The school year is well under way, and with it hopefully the school day schedule is on autopilot. To help with this we have spent the past two weeks sharing lunch ideas. (If you missed them, be sure to take a peek at some simple lunch suggestions.) Now that lunches are handled, it’s time to think of something a little less crucial but important nonetheless: after-school snacks. Following a busy day at school, almost every kid wants something to eat, so let’s make it delicious!
Whether your child is coming home, has practice, or goes to childcare (that allows snacks from home), an after-school snack is an important start to the afternoon. Yes, it is easy to buy some store-bought snacks and pack those, but sometimes it’s nice to have a homemade treat to bring a smile to your child’s face. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it needs to be labor intensive or even involve baking. This week we are going to share some simple snack ideas that require little or no cooking time.
Party mix– This was a favorite of my children, but it was so easy. I think part of the allure was that I called it party mix. Somehow that made it more inviting. Consider this a way of cleaning out your pantry and providing snack in one treat. Combine 2 cups of pretzels, 2 cups of dry cereal (corn squares and oat circles work well), 1 cup dried fruit, and 1 cup chocolate chips or candy-coated chocolates in a gallon-sized bag or large storage bowl with lid. Shake to mix. Makes about 8 servings. Feel free to substitute as your family’s palates prefer.
Pretzel dipping– We always seem to have pretzels on hand. I personally find them to be boring on their own. The easiest way to make them more intriguing- serve them with a sweet dip. In our house Nutella was the winner. Put a tablespoon or two of that in a bowl with a serving of pretzels, and snack is ready!
Apple dipping– In the fall freshly picked apples are highly available. Make snack time a bit healthier by using apples as your dipper. For dipping options, be as healthy or indulgent as you like- peanut butter, chocolate syrup, or caramel sauce in a small bowl will make those apple slices even more appealing.
Strawberries & cream– So strawberries may not be in season, but you still can find some decent fruit at your grocery store. This simple snack always pleases. Simple wash the strawberries and serve with a small bowl of whipped cream. The strawberries will disappear in no time!
Cinnamon toast– For me this is classic comfort food. After a long day at school there’s almost nothing that says home like a warm piece of toast topped with melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Although I love multi-grain bread, this really needs to be made with good old white bread. To make sure all of the cinnamon and sugar stick to the toast, give this butter a try.
Five simple ways to get the afternoon started on the right foot. Be sure to check back during the week for a couple new recipes that are sure to put a smile on your child’s face.