We all know that when the kids come rushing in the door at 4 p.m., they need to be fed. And FAST. Keep these super-easy, whole-ingredient snack ideas in your back pocket and make sure that your kiddos are healthy, full and happy. From a fun spin on Ants on a Log to a DIY version of a lunchtime favorite, these ideas are so simple that you can even get the kids involved in making them. Here, 5 after-school snack ideas to make again and again.
Cheesy Pepperoni Sticks
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A few convenience items like low-fat mozzarella string cheese and store-bought pizza dough make these fresh-baked pizza sticks come together in minutes. Get the kids involved with the rolling and brushing on the butter. Bonus: This hearty snack also works for a last-minute dinner.
Strawberry Yogurt Fruit Parfaits
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These protein-packed Greek yogurt parfaits can be made ahead or assembled right before the kids come in the door. For extra-juicy berries, let them macerate with the sugar for at least 20-30 minutes. This recipe calls for strawberries, but you could easily swap in halved blackberries or cubed peaches. Even a quality, low-sugar jam works in a pinch!
Celery Snails and Caterpillars
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Take Ants on a Log to the next level with these playful Celery Snails and Caterpillars. Use peanut butter or cream cheese (for a savory spin), then top with whatever fruit or vegetables you have on hand. Pro tip: For no-mess prep, scoop creamy peanut butter or room temperature cream cheese into a small resealable plastic bag. Press into the corner of the bag, then snip off a small tip of the corner. Use this like a piping bag.
Crispy Buffalo Potatoes
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Oven fries meet Buffalo wings for a killer snack for kids who like a bit of a spicy kick. Pop the potatoes in the oven 20 minutes before the kids get off the bus, then toss them in the 2-ingredient buffalo sauce right before serving.
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Make your own boxed Lunchables and be the most popular mom on the block. Buy thick sliced cheese, turkey, ham or salami from your deli counter, then put the kids to work cutting the slices into fun shapes with cookie cutters.