Easy After-School Snacks For Kids & Toddlers, According To Real Moms
When you’re a mom, a big part of your parental duty is to be doling out snacks on the daily. But serving up the same ‘ol, same ol’ can get boring pretty fast, especially if your child is eating more than one mini meal a day. That’s when knowing what other mommas are offering their kids food-wise can be helpful. These 35 moms' go-to after-school snacks are wholesome, healthy, and sometimes hilarious.
Even though the dietary breakdown of a small snack might seem inconsequential, the food your child eats in between breakfast and lunch (or lunch and dinner, or both) can pack a nutritional punch. “Think of snacks as a mini-meal that acts as a bridge to get your kids from one meal to the next,” Kara Hoerr, MS, RDN, CD, a registered dietitian tells Romper in an email. “To do this, aim for at least 2-3 food groups at a snack (think apple and cheese slices, celery and peanut butter, or crackers with fruit and cheese).” Not only can this ensure that your child gets a wide variety of foods, but it can also tempt them to try new textures and flavors, too.
But whether you choose to send your child for in-school instruction, do distance learning, or even homeschool, one thing is for certain: your kiddo is going to want something to munch on after a day of learning. From all-natural to suspiciously sugar-laden, check out this array of after-school snacks from real moms.
1. Meredith, mom of 1
"We have a snack basket in the bottom of the pantry for Anderson to grab a granola bar, apple sauce pouch, banana, etc throughout the day. It helps him feel like he's making his own choices, which we are working on. If he's very hungry, we usually will mix up Greek yogurt and PB with chocolate chips or something in it to hold him over until dinner!
I say all of this as I'm standing at my kitchen counter eating a brownie."
2. G.G., mom of 2
"Manuka honey with fruit!!! It gives them that sweetness they like, while boosting immunity."
3. Michelle, mom of 3
"My girls love banana sushi. You take a banana, wrap it in a tortilla with peanut butter and Nutella, and slice it in bite- sized pieces."
4. Denise, mom of 2
"Nature's Bakery Fig Bars; Auntie Anne’s Cheddar Bunnies, and Pirate's Booty Popcorn."
5. Samantha, mom of 2
“Goldfish and hummus; banana halved with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips; apple slices with peanut butter; turkey wrapped around string cheese or cheese slices; Greek yogurt with peanut butter and blueberries (or just a regular cup of yogurt!); cinnamon applesauce; Cheez-its; and fruit with fruit dip (marshmallow fluff + cream cheese).”
6. Christine, mom of 1
"Cherry tomatoes, cheese sticks, and yogurt tubes."
7. Jane, mom of 2
"My younger son loves microwave popcorn and milk. I think it's gross but he likes it.'"
8. Wendy, mom of 2
"Cheese sticks. Sliced cucumbers. Goldfish/pretzels."
9. Anne, mom of 2
“My toddler loves smoothies, but all that sugar (even though it's all natural) hits her hard. Instead, I'll make her a Smoothie Light: blend a serving of milk with 1-2 frozen strawberries. It just lightly flavors the milk and makes it pink, her favorite color.
And around 4 p.m., I'll put out a plate of assorted snacks for her, no matter what she's doing at the moment. I just grab a handful of four things from the pantry. The typical formula looks like this: one type of nut (pistachios are her favorite), a cracker-like product (e.g. Ritz), dried fruit (cranberry or mango), and a wild card which can be a bite of something sugary that she has been promised for being good, apple sauce, peanut butter filled pretzels... it really depends on what's available.”
10. Willa, mom of 1
"Apple slices, Goldfish, and Go-Gurts are our go-to's."
11. Johanna, mom of 3
"My son likes baked pears with cinnamon, baked carrot sticks, and organic unsweetened applesauce.”
12. Bryanna, mom of 1
“My son loves bananas, so I’ll give him some sliced ones. Since he eats them all the time, that might explain why he sometimes has a hard time pooping!”
13. Danielle, mom of 4
“We really like Dr. Praeger's Spinach Littles. Even if I don’t get any other veggies into them that day, at least they had a snack that was healthy.”
14. Cheryl, mom of 2
“My child has an egg allergy, and her allergist suggested giving her muffins as a way for her to outgrow it. So we make Simple Mills Almond Flour muffins together. It’s healthy and we’re hoping that this helps her with her allergy.”
