Being a culinary arts teacher who has her last period of the day as her conference period, you would think that when my biological children walk through my classroom doors, I would have a healthy after-school snack ready for them.
Yet that is rarely the case, if ever. I spend that last forty-five minutes of the day running around trying to finish up lesson plans or going to talk to my principal about what is happening in my department. About the time we leave for dance practice or cake decorating lessons my kids pipe up with “I'm hungry” which means something that might not always be ideal.
So I am making it my goal starting Monday to have after-school snacks ready for them when they walk into my room. I know I am not the only parent who struggles with this so here are some ideas to share:
Delicious and Fun After-school Snacks
1. S'mores Snack Mix
This is not the healthiest recipe but it is fairly straightforward and one that you can create based on your child's likes and dislikes.
For example, I cannot stand the taste of regular marshmallows, but if you put them in the dehydrator for eight hours, they have a crunch on the outside and are still soft on the inside, similar to what you get when you roast them. I think those things are the best ever.
So, head over to Frosting and a Smile to get the full details of this fun, easy, and most definitely kid friendly recipe!
2. Chunky Monkey Bites
My mother has a recipe she makes every Christmas and it is almost the exact same except she uses Ritz crackers instead of bananas.
I like the idea of using the bananas because when you combine these three things, it tastes good but still has a healthy element to it. The bananas are healthy, the peanut butter gives you protein, and if you chose to use dark chocolate it has nutrients we need as well.
Erika over at Living Well Mom came up with a yummy treat that I cannot even wait to try!
3. Zucchini Bites
This recipe came to be on here for a number of reasons. One, I know that not everyone comes in the door wanting a sweet dish, so I bring you savory. Two, it doesn't contain chocolate (which, yes, relates back to one) and three, my picky child just said these look good. That was enough reason for me.
I have made something similar to this but the zucchini was cut smaller and I dehydrated mine. People at work swore by them. To see Cheryl's recipe in full detail head over to Everyday Dishes.
4. Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups
I swear by making my own fruit roll-ups after I learned how easy it was to make. Simply blend fruit with a little honey or sugar in either a food processor or a blender until smooth and then place onto parchment paper lined dehydrator board. I prefer the rectangular boards and not the circular dehydrators for this recipe.
Jane over at Mom with a Prep gives you several ideas for fruit roll-ups, but this strawberry lemonade recipe struck me as the yummiest. Head over to her site to see them all!
5. Blooming Apples
This recipe comes to you as a tried and true tasted one. On the first Friday in October I made this recipe and the girls and I worked hard in my traditional classroom, decorating it for Halloween.
They asked for this recipe again later the next week. It's pretty easy to make as well, simply cut up the way Lauren at Delish shows you how, add the topping and bake. Warm and very satisfying for a fall and winter treat.
6. Strawberry Shortcake
I love the fact that the Two Sisters in charge of this blog go into how to make a colorful whipped cream. I have been making my own whipped cream since I learned how to do it back in 2009 and even though I have made different flavors I have never thought to make a different colored whipped cream.
This recipe has an advantage of being as quick and painless for the non-chef in us or as elaborate as we desire- making our own cake, cutting fresh strawberries and as always, making our own whipped cream.
7. Blueberry Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt Sandwiches
I have made something similar to this before, and it is absolutely delicious. Adding the cream cheese to the frozen yogurt aspect really gives it that extra richness that is so desirable when you think about cheesecake. Add to that the graham crackers which give it the breading but tastes delicious with the cinnamon and sugar and mmm-mmm do you have a tasty snack.
Head over to No Biggie to see how to make this delicious blueberry cheesecake frozen yogurt sandwich.
To say that I love coffee is an understatement. My school started a coffee shop three months after I got there which is good because it holds me over for the week. I might go to a coffee shop once every other week during the week and average one trip on the weekend.
I say this to tell you that my girls love coffee shop food and when my daughter learned we could make our own scones, she was all over it. Therefore, this scone recipe by Tessa Arias will be on next weeks list of things to make.
9. Cake Pops
For the longest time cake pops were my demise. I mean I couldn't make a cake pop to save my life.
Thankfully, the teacher who taught at my school before me was a baker. Our school was known for bringing out bakers. Which meant I couldn't whine anymore about my inability to make cake pops or decorate cakes.
So now I am in cake decorating school. Even better? This school has other classes too- like a cake pop class I took the Saturday before Halloween.
