9 After-School Snacks: From Super Simple to Deliciously Decadent
Kids may be ravenous when they come home from school, but not all kids' snacks are created equal. From easy-to-make treats to more-of-a-commitment (and totally worth it) eats, these are our favorite after-school snacks — not too filling but satisfying enough to hold even the hungriest kids over until dinnertime.
Oatmeal-Chocolate Snack Cakes: Just sweet enough to satisfy, these cakey bars are full of hearty whole oats. Bonus: The recipe is so simple that kids can make a big batch themselves to enjoy all week long.
Peaches and Creamsicles: Even though school's back in session, most afternoons are still warm enough to welcome a homemade Popsicle. Our favorite hot-weather treat is made with fresh peaches (or strawberries), pure vanilla and just a bit of rich and creamy half-and-half.
Strawberry Smoothies: Made with nothing but frozen strawberries, plain yogurt and banana slices, this is a satisfying snack you can feel good about serving.
Homemade Hummus: Got chickpeas and a blender? Try making a bowl of Ina Garten's famous homemade hummus. It'll be done in 10 minutes flat, which is longer than it'll take the kids to scoop up every last bit.
Fresh Fruit and Mint Salad: One of my favorite snacks to serve our small kids after school is fresh fruit. The little guys feel full right away, but when dinnertime rolls around, they're ready to eat again. This salad adds an unexpected but easy twist with just a few sprigs of fresh mint.
2-Ingredient Banana Cookies: Hint: Neither ingredient is sugar! These baked treats are so simple the kids can practically whip up a pan themselves, and either way, you'll have freshly baked snacks on the table in less than 15 minutes.
Homemade Soft Pretzels: If you want to go all-out, whip up some of Alton Brown's five-star homemade soft pretzels (seriously, more than 500 five-star reviews and counting!). Served with a side of mustard, these pretzels are any kid's after-school dream come true.
Sweet and Salty "Lollipop" Cheese Balls: For a special spin on cheese and crackers, four kinds of soft Italian cheeses up are rolled together and studded with dried cranberries. Perch a pretzel stick on top and voila: lollipops.
Magic Fruit-and-Veggie Cupcakes: Full of everything from flax seeds to wheat germ and bran flakes cereal, Melissa d'Arabian's cupcakes are packed with good-for-you ingredients. There's also enough cinnamon, brown sugar and fresh fruit that no kid could ever resist.
Charity Curley Mathews is a former executive at HGTV.com and MarthaStewart.com turned family food blogger, an editorial strategy consultant and a mother of four. She’s a contributor to The Huffington Post and the founder of Foodlets.com: Mini Foodies in the Making…Maybe.