Easy After School Snacks to Include in the Lunch Box

Easy After School Snacks to Include in the Lunch Box

Introduction

In this article, we’re looking at something that often isn’t considered when packing lunches – the after-school snack! Because kids tend to finish school a few hours before dinner time, many parents like to pack an afternoon snack inside the lunch bag. This is an easy way to ensure that your child doesn’t get too hungry after school, and has sufficient fuel to get them through the day. We’re going to give you a full guide to after-school snacks, and then take you through some of our favorites healthy snack recipes.

What to Look for In an After School Snack?

Before we jump into our list of the best after-school snacks, let’s go over how you should go about choosing the right healthy snack idea for your kid. Because, let’s face it, kids can be quite picky, so you want to select a snack that they will actually eat. Here are what we think is most important in a great after-school snack:

Keeps Well

First thing’s first, since you are packing this snack at the start of the day, you need a snack that will keep well. It needs to last an additional few hours past lunch time. If the snack is soggy or too warm after school, then your child probably won’t want to eat it, and we don’t blame them! So, try to avoid food that needs to keep at a certain temperature, and definitely avoid any frozen foods.

Filling (But Not Too Filling!)

You want an after-school snack to provide some sustenance, but don’t make it too big. After all, you still want your child to be hungry for dinner. Try to make it a “half meal,” which means the portion size will be smaller than your typical meal. It just needs to get them through the final couple hours before dinner time!

Delicious and Nutritious

The ever-elusive goal of any parent, “delicious and nutritious.” We know, finding a school snack idea that your kids enjoy and is also healthy is tough. But it’s not impossible. In the next section, we’ll give you some inspiration in this regard.

Protein-Packed

Protein is a great option for an after-school snack. Protein is so valuable in any child’s diet. Protein is used to rebuild tissues, and is essential for a growing child. Additionally, protein tends to be quite a bit more filling than other foods, especially when you compare it to processed foods or those that are packed with sugar. For these reasons and more, high-protein snack options are a great choice. They keep your child full longer, and they are often quite delicious as well!

Top After School Snacks

Keeping in mind the above factors for selecting the perfect after-school snack, let’s jump into our list. In this list, we’ve focused on giving you a good variety to choose from. It’s a good idea to focus on variety, so that your snack options don’t get repetitive. You can focus on keeping it fresh with new snack options each day, which will also help ensure that you child eats a balanced diet.

Beef Jerky

First up, we have beef jerky. Beef jerky gets kind of a bad rep in the snack community. Often labelled as “junk food”, beef jerky is a surprisingly healthy and nourishing snack. It’s high in protein, and quite low in calories. The salt content might be a bit high, but as long as you pack proper portions, it makes for a great savory snack. Additionally, it keeps very well, and there are no worries associated with leaving beef jerky unrefrigerated.

Ants on a Log

Ants on a log are another fun after-school snack. To make ants on a log, simply slice some celery, add some peanut butter or other nut butter, and top with “ants” (either raisins or chocolate chips). It makes for a nourishing vegan snack that also has a veggie serving!

Trail Mix

Homemade trail mix is a great snack, and you can pack the perfect portion to get kids through to dinner time. Aim for a trail snack mix that has a good amount of dried fruit and nuts (allergy concerns permitting!). Nuts are high in protein and full of healthy fats. They are efficient foods that will give your kids the after-school energy they need.

Almond Butter &Apples

Almond butter is a delicious snack, and very high in protein. Aim for “all-natural” almond butter or nut butter, which means that it was made without added sugar or extra ingredients. Pack some apple slices for dipping, and you have an easy snack.

how you can DIY your own bags

Hummus & Crackers

Hummus is a great choice for a young kid’s snack. Hummus is delicious, nutritious, and quite filling. Chickpeas are a good source of protein as well. Pack it with some crackers, or even some veggies for dipping.

Hummus & Crackers

Quinoa Salad

A basic quinoa salad is an easy, efficient after school snack. The best part is that you can load it up with veggies! We recommend a basic balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Then, slice up some tomatoes, onions, and celery, and add it into the salad. Basically, add as many veggies as you can get away with!

Turkey Roll Ups

Turkey roll-ups are fun, bite-sized snack sandwiches. To make, simply add some turkey, cheese, and mustard to the top of tortilla. Then, roll up the tortilla and slice horizontally. You’ll be left with some fun snacks that also taste great. 2 or 3 small roll-ups is the perfect amount for an after-school snack.

Cheese & Crackers

Cheese and crackers, a classic snack for any kid! Sometimes, you just want to keep it simple. Slice up some cheese, throw it in a snack bag with some crackers, and you’ve got an after-school snack ready to go. Cheese is a filling food that’s packed with protein and dairy.