Life Changing. If you struggle with something you want to learn, take a class. It will blow your mind.
Given that I now know how to make these babies- we will be going over to Simply Home Cooked and making these Starbucks Copycats. No more paying two dollars a pop!
10. Pizza Rolls
I am convinced that my youngest daughter thinks she is coming in to a four-course meal when she walks into the classroom kitchen. There are some days where I have to stop her and remind her that we will be having dinner at some point and I would like for her to eat what I cook for dinner as well.
For days like that, when it feels as if a snack should be a meal, these pizza roll-ups made by Vicki at Mess for Less, are almost spot on what they need. I would add other ingredients you like in the pizza and I, personally, am not too worried about the crescent roll being perfectly sealed. Just be sure to add tin foil to the baking sheet!
11. Mug Cake
Mug cakes have been a favorite of mine for a while now. I wanted to make something just for myself and found this recipe by total accident.
What makes it extra great is that if you have an older child, they can make this on their own. Simply write the recipe out for them and have their mise en place– which means lay the ingredients and tools needed (aka. microwaveable cup and spoon) out for them. Then when they get there, you can keep doing what you were working on and they can feel as if they have contributed. Just make sure they contribute by cleaning up as well!
To see this full recipe head over to Justine's blog at The Typical Mom.
12. Green Smoothies
I love, love, love green smoothies. Now if only I could get my kids to love them. They actually taste delicious but you have to get past the visual of the drink. So, somehow convince your child to try a green smoothie and then bring them over to my place so they can show my kids how it's done!
I will say- I have never tried a green smoothie with kale, I usually opt for baby spinach instead. To get the recipe head over to In Sonnet's Kitchen.
13. Mesquite Smokehouse Snack Mix
This recipe, brought to you by Blair at The Seasoned Mom, is neat because it is warmed up in a crock pot for two hours before it's ready to eat.
That's not to say that you couldn't eat it before then but what fun for this recipe to be eaten warm. It would be the perfect way to warm up after being outside where it is whippingly cold!
An added bonus is that this recipe is more on the savory side and gives that bit of crunch that we all desire sometimes. Plus? It's just a throw together recipe- no real thinking involved!
14. Granola and Granola Bars
My oldest loves granola in the same way that I love green smoothies. So finding this recipe is going to be a Godsend for me. What makes it even better- for you and me- is that granola can be used for so many different things. From making the bars to adding it to yogurt and even eating it for cold cereal, there is something to say about the versatility of granola.
The author over at Blissfully Domestic did a great job explaining how to make these the most efficient way and even telling you the cost at the end- which comes up to about a dollar total per serving. That's pretty awesome!
15. Vanilla Pudding
Melissa from Bless this Mess uses this recipe for her vanilla pudding. Many of the ingredients put me in mind of custard so I know this recipe has to be a delicious and creamy recipe that is sure to win over the crowds both young and old.
The sprinkles are such a pretty addition too and she added them to smaller portioned mason jars in order to make it a grab and go recipe after school. What a great idea and I cannot wait to try it this week!
16. After School Snack Cookie
If you cannot decide if you want sweet or savory, try Betsy's After School Snack Cookies. These cookies have the sweet from the fact that they are cookies with chocolate chips in them and Teddy Grahams. But they also have a savory side- complete with toasted coconut and plain chips in them. So live on the wild side and grab something with a little of both!
17. Apple Pita Bites
These apple pita bites are super easy to make. Simply add goat cheese and slices of apples to pita bread and drizzle with local honey. Isn't it amazing how some of the best recipes are the easiest? To see more and find the pita bread near you, check out Cedar's.
18. Oatmeal Cream Pies
Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies were what I lived on most Monday, Wednesday, and Friday's of my second semester in college. I moved into an apartment on the far end of campus and had an eight o'clock class. I would ride my bike to the gas station between the apartment and my math class and pick one of these bad boys up making sure to find the one with the most filling in it.
Now? I can't eat the Little Debbie brand so when we have to get gas station cheap food (which, let's be honest is rare) I opt for the chocolate chip cookie pies. The oatmeal makes my stomach hurt for reasons I don't understand.
I am able to make my own though and this is a treat that both my daughters and I appreciate. Written for you by the lovely Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction, this oatmeal cream pie recipe is sure to bring back memories for you as well!
I hope you have gotten some great ideas on what to feed your little ones both now and in the future. If you really liked something or felt I missed something, please let me know. I love hearing from you all!