Nothing is quite as chaotic as those awkward couple of hours when the kids have come back from school, ravenous and still teeming with energy.
You’ve already told them that they need to wait until dinner, but sometimes, it’s just easier to give them a snack to carry them through to the main meal.
Problem is, not everyone has the time or funds to constantly buy cereal bars and packets of chips to fuel their kids after school.
Especially if your kids have their friend coming over, wherein you’ll need even more snacks to keep them preoccupied.
Instead, if you want to treat your kids with some new snacks to enjoy, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 24 quick and easy after-school snacks!
You know when you’d come home from school to the smell of cake being baked in the oven? There’s nothing quite like it. So, a great after-school snack for kids of all ages is banana bread!
Banana bread is the ultimate comfort snack, and it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. This recipe uses whole wheat flour and natural sweeteners to make for a healthy snack.
You can also add chocolate chips!
If you’ve got sleepy teenagers who have just come back from a tough day at high school, you’re bound to make their day better with warm chocolate chip cookies.
Chocolate chip cookies are the best way to say “I love you” and give your kids a bit of energy to keep them going through to dinner.
This recipe makes a batch of deliciously chewy cookies that are best served warm.
Picture this – it’s summer, your kids just got off the steaming school bus, and they’re hungry. The best way to both cool them down and soothe their peckish appetite is to feed them homemade fruit and yogurt popsicles!
All you need is three ingredients – Greek yogurt, fruit, and honey – and you’ve got a perfect after-school summer snack.
These popsicles are best made in the morning so they have time to freeze.
If your kids are craving a bag of chips but you’re worried about keeping them healthy, then why not bake your own apple chips?
Apple chips are as healthy as they are delicious, consisting of thinly sliced apples sprinkled in cinnamon and baked into chips. This means they are also great for kids with sweet cravings!
If your kids want to eat this with a dip, you can always provide nut butter!
If you want something slightly more filling than chocolate chip cookies, you have to try this blueberry muffins recipe.
These muffins are perfect for when your kid is bringing their friend over after school, because they are a real treat. Blueberry muffins are soft, fluffy, crumbly, and moist, making every bite a real joy.
Plus, you can add as many or as few blueberries as you like!
Adults and kids alike love Lucky Charms. Why not turn this beloved cereal into a tasty after-school snack? These Lucky Charms treats are basically like Rice Krispies treats, except with Lucky Charms instead.
The cereal is adhered together with marshmallows, butter, and then drizzled over with white chocolate.
Be prepared to make a rather big batch of these treats, because they’ll be gone in seconds.
7. Fruit Kebabs
It’s no secret that kids need to eat their five a day, but there’s no way of knowing they’ve eaten fruit during school. So, if you want to give them a healthy after-school snack filled with nutrients, try these fruit kebabs!
For some reason, sticking various fruits on to a skewer is far more entertaining for kids to eat than just regular fruit (for more skewer appetizer recipes, read here).
Use whatever fruits you have available, and organize them into a rainbow pattern!
If you need to feed your little ones after a day of kindergarten, one of the most entertaining ways to get them excited about food is to organize the food into a funny shape or design.
These “ant on a log” snacks are simply sticks of celery filled with peanut butter and raisins, but the raisins are placed like (you guessed it) ants on a log.
Trail mix is a great snack for adults and kids alike, so why not treat them to a small bowl of kids trail mix? You can technically make trail mix out of anything you’ve got in your cupboard, so go wild!
This recipe includes a mixture of carbs, healthy fats, protein, and fruits to make for a healthy snack.
We recommend making this in bulk and regularly eating it as a snack throughout the week.
Getting your kids to eat their five a day in fruit isn’t an easy task, but it’s even harder for vegetables. Vegetables are often forgotten about by kids, but they are a necessary part of their diet.
So, the best way to introduce vegetables into their daily diet is by cutting raw vegetables into small sticks and serving them with a dip!
Keep stocking these veggie sticks and dip pots in the refrigerator so you never run out.
If your kids are struggling to keep their eyes open after a tough day at school, you need to give them an energy boost to carry them through to dinner.
These no-bake peanut butter bites consist of creamy peanut butter, chocolate chips, honey, flat seeds, and oats, making for a high-protein and fibrous snack.
They’re also delicious.
Let’s be honest, not all kids enjoy peanut butter. So, if your kids aren’t fans of peanut butter, you can make energy balls out of chocolate and dates instead!
These no-bake balls take just 5 minutes to make and taste just like brownie bites, except with far less sugar and fat.
