I have a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old who come home from school every day begging for snacks, no matter how hearty a lunch I pack for them. The challenge is that I don't want to spoil their dinner appetite with a sweet treat, but I also want to give them something to fuel their afternoon play time.
While cheese and apples are one of our go-tos, and there are plenty of packaged snacks on the market, it is sometimes nice to make something more substantial that we can all enjoy.
Here are 10 of our family's favorite after-school snack recipes for kids and grown-ups alike.
Never underestimate the power of a smoothie to satisfy little and big hungers. I love this one for its ease. The extra dose of fiber from the kiwi keeps us all fuller longer. Plus, the green color means I can add some greens, like spinach, without anyone noticing.
These bars are the perfect fast-and-fancy after-school snack. You can use any dried fruit and nuts you have on hand and make it as sweet (or less sweet) as you like. Plus, you can make these on the weekend for snacks throughout the week.
These are lots of no-bake energy ball recipes to try, but this one is our current favorite. The kids prefer theirs rolled in coconut flakes, while I prefer the extra hit of sesame from the seeds.
This savory recipe is awesome if you have cracker-lovers at home. This two-ingredient flatbread can be cut into bite-sized pieces and has plenty of protein from the chickpea flour to hold everyone over until dinner.
Let us all take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is a perfect hard-boiled egg. They can be made ahead, are portable, and are easily customized. And you can always gently remove the yolk when your 3-year-old says he is "not eating yellow today." Ask me how I know.
Don't let muffins get stuck in the sweet breakfast category. This recipe came about when I needed dinner rolls but didn't have time for them. Ever since they've been a frequently requested snack in our house. You can use almost any vegetable or cheese, so don't fret about having to have sweet potato and Parmesan on hand.
We call these "cheese and egg bites" in our house and everyone loves them. They can be eaten hot, warm, or cold. You can even make a big batch and freeze them for future snacking.
This is the after-school snack I pull out when I want to be a cool mom, not a regular mom. If time allows, these little bites also make an awesome cooking-with-my-kids project.
Popcorn is one of our go-to snacks at home. This kettle corn version is slightly sweetened and tastes like a treat without being as sticky-sweet as caramel corn.
Chia pudding is a great make-ahead snack (or breakfast or lunch, to be honest) and I love that everyone can customize their toppings and get filled up without a ton of added sugar.