Sometimes dinner just can’t come soon enough. So when your little ones start to grumble about being hungry, why not feed them a snack before dinner? Instead of reaching for a pre-packaged snack from the pantry, try some of these quick, easy-to-prepare snacks that will keep the kiddos happy, healthy, and still hungry enough for dinner. All of these recipes require little to no cooking, so they’re easy to make in a cinch.

Monkey Crunch
The kids sure are going bananas over this snack-mix! Substitute in white cheddar popcorn to give this mix a real kick!

6 cups popcorn
1 cup banana chips
2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup dried cranberries

Mix together in a large bowl.
Makes 5 servings.

Crunchy Pita
Tell your kids that it’s just like a tortilla with a pocket in the middle—filled with sweet apples, savory peanut butter, and the satisfying crunch of granola. Yum!

Peanut butter
1/2 apple, diced
1/2 cup applesauce

Spread desired amount of peanut butter inside pita.
Put apple pieces and applesauce inside pita.
Sprinkle desired amount of granola on top.
Makes 1 serving

Black Bean Salsa
This is the perfect snack/appetizer for a Mexican-themed dinner night. Serve a bowl of this salsa and some chips and you’ve got yourself a great pre-dinner snack!

15-oz can black beans, drained
15-oz can diced tomatoes with chili peppers
one medium diced onion
chili powder to taste
salt & pepper to taste

Mix beans, tomatoes, and onion together in a bowl.
Season to taste.
Makes approximately 4 servings

Prefer something a little sweeter? Try some sweet, simple Honey Baked Apple Stacks.

Got leftovers? Here are a few tips on how to transform those school lunches into something that’s easy and satisfying.

Having your kiddos help you with some of the prep makes it both fun for them and easier for you! Let’s get kids excited about food, while teaching them healthy eating habits. Snack’s up!

-Scott Wardell