One year, my kids ate lunch at 11 a.m. Another year, they ate at 1:30 p.m. You just never know what the lunch schedule will be at school. But one thing is certain: When they get home, they're always hungry.
These snacks will satisfy those hunger pangs and get them through the inevitable play dates, activities and sports until dinner time.
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When I know the kids are bringing friends home after school, I'll make a big batch of this party mix. I know that all the kids will love it (even the picky eaters), and I can easily adapt it to suit kids with allergies (for example, leave out the nuts for kids with peanut allergies).
To me, the only way to make rice crispy treats any better is to top them with chocolate. But this recipe goes a step further and makes the treats a bit healthier, too. Instead of marshmallows and butter, these treats are made with brown rice syrup (look for it at your local natural foods supermarket, such as Whole Foods). Brown rice syrup has a lower glycemic index than other sugars, but it is the perfect texture for making sure these treats stick together.
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If you can operate a microwave oven, you can make this popcorn. And it tastes so much better than store-bought cheese popcorn.
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If there's one snack that is guaranteed to please kids of all ages, it's these dirt dessert cups. The kids love making them as much as eating them. Check out my how to make pudding dirt cups video
to see how it's done, step by step.
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My mother used to make this for me all the time when I was a little kid, and now my kids love it. It's a wonderful combination of creamy and crunchy, with just the right amount of sweetness. For variety, try using chocolate hazelnut spread
instead of peanut butter.
My homemade kit kat bars recipe
is one of the most popular on this site. So I was trying to figure out how to improve it. This version uses brown rice syrup in place of the homemade caramel sauce. It isn't exactly low in sugar or calories, but it is slightly healthier.
I like this snack, because the kids can make it all by themselves. To make these nachos a little healthier, use whole wheat tortilla chips. If the kids don't like spicy food, feel free to leave the jalapeno peppers off.
Getty Images/Inti St. Clair
These chocolate chip cookies are full of heart-healthy oats, high-fiber bran cereal and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate chips. And don't skimp on the walnuts. They have omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for brain health. The nice thing is even though these chocolate chip cookies have good nutritional value (for a cookie anyway), the only thing the kids will notice is how great they taste.
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If you're a fan of carrot cake, you will enjoy this quick bread. You can't really taste the zucchini, but it does lend moisture to this recipe. Try topping this bread with a smear of pineapple butter, orange butter or one of my other flavored butter recipes
If your kids can toast freezer waffles, they can make these waffle sandwiches. I first made these for the kids when they had friends sleeping over. Now they ask for them for breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and even dessert time. If you use a high-fiber, whole grain waffle, the nutritional value of these sandwiches is pretty good.