15. Sophia, mom of 2
“My kids eat Stonyfield Organic Baby Yogurt. Obvs, they're meant for babies, but my two still eat them everyday — at ages 12 and 10. Since they’re getting extra calcium, I don’t mind…except that they each eat two at a time since they’re made for little kids, not tweens!”
16. Rosanne, mom of 2
“My kids love Kite Hill almond milk yogurt and almond milk pudding! And I always wind up eating whatever they don’t!”
17. Shelly, mom of 2
“My son is a fruit lover: strawberries/blackberries/raspberries/blueberries; apples; oranges; bananas — in that order. He’ll also eat yogurt; sliced cheddar cheese, and cucumbers.”
18. Amelia, mom of 4
“Do doughnuts qualify as a snack? If so, that’s what I give my kids. At least they’re the mini kind, so they’re not eating a big powdery doughnut each day.”
19. Shamekah, mom of 1
“Goldfish are my go-to snack. They’re small, portable, and my son just loves them. The only thing is that sometimes he drops them — and then steps on them — so every night, I’m cleaning up orange dust off the rug.”
20. Eleanor, mom of 3
“I try to give my kids healthy snacks, but sometimes it’s just easier to give them a cookie. I know, it’s not the ideal thing for them to be eating, but sometimes you just do what you have to do in order to keep them quiet.”
21. Lisa, mom of 5
“I only give my kids fruit for snack, but I always let them choose which one they want. One day, it might be a slice of watermelon, and another, a bowl of berries.”
22. Sarah, mom of 2
“I get that the snack should be somewhat healthy, but I always feel like it can be a treat, too, especially if they’ve been in school all day. So I sometimes give them a cookie or chips. It also gives me an excuse to eat something that I would want in front of them and not feel guilty about it.”
23. Yvette, mom of 3
“Chips. And I see nothing wrong with that.”
24. Charlene, mom of 1
“I suppose I should serve perfectly cut up veggies with hummus, but I just don’t have time for that. My kids have cookies and crackers, and they’re just fine.”
25. Marjorie, mom of 5
“I like serving snacks that have a dipping component. So whether it’s veggies and ranch, or pretzels with melted cheese, we do a lot of dipping in my house. I find that it makes the kids more likely to eat it.”
26. Luisa, mom of 3
“I find that my kids only want to eat American food, and I get it. But I still want to have some of my culture and our delicious foods represented, so I give it to them at snack time. I’m from the Dominican Republic, so I’ll make plaintains, either tostones with garlic sauce, or maduros, with warm maple syrup to go on top."
27. Deborah, mom of 2
“Goldfish crackers, Nature Valley Oats & Honey bars, Entenmann’s Little Bites Brownies and Muffins.”
28. Julia, mom of 1
“Mini Starburst, Godiva Truffles, Doritos, KitKats, Haagen-Dazs ice cream. I know, it's bad.”
29. Andrea, mom of 3
“I give my kids granola bars. I get the assorted box, and every time the kids pick the oatmeal raisin kind, it feels like a parental win."
30. Susan, mom of 2
“My kids both like fruit, but they have texture issues that prevent them from eating things like a fuzzy peach, or a grape that might pop in their mouth. One day, I got desperate since they stopped eating fruit and bought the dried kind instead, and voila! They loved them, and I’ve been giving them dried pineapple, mango, cherries, ever since then!”
31. Olivia, mom of 2
“Hard-boiled eggs. Yep, it’s the craziest thing, but both kids shockingly love them. Sometimes, I boil a bunch the night before so I always have them on hand in case the day gets crazy. But they’re both particular about how they’ll eat them. One kid likes them sliced, and the other one wants to sprinkle a dash of salt before each bite of a whole egg. I’m just glad they’re getting protein!”
32. Caroline, mom of 5
“Popcorn is VERY popular in our house. While the kids will eat it plain, sometimes, I switch it up. So I’ve come up with ways to flavor it, like strawberry popcorn, or blueberry popcorn. And yes, we also have chocolate popcorn or Nutella popcorn, too. Those are the fun snack days.”
33. Jenifer, mom of 2
"My kids love when I give them a spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate chips!"
34. Holli, mom of 1
"Mandarins and pita chips with hummus."
35. Luz, mom of 1
“I take toast and put out a bunch of spreads for my kids to put on it. Usually, it’s peanut butter, jelly, butter, but I’ll also throw some wild cards in there, too, like avocado slices, different types of cheese, or we turn it into pizza toast. Never have any complaints — or any leftovers.”