Back-to-school season is here, which means you’re going to have to get creative with the back-to-school snacks you offer your kids once they return home for the day. Luckily, fun snacks are easier than ever to create, and while some may take more effort than others, you can be sure your kids will get a nutritious snack that keeps them satisfied until it’s time for dinner.
What could be greater than the look of surprise on your child’s face when you pull out a snack for them that is cute, cool, or otherwise interesting to them? Snacks aren’t just about how yummy they are—their visual appeal matters, too!
Consider giving your child an age-appropriate job to do regarding snack preparation. They’ll feel confident in the knowledge that they contributed to a creative and productive endeavor!
1. Cheese Roll-Ups
If you don’t have much time for snack preparation or didn’t get around to making much for the week ahead, a cheese roll-up can still offer your child a tasty snack while costing you very little time. All you need to get started is mozzarella string cheese and thinly sliced deli meat.
Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, which is necessary for bone strength and promotes growth. Mozzarella cheese, specifically, is low in sodium. You can give this snack to your child guilt-free as you prepare a nutritious dinner for them later that evening.
2. Ants on a Log
One of the most well-known nutritious snacks, ants on a log, remains a favorite of many children. All you must do for an exciting snack time with your little one is take stalks of celery, coat them in peanut butter, and then place raisins on top.
3. Grilled Cheese Bites
Grilled cheese bites are perfect for kids who love grilled cheese but can’t have a sandwich after school, lest it spoils their dinner. These small snacks can be made relatively quickly, with only a handful of ingredients, and can be frozen and reheated for a few weeks.
4. Frozen Chocolate Banana Pops
This simple snack mixes the fun of chocolate with the healthiness of bananas. You can have a fun time dipping banana halves in the melted dark chocolate, and if your child is old enough and interested, they can help you dip the bananas, too. Make this recipe ahead as it has to chill for four hours after you’ve finished dipping the bananas.
5. Hummus & Pita Chips
Chips and dip are standard after-school snacks for many kids. Pita chips are an excellent alternative to salty, greasy potato chips. Hummus also tastes great and is a healthier alternative to a cream-based or fatty dip. Hummus can help regulate food intake and control appetite, improving your children’s diet quality overall.
6. Dirt Cups
While this snack isn’t particularly healthy, it’s a fun treat that can be served once in a while. It might be best suited for Friday, when your family can celebrate the transition of the work and school week to the much-awaited weekend. Filled with layered chocolate pudding, cookie crumbles, whipped cream, and more, it’s an easy-to-make treat that’s been passed down through the years—you might remember eating it as a child—and so might your parents! The key lies in refrigerating it so it’s cool and tasty, which could be great during the warmer days of the school year.
7. Yogurt Bowls
Yogurt bowls are typically lauded as healthy, but you may have to choose flavored yogurt over Greek yogurt for the sake of your children’s taste buds. Yogurt bowls are better when they’re made fresh, so make sure to set some time aside before your children come home if offering them a yogurt bowl is on your schedule. Adding berries, like strawberries and blueberries, that are rich in antioxidants, add a healthy boost to flavored yogurts. You can also add granola and nuts for extra protein.
8. Apple Rings
Apple rings are made of thin apple slices in the shape of—you guessed it—rings. Be sure not to slice them too thinly so they can still support food. Once you’ve cut the rings, you can top them with peanut butter and additional nuts or chocolate chips. Your children will be sure to appreciate such an exciting snack that works excellently with several toppings.
9. “LEGO” Rice Krispie Treats
This after-school snack is made of brightly colored and fun Rice Krispie Treats! Take regular Rice Krispie Treats and divide them, then pour icing over them and use face-down M&Ms for the buttons. Make sure that you use icing instead of frosting, as the hardened, glossy cover is needed to make the snack look more like a LEGO toy.
Planning out snacks for after school can make for an exciting time, especially if your kids get in on the conception and preparation phases. With just a little prep work beforehand, you can create snacks that will give your children a dose of nutrition while satisfying them after a long day of learning and leave them looking forward to dinner.