10 Simple After-School Snacks

I always looked forward to my first day back at school. Sure, parading around in a new outfit was fun, but what I enjoyed most was chatting with my friends at the lunch table, swapping snacks and treats with them.

Every year, my dad would take my sister and me to the grocery store and let us pick out the yummiest lunch snacks. Our picks were often the snack-of-the-moment, which translated to brightly-colored foods with ingredient names we’d never even attempt to pronounce.

These 10 healthier choices will still impress your kids' friends at school, without the laundry list of ingredients.  You might even end up munching on them for your snacktime, too!

Caramel Popcorn (pictured above): Make your own caramel popcorn! Bake popcorn and pecans with a mixture of honey and butter for a comforting, filling sweet treat.

Apple Quesadillas: Toss some apple slices into a classic cheese quesadilla for an extra dose of fruit.

Edamame Hummus: Make your own quick and easy and green hummus by switching classic chickpeas for creamy edamame. Mix in sesame oil with the garlic, lemon juice and tahini and serve with rice crackers.

Crunchy Chickpeas: Bake these smoky chickpeas for a crunchy and satisfying hand-held food. They are the most delicious when eaten warm, right from the oven, but they also make a convenient on-the-go snack.

Apple Moons: Classic apple slices with peanut butter get a little more exciting when you dip them in crunchy, sweet granola. They will fill you up in no time!

Artichoke-Pesto Bites: This snack could also double as an upscale party bite, and who doesn't love melted mozzarella and Parmesan? Pesto and artichokes add color and great garlicky flavor to these portable snacks.

Yogurtwiches: Craving somthing sweet in the afternoon? Make these frozen yogurt sandwiches with graham crackers and chocolate chips, for a healthier ice cream substitute.

Chicken and Waffles: These are also great snack options, because they're full of protein from the chicken and walnuts and fiber-packed for sweet grapes and mini whole-wheat waffles.

Tuxedo Olives: I love these little guys, because the olives because they actually look like tuxedo bowties. Stuff individual black olives with strips of cheese, then toss in olive oil, red wine vinegar and parsley for some flavorful snacking.

FNM-TuxedoOlives-344.tif

FNM-TuxedoOlives-344.tif

Food stylist: Stephana Bottom

©Hearst Communications Inc., 2010

Hearst Communications Inc., 2010

For more snacktime inspiration, check out our gallery of 50 Quick After-School Snacks from Food Network Magazine .

TELL US: What are some of your favorite after school snacks?

Rachel is a Food Network intern from the University of Michigan. She loves to travel and sample healthy, regional dishes, but enjoys indulging in good, old-fashioned ice cream every now and then!

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