When you pick up your kids from school, or they come bursting through the door after the bus ride home, is their first question about food? Growing minds and bodies need lots of fuel, and no doubt your kiddo could use an after-school snack to hold them over until dinner time. But what if you want to keep them out of the cookies or crackers for the fifth day in a row?
Hey, cracking open a box of Cheez-Its for your kid ain’t a crime, but if you’re trying to find healthy after-school snack options, there are plenty to choose from. Whether you’re into meal prepping and want to make exciting snacks ahead of time, or you just want something you can pick up at the store and pop into the air fryer when it’s time, you can give your kids a snack that’ll hold them over and provide a nutritional boost.
The best part is, this list of healthy after-school snack options also includes great choices for the parent who has been so busy trying to get all the things done while their kids are at school, that they missed lunch. Make up an extra smoothie for yourself or take the time to sit down with your kid and enjoy the quesadilla and dips and hear all about their day. Snack time may just be the most chill part of the day with this list.
1 Creamy Mixed Berry Smoothie
Smoothies are a great option for parents who don’t want to make a big batch of snacks in advance, and just want something healthy to come together for their kid in a few minutes. This
berry smoothie recipe from All The Healthy Things would work with fresh or frozen fruit and juice or milk of any kind. Toss some yogurt in (or even sneak in some spinach) and call it a day. 2 Easy Mexican Tortilla Pinwheels
Are your little ones sick of the same old turkey and cheese pinwheels? Or maybe they’re big fans of taco night? These
Mexican pinwheels come together with a little bit of cream cheese, taco seasoning mix, and finely chopped veggies. You could even add avocado, beans, or shredded chicken for some extra substance. 3 Monster Cookie Energy Bites
Don’t worry, these
make-ahead cookie bites don’t include any caffeine or energy-increasing ingredients. They’re just loaded with nutrition and protein, which will keep your kids going until it’s time to sit down for dinner later. Their sweetness, colorful candies, and calling them cookies will mean they’re the most popular choice in the pantry. 4 Ants On A Log
Who else loved ants on a log, whether they appeared in your lunchbox or you got to build your own after school? Fill a celery stick up with some nut butter (creamy or crunchy, you decide) and top it with raisins, chocolate chips, or something else small and ant-like. Making them could be a fun after-school activity to boot.
5 Apple Nachos
Remember making apple pizzas, slicing them into rounds and topping them peanut butter, honey, and whatever else your mom could find in the cabinets? Apparently using apple wedges makes them more like nachos! Top with chia seeds, shaved coconut, and chocolate chips, and use a store-bought or
homemade caramel sauce to help them stick. 6 Crudites With An Easy Dip
When it comes to getting vegetables into your child’s diet, does it really matter if they’re covered in dip? If your child only eats a carrot if it’s covered in ranch, try whipping up a quick sour cream or
Greek yogurt dip instead. Opting for yogurt will get them lots of calcium, protein, and probiotics on top of scoring a serving of vegetables. 7 Kid-Friendly Snack & Cheese Plate
Remember the memes about how charcuterie boards are basically adult Lunchables? Well, throw together some deli meat, cheese, and a fruit or veggie for your kiddo, and boom: healthy snack board complete. You could add some cute alphabet crackers, cheese curls, and other fun surprises to disguise the fact that you put cherry tomatoes on the plate.
8 Bistro Snack Boxes
You could take the kid-friendly charcuterie idea a step further if you don’t want to prepare your child a whole spread every day after school. Set aside a few minutes over the weekend to prep
snack boxes (think those bistro boxes you see at Starbucks) full of healthy bites your little one enjoys. Stack them in the fridge and your kiddo can grab one on their way to the table. 9 Cinnamon Peanut Butter Granola Bars 10 Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Also in the healthy-while-still-delicious snack category, you can prepare
healthy banana chocolate chip muffins in about 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. Keep some out for your kids to serve themselves after school this week, and then freeze the rest to thaw in a few weeks once you’re craving them again. 11 Fruit Or Veggie Skewers
For younger kids who need something to do after school, making some fruit and vegetable skewers can be a fun activity to do together (and then devour). If you’re worried about sharp skewer injuries, trim the ends or use that spare pair of chopsticks from your last sushi delivery order.
12 Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
The power of the air fryer: you can turn any boring vegetable you have lying around in the fridge into something crispy your kids are at least kind of likely to eat. You can make
zucchini fries just as quickly as frozen ones, and it seems like fresh sweet potato fries would work well with this recipe, too. 13 Tater Tot Alternatives
Not into the idea of slicing and dicing veggies after sitting in the car line? Pick up some tater tot alternatives, made with other veggies like cauliflower or broccoli, to heat up and serve with your kid’s favorite dipping sauce. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it counts as a vegetable. Check out the Good & Gather varieties in Target’s frozen section, or all the veggie tot
flavor combos by Green Giant at your local grocery store. 14 Quesadilla & Dips
If your kiddo is into taco night, try quesadillas as a quick after-school snack offering. They take five minutes to make on the stovetop, and you can serve them with veggie-heavy dips like salsa or guacamole. If you’re up for it, try adding this fresh
five-minute salsa to your fridge to dole out alongside quesadillas this week. 15 Fresh Fruit Popsicles
Homemade popsicles are super fast and easy, and you can make multiple all at once so you’re basically covered for snacks all week. There are a million
different fruit and juice combinations you can use, or opt for popsicles made with almond milk or yogurt for reduced sugar content and an extra boost of healthy goodness. 16 Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups
If your child is obsessed with fruit snacks and gummies, try your hand at making
homemade fruit roll-ups in the oven. You can make them into fun shapes using whatever produce you have in the fridge, and you’ll feel a little bit better about your kid’s obsession knowing exactly what’s in them. 17 No-Bake Muesli Bars
muesli bars don’t sound like the most appealing snack to a kid, the ingredients can be your little secret. They’re sweetened with medjool dates and you can even top them with a dark chocolate layer and some flaky salt. And you don’t even have to turn on the oven to make them! 18 Homemade Fruit Puree Pouches
If your kids like applesauce, or any of those fruit purees in the squeezy pouches, you can make your own at home for the perfect after-school snack. By making them yourself, you can decide exactly which ingredients go into each puree (hello, hidden spinach opportunity) and make them a bit larger for older kids who might otherwise need two of the store-bought size to feel full.
19 Frozen Yogurt Treats
Does your kid love yogurt? Give them their old favorite with some new twists by mixing fresh fruit into their favorite yogurt and freezing it in some sort of exciting way. You can make your mixture in popsicles, frozen cups, or freeze it on a sheet pan and break it into bark. Or, drip pretzels and whole fruit pieces into the yogurt blend and freeze.
20 Banana “Sushi” Roll-Ups
If your child is tired of the same old peanut butter sandwich or grabbing a banana from the fruit bowl, mix them up together by making banana “sushi.” Take a tortilla, spread peanut or another type of nut butter all over, and pop a peeled banana in the middle. Roll it up, slice into bite-sized pieces, and serve.