Plus, these energy balls are freezer-friendly, so you can make large batches at a time without wasting food!
13. Apple Sandwiches
Your kids just came back from school craving a sandwich, but they already had that for lunch. So, time to make some apple sandwiches!
This snack consists of using apple slices as the “bread”, with a filling of peanut butter and granola. The sweetness of the apples works beautifully with the savory filling, making for a satisfying and healthy snack.
You can enhance the sweetness with chocolate chips if your kids have been extra good.
While buying bars from the grocery store is great for convenience, it can get expensive.
Plus, you never know if you’re accidentally feeding your kids a bunch of sugars and refined ingredients that aren’t actually healthy.
So, the best thing to do is make your own fruit and nut bars for a healthy and tasty snack!
If they’re not sweet enough, drizzle melted dark chocolate over the bars for a sweet kick.
Not all after-school snacks have to be healthy. Sometimes, it’s nice to treat your kids to a fun snack when they have worked hard in school, for example, if they got an A on a test or got recognized for their achievements.
These jellied orange slices are perfect for treating your kids with a colorful, sweet, and delicious snack.
Plus, they’re great for parties!
16. Fruit Roll-Ups
Another way to get your kids to eat fruit and provide them with a tasty snack after school is with fruit roll-ups (for more fruit appetizers, read here).
These fruit roll-ups consist of only 3 ingredients – fruit of your choice (this uses strawberries and raspberries), honey, and lemon juice – making for an easy after-school snack to make.
Keep in mind that they need 4-6 hours to dehydrate in the oven, so prepare these in the morning.
So, your kids have come home after school absolutely craving cookies, but you don’t have the time or ingredients to soothe their cravings.
Instead of filling them with grocery store cookies, you should make healthy no-bake cookies. These no-bake cookies consist of only three ingredients, peanut butter, rolled oats, and maple syrup.
You can also add chocolate chips or dried fruit!
18. Kale Chips
Kale isn’t exactly the most exciting vegetable, but the moment they’re baked into chips, it becomes the most addictive snack ever.
Baking kale chips is super easy – simply massage oil and seasoning into the kale, and then bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until crispy.
If you want to make kale chips even healthier, you can air fry them without oil!
19. Crispy Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a highly underrated form of protein, so a good way to implement them into your kid’s diet is to roast them into a crispy snack.
These chickpeas are baked in the oven or air fryer with a variety of spices and seasonings to make for a delicious and filling snack.
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is slightly too big of a snack for after school (you don’t want your kids to lose their appetite before dinner, after all), so why not soothe their cravings with these bite-sized peanut butter and jelly bars?
These tasty bars aren’t exactly the healthiest, but they’re delicious and will keep your kids happy until dinner.
21. Puppy Chow
Also known as muddy buddies, puppy chow is a real treat for a Friday afternoon when the kids get back from school.
This snack consists of chex cereal coated in a mixture of peanut butter, chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla extract, and covered in powdered sugar. It’s a messy and moreish snack that your kids will love you for!
If you’re not convinced that your kids have eaten the fruit in their lunchbox, treat them to a homemade smoothie after school.
This energizing smoothie recipe makes a delicious and surprisingly filling snack that will keep them hydrated and satisfied until dinner. Plus, you can alter the fruit in the smoothie depending on what’s available.
23. Apple Nachos
Apple nachos are great for sharing between several kids. This snack consists of sliced apples, coconut flakes, pieces of chocolate, and drizzled over with warm nut butter.
The best way to make this snack more appealing is to position the apples in a nacho-style form. This is also a great option for birthday parties and snacking after a barbecue!
Not only is it sweet and delicious, but it’s a healthy snack!
24. Caramel Popcorn
Kids go feral for popcorn, especially when it tastes like caramel. The best part is that this popcorn recipe is surprisingly healthy, including no processed sugars!
Plus, it’s super quick and easy to make when the kids get back from school. This is a great way to keep the kids preoccupied while you’re still working or doing chores around the house.
So, there you have it! Turns out, there are lots of options for after-school snacks that go beyond breakfast bars and chips.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s A Good Snack After School?
Kids always come back from school absolutely ravenous, but you don’t want to fill them up with rubbish before dinner.
Here are some great snack ideas to satisfy your kid’s cravings without ruining their appetite:
- Sliced fruit and vegetables
- Homemade cookies or muffins
- Homemade fruit and nut or cereal bars
- Apple, banana, or kale chips
- Fruity smoothie
- Trail mix
- Yogurt and fruit popsicles
- Energy balls
- Cheese and crackers
- A small sandwich