foods you know your kids like and mix them together. If you’re looking for inspiration, try adding some granola chunks with some dehydrated fruit (mangos, apples, bananas).
You could then add nuts (pre-shelled pistachios are a splurge, but also a household favorite), seeds, whole-grain cereal, dates, and even a few pieces of dark chocolate. You can mix up a large batch of your homemade snack mix ahead of time, and your kids are sure to gobble it up.
Shakes and Smoothies:
Pull out your trusty blender and whip them up a healthy smoothie. This can be made with a base of water, milk or plant-based milk, depending on your child’s tastes. You can toss in fruits to make it sweeter, veggies for a health boost, and even protein sources such as seeds and nut butters. If you have picky eaters, then a smoothie is a great snack option. Trust me, your kids won’t notice if their peanut butter banana shake has a few spinach leaves blended in!
Follow these simple steps to make any smoothie a success by using the right proportions.
One of the crazes that have taken the world by storm in recent years is energy balls. These power-packed snacks aren’t just for adults, and there are ways of making them healthy, tasty and kid-friendly.
These are our favorite go-to option, but they’re also very adaptable, which means you can tailor them to your kid’s tastes. And guess what? You can definitely make these ahead of time! You can even freeze them in large batches to save you time in the kitchen.
Baked Tortilla Chips and Healthy Dips
If you find that you have a few extra minutes on your Sunday before the week starts, mixing up a batch of healthy dip is a great option. It’ll be something different that your kids are bound to love. If you’re looking for healthy dip options, you should try my Greek Layered Hummus Dip. Natalie over at Super Healthy Kids also has several great options that you can find here.
Creating a quick, healthy after-school snack doesn’t have to be complicated. There are so many ways to give your kids a quick boost of nutrition and energy that’ll help them refuel after school.
If you’re looking for some fast zero-prep, grab and go options, try a few of our favorites:
- Organic Applesauce Pouches
- Stonyfield Yogurt Smoothies
- Country Archer Mini Grass Fed Beef Sticks
- Mini RX Bars
- Organic String Cheese
- Annie’s mac ‘n cheese
- Cheese toast
- Boiled eggs
I hope this is a helpful list to help you switch things up and keep the kids full and fueled. If I miss any favorites of yours, please share them in the comments. Happy snacking!
I’ve been struggling with snacks. Especially finding “heading to the park after school, won’t make a mess in the car” snacks. I have a four year old who won’t eat any raw veggies except carrots, and a not quite two year old who is still getting some teeth and has the age restriction on certain choking hazard foods. I really want some healthier options, but am not having much luck.