Texas Living

10 After-School Snacks for Healthy Kids

By Georgia Fisher 3.27.17

Stop in the name of healthy! Before you break down and snap open a bag of chips for your kiddos after school, think it over. (See what we did there?) Many tasty and healthy after-school snacks are actually mindlessly simple and fun to make for parents and kids alike. In those magic hours between the school bell and dinnertime, have hungry kids munch on one of these 10 quick, nutritious recipes.

1. Absurdly Easy Fruit Dip

The world is full of fattening fruit-dip recipes, but this one’s not — and it’s super simple. Just mix equal parts flavored yogurt and creamy, whipped dessert topping, then serve with sliced favorites. That’s it. Really. (Use low-fat versions of both dip ingredients or substitute Greek yogurt for an even skinnier version.)

2. Apple Ladybug Treats

These adorable critters take mere minutes to make: Simply core a few apples, stick raisins on the red skin with peanut butter, and add cute “antennae” from pretzel sticks. Veronica Lopez Hurtado of allrecipes.com tells you how in more detail.

3. Tortilla Pizza

This crowd-pleaser is just what it sounds like: a touch of marinara sauce and cheese on several corn or flour tortillas. Just top with vegetables or lunch meat and bake on a cookie sheet. For true Texas tykes, add low-fat ranch dressing.

4. Yogurt Veggie Dip

Plain Greek yogurt, dill, olive oil, and salt are all you need for a mouthwatering dip that will cast formerly opposed veggies in a new light.

5. Ants on a Log

Remember this one from days gone by? Well, it tastes as good as ever. Simply slice celery stalks into three-inch (or so) pieces, slather with peanut butter, and dot with raisins. Done and done.

6. Grilled Cheese Wafflewich

This one comes from Amy of Superhealthykids.com. It’s exactly what it says it is and is the perfect combo of novelty, cheese, and a surprise ingredient: spinach.

7. DIY Trail Mix

Talk about a personalized treat. From dried fruit to nuts to yogurt chips, kids pick all their own ingredients and simply shake them together. Try alternating salty and sweet components, and use pumpkin and sunflower seeds for variety.

8. Fruit Smoothie

Let creativity take its course by teaching kids the basics: A cup of juice goes in first to get the blender spinning. Then add low-fat yogurt or a fresh banana for creaminess, and frozen fruit makes the whole thing seem like a dessert.

9. Custom Popsicles

Popsicle molds are easy to find — you can even use ice-cube trays or paper cups and tongue depressors — and impromptu recipes are endless. Err on the side of beauty with colorful, flatly sliced fruits such as kiwi, apple, and pineapple, then add light-colored juice and freeze overnight. Coconut water works well, too, for a less-sweet alternative to fruit juice.

10. Peanut Butter Granola Balls

For a quick, on-the-go snack, try these healthy, bite-sized peanut-butter-and-granola balls, originally from Martha Stewart magazine. Made with dried fruit, old-fashioned oats, and the like, there’s nary an unnatural ingredient to be found.

Chow down without the guilt and and enjoy making these fun creative snacks that both you and your kids will be crazy about.

With summer break just around the corner, now is the time to streamline your family schedule even more. Learn time-saving morning routines and tips for rallying kids in the kitchen.

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