What's the key to beating snack-time boredom? Keeping things interesting! Try these easy ideas for after-school treats—all tasty enough for kids and healthy enough for moms—to keep them satisfied 'til dinnertime.
Go for a dip:
Mix 1 1/2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to make a "chocolate" dip for cut-up fruit, such as apples or strawberries. Feeling like it's a savory day? Hummus with any crunchy vegetable hits the spot.
Instead of corn or potato chips, crunch on homemade baked vegetable chips. Storebought options abound, as well; look for baked vegetable chips that list real vegetables high on the ingredient list.
Blaze a trail (mix):
Combine unsalted mixed nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, mini pretzels and sunflower seeds to make your own trail mix. Someone in the family allergic to nuts? Swap in multigrain Cheerios instead.
Serve second breakfast:
Hey, muffins, biscuits and granola bars taste just as good no matter what time of day. Think aboutt hose quick breakfast standbys your family loves, and bring them out after school, too.
Air-pop popcorn and sprinkle with 1-2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano to turn it into a pizza-inspired treat.
Consider a "cheesecake" indulgence:
Break graham crackers into quarters and place a dollop of Greek yogurt, along with a smaller dollop of jam or jelly, on top for a easy-to-assemble snack.
Have an after-school fiesta:
It's a classic snack for a reason: Serve tomato salsa with tortilla chips (and try baked chips over fried). Another option? Reduced-fat refried bean dip.
Make fun freezer treats:
Fill paper cups with your favorite yogurt, cover the tops with aluminum foil and poke a whole in the center of each. Insert a wooden popsicle stick and freeze to make your own yogurt pops. (Really, any type of ice pop is perfect for the warmer start and end of the school year)
Spice up dried fruit:
You can find many different kinds of dried fruits at grocery stores these days (the selection goes way beyond the usual apricots). For a kick, try dried mango that's been sprinkled with a bit of lime juice and dusted with chili powder.
And don't forget to practice healthy portions:
It's easy—at any age—to over-snack. Rather than mindlessly grabbing chips out of the bag, plate the day's snack (or encourage your kids to do it, depending on their ages) before sitting down. Save even more time with pre-portioned treats that your kids can grab from the pantry in a snap.