After school snack ideas! If your kids come home ravenous after school, here are some plant-based snacks that please the taste buds and fill the tummy until dinner.
The transition back to school comes with adjustments for everyone. Not only are you getting used to perhaps more consistent wake-up and bedtimes, but also eating schedules and working around after-school activities.
In our houses, we’ve also noticed that our kids seem to be totally ravenous when they come home from school.
Something about that 3pm hour after a long day at school triggers a snack monster attack.
And it makes sense. They’ve just spent a good chunk of their day in various social situations, adhering to classroom rules and boundaries, learning new things, and ultimately being physically and mentally (and emotionally) challenged.
When kids come home to their safe place, they can let go of all of that, which can often look like meltdowns. In many cases, the simple presence of you and a healthy snack can help.
If this sounds like your situation, here are some great after-school snacks that can help curb hanger and provide a nutritious boost until dinner.
1. Apple Fries + Caramel Dipping Sauces
We recently made a video about this on our Instagram page.
One of our favorite ways to present food to our kids is by using cookie cutters or other cute shape-makers. To make this snack, cut an apple into slices using a crinkle cutter.
To make the caramel sauce, heat 1/2 cup maple syrup and 3 tablespoons almond butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir to combine then let the mixture bubble while stirring occasionally until thickened and caramel-like. It will take a few minutes to reduce and thicken.
Note: If you’re prepping this snack for later, you can soak the apple slices in salted water for about 5 minutes, rinse, and pat dry to help prevent browning while they sit in the fridge.
2. PBJ Balls + Fruit
We have a few variations of PBJ Balls on our site (just search ‘PBJ Balls’ and they will all come up!).
These make a great snack for road trips, but we also like to prepare a batch at the beginning of the week that our kids can grab from the fridge for a few days.
The base recipe is similar and uses a combination of beans and nut butter AKA an excellent combo of fiber, protein, and healthy fat to provide satiety.
For instance, our Carrot Cake Chickpea Balls are made with chickpeas, peanut butter dates, vanilla, salt, raisins, and carrots. All you have to do is blend them in a food processor, form them into balls, and pop them in the fridge.
Serve with a side of fruit, like a banana, some blueberries, or mandarin oranges.
3. Chia Pudding + Nut/Seed Butter
Chia seeds are awesome in recipes when you need to provide bulk or an eggless binding agent. We like to use them to make vegan pudding cups, like our Mango Chia Pudding.
Plus, chia seeds offer some fiber, protein, healthy fats, and minerals.
There are many weeks when we will put together individual chia pudding cups in the fridge, layered with chopped fruit, for our kiddos.
Consider serving a chia pudding cup with a spoonful of your child’s favorite nut/seed butter – like peanut, almond, or sunflower – for additional fat and protein.
4. Dried Veggies + Hummus Pinwheels
Hummus comes in all types of varieties and is easy to make at home. It’s chickpea-based, making it a great option for kids who may not love beans but will eat spreads.
Slather some hummus on tortillas (green spinach ones are fun!), roll them up, and cut them into pinwheel slices.
Serve them with a side of dried veggies like dehydrated seaweed or legume snaps. Alternatively, serve them with fresh veggies, like cucumber slices, bell pepper strips, or baby carrots.
5. Tofu Yogurt + Crackers
There are lots of plant-based yogurts out there, but sometimes we like to make it at home using tofu (yes, you read that right!).
Tofu is a great source of calcium, fiber, protein, and healthy fats for kids. Plus, it blends well and takes on pretty much whatever flavor you want.
To make our Mango Tofu Yogurt:
Blend 1 package drained firm tofu with 2 cups fresh or slightly thawed mango chunks and 1-2 pitted dates in a food processor until smooth. Pour your yogurt into individual containers and store them in the fridge for 3-5 days.
If you want to serve something alongside this, whole wheat, sweet potato, or almond crackers work well.
Don’t make after school snack ideas harder than they need to be! Consider some of these simple plant-based snacks for kids that can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge for easy grabbing.
Chime In: What other snacks do your kiddos love after school? Share your ideas in the comments!
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