Having plenty of snacks around for your kids to enjoy when they get home after a long day of learning is essential to ensuring you avoid an after-school meltdown. One problem I run into consistently is that my kids are likely to grab something easy and pre-packaged from our pantry like a snack bag of chips or a granola bar after school, but it never fills them up and they are super hungry again before I know it. These 15 after-school snacks to make ahead of time are ones that are filling, and easy-to-make and keep on hand for the inevitable need for an after-school snack.
My kids are still in lower elementary school and their lunch times are fairly early in the day, so by the time they get home each afternoon, they're absolutely ravenous. I am the first to admit that afternoons with my kids can feel rushed. Between my work day winding down, helping with homework, unloading backpacks to check for permission slips and important info from teachers, and dinner prep, snack time usually means my kids grabbing whatever is within their reach to keep them from getting hangry. Having pre-made snacks on hand that are more filling and nutritious ensures that my kids have a healthy option as a snack and keeps the craziness of our afternoons to a minimum.
1. Confetti Peanut Butter Snack Bites
These sweet, textured bites are loaded with protein-filled peanut butter, rolled oats, and rice cereal to help keep your kids satisfied when they snack after school. A Pretty Life In The Suburbs says that these peanut butter snack balls can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week, making them easy for your kids to grab and go after school all week long.
2. Quick & Easy Popcorn
Pre-packaged popcorn can be easy to pop in the microwave, but being able to customize flavors and ensure that your kids aren't eating popcorn loaded with a ridiculous amount of artificial butter can be tricky. You can make these quick and easy popcorn recipes by Sugar & Cloth on your stovetop or in a brown paper bag before your kids get home from school and add flavors to suit your kids' tastes for an after-school snack.
3. Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits
While these fruit and yogurt parfaits by Wholefully are perfect for school day breakfasts, they also make nutritious and filling after-school snacks. You can customize the type of yogurt and fruit you use to your kids' liking and store them in the fridge for four to five days in small mason jars for easy access throughout the week.
4. No Bake Peanut Butter Cheerios Squares
A unique twist on a classic cereal bar, these no bake peanut butter Cheerios squares by A Pretty Life In The Suburbs are great for snacking on after school. Ready in just 30 minutes, you can make these ahead of time and store in individual servings so that your kids can grab them easily once they're home.
5. Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
If your kids are hummus fans, they may in fact love this roasted chickpea recipe by Two Peas and Their Pod that takes the main ingredient in their beloved hummus and turns it into a crunchy after-school snack. You can make this recipe ahead of time and store on the counter in a glass bowl for up to two days, making them easy to grab.
6. No Bake Monster Cookie Oatmeal Energy Balls
Although these no bake monster cookie oatmeal energy balls by Princess Pinky Girl look like a sweet treat, they're actually packed with nutritious ingredients, as well as a few chocolate candies to keep your kids happy and full when they eat this after school snack. Once made, they store in the freezer and are ready to grab whenever your kids need an after-school energy boost.
7. Banana Berry Muffins
Muffins aren't just for breakfast — especially when they're packed with nutritious fruits. Your kids are going to love having these banana berry muffins by Sugar And Soul as an after-school snack. Although these muffins will be good in an airtight container at room temperature for several days, you can also freeze them for up to two months.
8. Hearty Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars
A Pretty Life In The Suburbs uses real ingredients like chopped dates, pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, and dried apricots to create a homemade granola bar that you can make ahead for your kids to enjoy as an after-school snack. Pumpkin puree, white chocolate chips, and molasses make these bars just a bit sweet, which your kids are sure to love.
9. Crispy Baked Vegetable Chips
My kids go crazy over chips, so I can see myself making these crispy baked vegetable chips by Wholefully for them to grab as an after-school snack. Using vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, and beets to create a crunchy snack is healthier than serving up a pre-packaged bag of potato chips.
10. Zucchini Banana Bread
Want a way to welcome your kids home from school that is warm and inviting? Try a delicious slice of zucchini banana bread you can make ahead of time with this recipe by Well Plated. Although this recipe is pretty healthy as is, Well Plated offers ideas for how to make paleo and gluten-free versions to serve to your kids as an after-school snack.
11. Apple Pie Snack Cups
These adorable apple pie snack cups by Five Heart Home are easy-to-assemble before the kids get home and can be stored in the fridge in a mason jar for a couple of hours ahead of the after-school snack rush. Layers of crushed graham crackers, chopped apples, and apple sauce are topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream to create a sweet after-school treat your kids will love.
12. Everything Bagel Snack Mix
A solid snack mix recipe is something no kid can resist as an after-school snack. This snack mix recipe by Two Peas and Their Pod is easy to make ahead of time and uses delicious everything bagel seasoning to take the classic version of a mixed snack mix with pretzels, nuts, and corn cereal up a notch.
13. Greek Yogurt Dip
Serving a yummy, healthy dip is a great way to get your kids to consume some fresh vegetables as an after-school snack. This greek yogurt dip by Five Heart Home combines fresh minced herbs like parsley and dill with greek yogurt to make a delicious dip that is reminiscent of ranch dip.
14. Chocolate Chunk Raspberry Granola
Freeze dried raspberries and dark chocolate chunks combine with rolled oats, shredded coconut, and sliced almonds to create a crunchy and delectable after-school snack for your kids. You can make this chocolate chunk raspberry granola by A Beautiful Plate ahead of time for your kids to enjoy plain by the handful, or sprinkled on some yogurt.
15. Roasted Curry Cauliflower Hummus
Climbing Grier Mountain's recipe for roasted curry cauliflower hummus takes your average hummus dip recipe and adds a punch of curry flavor that your kids will love. You can make this tangy dip ahead of time and store it in the fridge for an easy-to-eat snack that your kids can dip pita chips or cucumber slices in after school.