Help kids bridge the hungry hours before dinnertime (and slip in a little extra goodness) with nutritious after-school snacks they'll actually eat.
Tips for Smarter Snacking
- Get kids involved in choosing and prepping their own snacks so they'll be more likely to eat them.
- Make it easy to choose health over junk by keeping bags of cut fruits and vegetables front and center in the fridge.
- Prep tubs of high-fiber and low-sugar dips to last through the week.
- Make and freeze baked goods in batches, and defrost enough for the coming week. Easy freeze tip: Space them out on a baking sheet, freeze until hard, then store in bags.
- Bag up non-perishable nutritious snacks for kids to take to after-school programs.
Let the kids try out these easy, tasty, good-for-you snacks:
The dipping sauce is protein-rich Greek yogurt sweetened with applesauce and flavored with a dash of almond extract and cinnamon.
This low-sugar salsa gets scooped up with high-fiber baked tortilla chips. Watch the video to see how to make it.
This quick and easy hummus doesn't use tahini. Mariah Lumley says, "Fantastic, quick, easy recipe - I also added paprika and lemon juice after reading the comments and it turned out delicious."
4. Carrot Chips
A better-for-you alternative to conventional chips. Change them up with a pinch of cayenne or cinnamon to suit your kids' tastes.
These crunchy chips are baked at a low temperature for 2 hours until dry and crisp. Store them in an airtight container for convenient snacking. The video shows you how easy it is to make these crispy chips.
For crunchier results, cut the sweet potatoes as thin as you can. An inexpensive mandoline slicer will help speed the work.
Top tip: Add oil and seasonings after roasting the chickpeas to keep them crisp longer.
Cookies, Bars, and Bites
These popular gluten-free cookies are sweetened with bananas and dates. Want to see how to make them? Watch this handy video.
"This recipe is a wonderful start!" says Shaun Lee. "What I love about it is all that you can do with it. I've been making this for months now. What I usually do is throw in whatever leftover bananas (goes great with the vanilla), applesauce, trail-mix, etc. into the mix! (this week I put in blueberries) Some weeks I put about a 1/4 cup peanut butter with the wet ingredients. Sometimes I put lemon, almond (especially yummy) or rum flavoring with the vanilla. Most times it comes out like a granola bar, sometimes like a cookie bar, but it's always good."
"It's not often that I find something everyone in my house loves. I can't keep these around. I'm constantly making them." - Camille Miller Shipley
Julie says, "The muffins taste great right from the oven, but are even better the next day—if they last that long! Kids love them and it's a good way to sneak fruits, veggies, and fiber into their diets."
12. Kid Muffins
Very moist and packed full of banana, carrot, raisins, and flax seeds. To help this dense batter bake up better, use a light touch when stirring the wet and dry ingredients together.
Extra bananas and lower sugar make these top-rated muffins a whole lot better for you, but they still taste great.
Use frozen bananas instead of ice cubes to make it super thick. Watch to video to see it all come together.
Spinach, avocado, and banana go for a spin with almond milk to create a tasty way to sneak in some nutritious greens, beneficial fats, and potassium. (You're going to want some of this, too.)
Nope, not just for breakfast anymore. This smoothie rocks a good balance of protein, fiber, and fruit that'll keep kids satisfied all afternoon.