By Kathryn Peck
With school back in session, our lazy summer days with not much to do have been swiftly turned upside down. Bus stops, kindergarten drop-offs, prepared lunches and homework all make way for after-school sports and music lessons. And in between, my kids storm the kitchen like they haven’t eaten in days.
In order to control the chaos, I’ve started having an after-school snack ready in advance. This may seem like royal treatment to some, but it helps to calm the after-school kitchen raid.
This may seem like royal treatment to some, but it helps to calm the after-school kitchen raid.
With a snack in place, my kids actually sit down for a few moments together afterschool, munch away, and talk. Suddenly we’re taking turns talking (because they have a snack while they wait). Suddenly my cabinets stay closed and my kitchen is empty. Suddenly, I’m relaxed again.
If you’re looking to get control of the after-school chaos, here are 10 easy snacks to get you started for the week. (In the interest of full disclosure, my kids aren’t huge vegetable eaters, so these ideas are light on the veggies.) Remember to serve 2 to 3 food groups in each snack, which will help satisfy their hunger, longer. If the snacks lean toward the healthier side, I don’t stress as much if they don’t eat all their dinner. (And less stress is always better.) If they don’t finish, all these easy snacks can be packed up in an airtight container and saved for later.
- Pretzels + cheese cubes; applesauce cups.
- Mini muffins; pre-cut fruit.
- Crackers & carrot sticks + hummus; yogurt-covered raisins.
- Teddy Grahams & grapes served with Dunkarro Dip (from Spend with Pennies).
- DIY snack mix with Pretzels, nuts, cereal, and cheese sticks (shown above), or add marshmallows, chocolate chips, and raisins to sweeten it.
- Popcorn; apple slices + 4-Ingredient Cream Cheese Apple Dip (from The Seasoned Mom).
- Yogurt cup; graham crackers.
- String cheese stick; peanut butter + Ritz crackers.
- Pretzel rods, sliced fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries) with Nutella spread.
- Celery snails & caterpillars (too, too cute from Woman’s Day); chocolate-covered pretzels.
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.
Image credit: iStock.com/LauriPatterson