Your kids come home from school and the first thing they say is “we’re hungry!” Just about every mom can relate to this after-school ritual of feeding your kids something that won’t fill them up too much before dinner, but will still satisfy them. Of course, most kids want to run for the chips, cookies and candy, but those are not the best options. After all, a snack should be healthy—otherwise, it’s dessert.
Instead of running to the store last minute or digging deep into your pantry to find something good for your kids to eat, try one of these snacks that are not only healthy, but can be made ahead of time so your kids can enjoy them the minute they get home.
Healthy Dark Chocolate No Bake Bars: You’ll have them at chocolate with this one. Oatmeal, almonds, pecans, dark chocolate chips and dates are just about all you need for this easy recipe that requires you to mix and store in the fridge so they are ready by the time the kids get home. (via Bright Eyed Baker)
PB Yogurt Dip Apple Slices: Why dip your apples in regular yogurt when you can add everyone’s favorite ingredient - peanut butter?! A little honey, cinnamon and vanilla and this dip tastes more like dessert than a healthy snack. Click here to get the recipe.
Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites: A healthy snack does not get much easier than this one when all you need to do is mix some plain Greek yogurt with Stevia, coat your blueberries with it and freeze. Carbs and protein in a quick and delicious treat. Good job, mama! Click here for the recipe.
Autumn Apple Oat Bars: It doesn’t have to be autumn to enjoy this healthy homemade treat that has something in it for every taste - apples, oatmeal, cinnamon, dates, cranberries and even some flax meal. Combine, mix, bake and eat. Click here for the recipe.
Blueberry Almond Trail Mix: Most store-bought trail mix is packed with lots of sugar and sodium. That’s why making your own is always a better idea. This one is loaded with nothing more than dried fruit and almonds. Pour some in a bowl and let your kids eat it up while doing their homework. Click here for the recipe.
PB and Fruit Protein Balls: No joke, this will be your kids (and possibly your) new favorite snack. If the oatmeal and dried fruit doesn’t get them, then the addition of some sweet vanilla protein powder and peanut butter definitely will. And their round shape and small size make them perfect for simply popping in your mouth. Click here to get the recipe.
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Holiday Trail Mix: A holiday is not necessary for this trail mix that includes fat-free kettle corn, dried fruit, almonds and Fiber One cereal. Throw it into a bag, give it a good shake and your kids can take it anywhere they need to go after school. Click here for the recipe.
Almond Coconut Granola: While many granola mixtures are packed with sugar, this one uses the best (and healthiest) kinds of sweetener - pure maple syrup and honey. Throw in some almonds, dried fruit, oatmeal and a sprinkle of some savory spices and this granola is one that you won’t feel guilty about giving to your kids. (via What's Gaby Cooking)
Baked Sweet Potato Chips: When your kids are clamoring for chips, give them the kind that is good for them. Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and other nutrients. And when you bake them, their sweet flavor comes through and your kids don’t even realize what they are eating is also good for them. Click here to get the recipe.
Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Bowl: Three ingredients are all you need for this quick and incredibly easy recipe that includes nothing more than milk (your choice), raspberries and vanilla yogurt. Just blend and serve. You can even top it off with one of the trail mix or granola recipes for a little extra flavor. (via Chocolate Covered Katie)
Cinnamon Sugar Baked Apple Chips: This one is so good your family may have a hard time believing it’s healthy. Cinnamon, sugar and apples are all you need. However, instead of baking them, you will actually dry them out in your oven using a lower heat for about two hours. But this is one chip that is well worth the wait. (via Fifteen Spatulas)
Cranberry Oat Cereal Bars: Once your kids see these fun looking cereal bars that includes toasted oat cereal, marshmallows and dried fruit, you will have a difficult time keeping any left over for the next day. (via Martha Stewart)
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PB Granola Bars: These bars are easy to make and delicious to eat. Choose from either peanut butter or almond butter and mix it up with some oatmeal, egg whites, dried fruit, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon. Just bake and then cut them up into bars. (via Martha Stewart)
Chocolate Banana Pops: If you have some ripe bananas and some chocolate, this recipe is a must. These frozen bananas get some real sweetness added to them after dipped into melted chocolate. Add some colored sprinkles to it for a festive and fun look. Your kids will be loving on you extra hard after this treat! (via Martha Stewart)
Chocolate Popcorn: This recipe combines the sweet with the salty. Traditional popcorn gets a makeover with some brown sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder. Your kids will never look at popcorn the same way again after eating this tasty and sweet version of it. (via Kids Cooking)
Crockpot Chex Party Mix: While this one cooks for a few hours in your crockpot, you will be chomping at the bit smelling its superb aroma. You can thank the garlic powder, onion powder and soy sauce for that. Some peanuts, pretzels, cheese crackers and Chex cereal create a unique version of this classic snack. (via Kids Cooking)
Fruit Salad with Vanilla Pudding: Here’s a great way to get your kids to eat more fruit - create the ultimate healthy vanilla pudding. Sour cream combined with instant vanilla pudding mix and pineapple juice creates the base. After that, throw in some fruit like pineapples, oranges, strawberries and blueberries. Fresh fruit will never be the same. (via Kids Cooking)
What’s so great about all of these snacks, aside from how healthy they are, is that you can make them in advance and they require very little work. So now when the kids come home complaining about how hungry they are, you have a full arsenal of deliciously healthy snacks for them to eat. Find more snacks like these in our recipe index.