Just like adults, kids know the tastiest foods are often the unhealthy ones. As a parent, it is your duty to guide them toward better choices. Though it may not always be easy to do, if you know what to prepare in advance, it can be done. And it can be fun!
Below, we have collected some of our favorite recipes to help you out. Read on and explore our go-to guide for healthy after-school snacks.
Flavored Roast Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a great alternative to salty chips for after-school snacks. In fact, they also pack a lot of protein that help your little ones grow. Not convinced yet? Chickpeas are also easy to make and the seasoning possibilites are endless!
All you need to do is drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas. Place them on a baking tray with a baking sheet underneath. Then bake in a 425 degree preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until they have crisped on the outside.
In a bowl, prepare a little olive oil with your choice of seasoning. Cinnamon and sugar, BBQ seasoning, or even curry powder work great, but feel free to experiment. Drop your chickpeas into the mix and give them a good stir, so the coating sticks to your chickpeas making them totally delicious!
This is the easiest recipe of all and is one of the top afterschool snacks that our kids personally love! Start by slicing your apples into segments, removing the core. Any apple variety will work, though our preference is sweet, juicy Honeycrisps!
Once sliced, spread on a thin layer of delicious flavored peanut butter. At American Dream Nut Butter, we have a great selection, but for this recipe, we always lean towards our classic fan-favorite, Cinnamon Toffee Crunch. After you've topped with a thick layer of peanut butter, sprinkle over some unsweetened granola and you are ready to serve!
If you want to keep the sugar levels down a little more, then replace the apple with celery sticks. Place the peanut butter in the groove of the celery then top with granola. This combo offers up a slightly more savory, earthy flavor!
Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins
Once prepared, these muffins can last a long time. You can even put them in your kid's school lunch bag, so they are not just one of the best after-school snacks but a healthy lunch treat as well. They are loaded with flavor but feature natural sugars only.
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of oats, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp baking powder, along with a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl mash together 2-3 ripe bananas, 1/3 cup greek yogurt, 1 egg, and a dash of vanilla extract. Then, add the magic peanut butter to flavor!
You will need around half a cup of peanut butter for your muffins. For this recipe, the sweetness is already inherent in the bananas so we recommend a good old, natural peanut butter for extra protein. Our Just Plain Nutty is perfect for this - made with jsut 2 simple ingredients - American-grown and roasted peanuts and pink Himalayan sea salt!
Once done, mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients. Fill a muffin tin with liners and pour the mixture evenly into the trays. Bake for around 14 minutes or until cooked through, let them cool and enjoy!
These small crackers take a little preparation but are a great alternative to chips. In fact, if you can get your children to make them with you, you can have a great activity together! Family-friendly tip: start by letting your little ones choose some small cookie cutter shapes at the store and transform making after-school snack recipes into a true family affair!
All you need is 1/2 a cup of wholewheat flour, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of shredded cheese (your choice) and 3 cups of water. Simply place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz!
Once the dough is easy enough to roll into a ball, you have it right. Flatten out two pieces onto parchment paper, then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Take out your dough and carefully roll it out as thinly as you can.
Encourage your children to help cut out the fun shapes and once cut, place crackers onto a baking tray. Bake in a preheated 450 degree overn, for 12-15 minutes or until your crackers start to crisp.
Energy bites are another great way to sneak some fiber and protein into your children's after-school snacks. The great thing is that you can use up all the leftover nuts, seeds, and dried fruits you have lying around. The more variety the better, plus it all tastes great!
To make a classic, yet easily customizable set of energy bites, you will need one cup of oats, 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1/4 tablespoon of vanilla and 1/4 cup of peanut butter. With your base created, you can add any other fruit or nut mix-ins that you have lying around that you think would taste great!
For the best taste and texture, your choice of peanut butter really matters! By choosing a delicious and fun nut butter like our Monster Cookie Peanut Butter, you can add some much-needed excitement and a pop of extra flavor!
Once you've gathered all your goodies, combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls and refrigerate them for around 20 minutes. It's that easy! Store leftovers in an air-tight container in your fridge for easy snacking any time of the day!
Prepare Healthy After-School Snacks in Advance
The key to serving healthy after-school snacks is to prepare in advance. While it may be tough, balancing a family and work-life, look at it as valuable family time. Cook together, and you can build memories as well as care for your child's health.
If you need to fill your cupboard with delicious kid-friendly high-protein snack options, then look no further than American Dream Nut Butter! We have all the nut butter you need to make a host of healthy snack recipes. Click here to see our amazing range of gluten-free, low sugar peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter so you can start experimenting with your favorite healthy snack recipes today!