Feeding kids during the school year is no joke! You know the drill. They get home from school, they’re hungry (or worse, HANGRY), and dinner won’t be ready for hours. And before they even close the door behind them, it starts. “Mom!! Can I have a snack?!”
You don’t want to starve them, but the thought of junk food that ruins their appetite for dinner doesn’t exactly sit well with you either. So what’s a mom to do? How do you curb hunger with healthy choices that will fuel their minds for homework, not send them into a total food coma?
Here are 10 small but mighty, no cook, sanity-saving snacks that you don’t have to feel guilty about. From lean meats to fresh produce, there’s something for every hungry kid.
10 No-Cook Snacks for Kids
1. Sandwich on a Stick: Everything tastes better on a stick! Use toothpicks to make kabobs with their favorite lunchmeats, cheeses and fruits for an easy and quick after-school snack.
2. Candy Bites: With a base of oats and nut butters, and additions like flax seed and chia seed, these no-cook bites sound like something your kids would absolutely hate … until you coat them with some M&M’s. Then they’ll be eating them faster thank you can make them!
3. Apple Cookies: Core and thinly slice an apple, spread on some peanut butter, and crumble up some of your kid’s favorite cookies to sprinkle on top. They’ll really love that last part – the cookies.
4. Frozen Treats: Fill the cups of a silicone cupcake liner with Greek yogurt, top with bite-sized pieces of fruit and freeze. It’s the perfect snack for hot days (and better for your kids than ice cream).
5. Snack Plate: Before the kids even get home, have a plate of their favorite veggies on the table. Add lunchmeat, cheese and some fun dips. Chances are they’ll go straight for the snack plate, instead of immediately begging you for the junkiest of junk food.
6. Peanut Butter & Banana Split: Slather the protein-packed goodness that is peanut butter onto a halved banana for a quick, filling snack.
7. Snack Wheels: Trade the usual wrap for fun pinwheels! Layer a tortilla with romaine lettuce, lunchmeat and cheese, then drizzle with their favorite condiment. Roll it up tightly, then slice it into snack-size pinwheels, using toothpicks to hold the wheels together.
8. Berry “Milkshakes”: Acai berry sounds like some kind of health food that will send your kids running. But when you blend packs of the frozen berries with a little banana, you get what looks a lot like a berry milkshake (they don’t need to know how much nutrition is actually in there … that’s our little secret). Start with this basic acai berry bowl recipe, then top with granola, coconut flakes, fruit or your kid’s fave fixins.
9. Cereal Chow: Toss a few of their favorite cereals together, and add some nuts and dried fruit for a kid-friendly trail mix. Make extra to keep in the car, too!
10. Cuke Cups: Slice a cucumber into 1-inch pieces and scoop out the seeds to create a cup. Add a layer of lunchmeat, stuff with cream cheese, and you’ve got a perfect crunchy snack to fill them up.
Tiding your kids over until dinner doesn’t have to mean ruining their appetites with high-calorie, low-nutrition snacks. Now when the kids come home claiming how they’re totally starving mom, you’ve got 10 easy ways to stop the hanger without spoiling supper.