Cheese & Crackers

Conclusion

Thanks so much for reading our guide to the top after-school snacks! An after-school snack is often forgotten, but can be the perfect solution to keeping your kids full until dinner time. We focused on fun, easy, and nutritious snack options that won’t result in too hectic of a morning.

15 High Protein Snacks for Kids

When it comes to seeking out snacks for your kids, any parent knows that it can be an uphill battle. Because, let’s face it, the snacks that your kids want aren’t necessarily going to be the healthiest options for them! As a parent, finding a snack idea that any picky eater can enjoyandis also healthy can seem like an impossible task.

Try Protein

One of the best ways to find a nutritious snack that your child will enjoy is to focus on snacks that are high in protein. Protein is great for feeding an active lifestyle, and protein keeps kids full longer than snacks, which are full of sugars and processed ingredients. Not to mention that many high-protein snacks simply taste great.

The key is finding a balance between a snack that is high in protein and one that is packed with sugars and unnecessary calories. This is where our list comes into play. Try one of these healthy high-protein snacks instead when meal planning.

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is a great place to start when it comes to a high protein snack. There’s not a lot bad things about beef jerky besides the high salt content. Beef jerky is a tasty snack, and surprisingly low in calories.

Beef jerky is very high in protein, with about 33 grams per 100 gram serving.

Yogurt and Fruit

Yogurt and fruit go together perfectly. It’s a healthy, sweet snack, and yogurt is a great source of protein. Pick your favorite fruits and pair with your favorite brand of yogurt.

Yogurt has about 10 grams of protein per 100 grams, but it depends on the variety of yogurt you buy. Greek yogurt makes for an especially high protein snack.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs are a snack-time staple. One of the best things about hard boiled eggs is you can prepare a whole bunch of them at once. Have them plain, salt them, or throw a bit of hot sauce on top!

Hard boiled eggs contain about 13 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.

Natural Peanut Butter Crackers

“Natural” peanut butter refers to the peanut butter which is made with 100% peanuts. No additives like sugar and salt.

Peanuts are high in protein, and contain about 25 grams per 100 gram serving.

Almonds

Almonds

Almonds are a great snack just on their own! You can buy many flavored almonds, but we think that plain, unsalted almonds are just as delicious.

Almonds contain about 20 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.

Protein Shake

Of course, a protein shake is a great source of protein! The great thing about these shakes is they can be made in so many different ways. Typically, the protein comes from the whey protein powder that is added to the shake. You can throw in a whole bunch of other healthy ingredients like fruit, vegetables, yogurt, peanut butter, and more!

Protein powder typically contains about 25 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, but it really depends on the variety that you buy.

Hummus and Veggies

Hummus is a high protein spread that tastes great. The versatile nature of hummus lends itself to many different snacks. Whether you have it with veggies, on crackers, or in a sandwich, getting your kid hooked on hummus can make snack time easy!

Hummus has approximately 8 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.

Protein Bites or Snacks

“Protein bites” online, can pack a delicious mixture of high-protein ingredients into little portable packages. You can find a few recipes that work for bites on our list of high-protein bar recipes. Typically, they use various granola, whole grain, dried fruit peanut butter, and honey to form a delicious protein “bite” which has a texture similar to cookie dough. This is a great school snack because it contains no added sugar and can be tweaked with ingredients like chia seeds, nut butter, or pumpkin seeds, to name a few.

The amount of protein in these snacks depends on the specific recipe you follow.

Turkey Slices and Crackers

Many parents try to avoid cold cuts altogether, but turkey slices can be a pretty solid high protein snack. They are less fatty than many other processed meats, but still high in protein. They taste great too, whether eaten plain or even on some crackers.

Turkey slices have approximately 29 grams of protein per 100 gram serving, a great source of protein!

Chocolate Milk

A drink for a snack? Why not? Kids love chocolate milk, and it’s a great source of protein as far as beverages go. And when it comes to snacks, you likely won’t have any troubles convincing your kids to have this one!

Chocolate milk has 3.2 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. Whole milk is also a great option if your kid enjoys it.

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa salad is a solid source of protein, and is very easy to make. We recommend a basic balsamic vinaigrette dressing, as well as some cherry tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, and cucumber. A tasty, refreshing salad.

Quinoa contains about 8 grams of protein per cup.

Sushi

SushiSushi is often more of a meal, but it makes a great snack idea as well. Depending on the variety of sushi you choose, any fish sushi recipe can be a great source of protein. Not to mention that sushi is absolutely delicious, and quite healthy as well!

