5 After School Snacks Kids Can Make Themselves

posted: 08/22/16
by: Blythe Copeland

The easiest snacks for your kids to grab after school aren't always the healthiest -- but if you let your little ones make their own treats, you may be surprised at how willing they are to skip the junk food. Add these five foods -- from fruit-filled frozen yogurt bark to no-bake chocolate peanut butter energy bites -- to your snack rotation this fall.

1. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bark

This make-ahead snack from Courtney's Sweets is easy enough for even your preschoolers to customize: Just spread yogurt onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, top with your family's favorite chopped fruit, freeze for about three hours, and break or slice into bite-sized pieces. She used plain yogurt flavored with vanilla extract, but you can choose your family's favorite flavor and adjust the fruit -- think berries, oranges, kiwis, bananas, or peaches -- to suit your taste.

2. Banana Sushi

Banana sushi only looks like sushi -- don't worry, there's no raw fish involved. Instead, this DIY snack is made from a whole banana, rolled or wrapped in your kids favorite foods, and sliced into bite-sized rounds (that, yes, look a little like sushi rolls). Start with something simple, like wheat bread and peanut butter wrapped around a banana, and think big: Add chocolate, Nutella, or your favorite nut butter; roll the fruit in cereal, chopped nuts, coconut, chia seeds, chocolate chips, crushed graham crackers, or pretzels .

3. Smoothie

Smoothies are an essential after school snack: They're full of fruit and greens, give your kids a boost of protein with milk or yogurt, and they're easy to tweak to please picky eaters -- or so your family doesn't get bored. Give your kids a few recipes to start -- try strawberry banana, berries and honey, or mango orange -- and then let them get creative by adding peanut butter, experimenting with different fruits, and using flavored yogurts or different kinds of milk to come up with their own custom snack.

4. Pumpkin Muffins

If your kids are old enough to use the oven, then two-ingredient pumpkin muffins make a fast and easy snack. This recipe calls for mixing yellow cake mix with pumpkin puree and classic spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves), but you can sub in pumpkin pie puree for an even simpler recipe. Other AllRecipes users suggest using spice cake mix instead of yellow cake, adding a crumb topping, or including grated carrot for an extra serving of vegetables.

5. Energy Bites

These no-bake energy bites from Gimme Some Oven are a a kid-friendly booster after a long day at school, complete with peanut butter, flaxseed, coconut, and just enough chocolate chips to make them feel like a treat. And since there's no cooking required -- just measure and mix the ingredients, then refrigerate and roll into balls -- it's a simple project for kids to do on their own while you're doing your weekend meal prep, or in a few minutes of downtime before they star their homework.