The level of protein in sushi will typically depend on the kind of sushi that you make or buy, but try to aim for a sushi with more fresh fish.

Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is great as a snack, or even in a sandwich or wrap. Another bonus with chicken salad is you can chop up some of your favorite veggies and throw them into the mix. We recommend celery, cucumbers, green onions, and sunflower seeds for an extra crunch.

Chicken salad has about 8 grams of protein per 100 gram serving.

Almond Butter and Apples

If you can, try to get 100% almond butter. This means that it was made with only blended almonds. None of the unhealthy filler ingredients like sugar. Cut up some apple slices and dip away!

Almonds are very high in protein, at about 22 grams per 100 gram serving. 

Cheese and Crackers

To round out the list, a kid-favorite snack, cheese and crackers! Cheese is a great source of protein, just avoid processed cheese if you can. Serve on some multigrain crackers and it’s quite the healthy snack.

The amount of protein does depend on the cheese you buy. Cheddar cheese has about 25 grams of protein per 100 gram serving. If your kid follows a vegan diet, sprinkle nutritional yeast on crackers for a cheesy-tasting snack

Top 12 Healthy Snacks for Kids

Top 12 Healthy Snacks for Kids

Snacks can present a tricky dilemma. There’s no denying that kids love to snack. In fact, it might even be easier to get your kid to snack than it is to get them to actually sit down to a meal! However, snacks involve some complicated decision-making in their own right. After all, one of the main reasons that kids like snacking so much is that many snacks are often less than ideal in terms of nutrition!

Delicious andNutritious (and Filling)

In this article, we’re showing you 12 healthy snacks for kids that you don’t have to feel bad about. We picked each snack idea in equal parts for their nutritional value, but also because each recipe is a kid-favorites. After all, finding healthy snacks isn’t necessarily hard, it’s in finding healthy food that actually taste good!   

In this list, we also focused on snack food that actually contains some substance. These healthy snack ideas will do what a snack is actually supposed to do – and that is to energize kids between meals.

Veggies and Hummus

When you picture a healthy snack, most of the time it’s going to involve veggies. However, getting your kids to eat a vegetable is another story altogether. Hummus is a great way to make that happen during snack time. Packed with flavor, protein, and healthy ingredients, hummus is an awesome addition to any healthy snack, and you can pack it in your kid’s lunch for a school snack.

Mixed Nuts

Nuts are a delicious, nutritious snack as long as they are eaten in moderation. Full of protein and healthy fats, nuts are a great way to keep any kid energized between meals. You can buy salted nuts, or nuts in any flavor, and even add in some dried fruit. But we recommend sticking to the basic, unseasoned variety of trail mix, and this is mostly because nuts taste great on their own.

Smoothie

How about a smoothie for a snack? The great thing about a smoothie is that you can load it up with as many healthy ingredients as you want. Throw in some fruits and Greek yogurt for a great tasting smoothie. The strong, sweet flavor of the fruits even works to your advantage, as you can sneak in ingredients that your kids may not be so fond of (think spinach and flax seed). 

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs are a healthy snack staple. Eggs are high in protein (about 7g/egg), high in healthy fats (about 5g/egg), and also contain various other nutrients such as iron, minerals, and vitamins. To top it off, eggs are quite tasty, and it’s difficult to find a picky eater who doesn’t like eggs!

Crackers and Real Peanut Butter

What kid doesn’t like peanut butter? If you can, go with the all-natural peanut butter which is made with just peanuts. This type is very high in protein, at about 25 grams per 100 gram serving. Serve it up on some multigrain crackers and you’ve got a great snack that tastes awesome. Or try a nut butter, like almond butter, and spread it on whole grain toast with sliced banana.

Fruit and Yogurt

A simple snack of fruit and yogurt is a great choice. Greek yogurt is full of nutritional ingredients that helps to keep kids full and energized (fat, protein, carbs), and the fruit brings its own nutritional benefits and taste. They go together great, and form a healthy snack with lots of substance. Sprinkle some granola on top for an added crunch.

Cheese and Whole Grain Crackers

Cheese and crackers – it’s hard to think of a more popular snack for kids! And it certainly helps when a popular snack is quite healthy as well. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, protein, and healthy fat. It is also high in various vitamins and minerals such as A, B12, and phosphorus. Of course, different cheese tout different health benefits, so be sure to do your research, but it’s hard to go wrong. Serve up on some multigrain crackers for an even healthier snack.

Veggies and Guacamole

Guacamole is another one of those foods that is too good to be true. Jam-packed with healthy ingredients, and so delicious that it makes kids want to eat their vegetables. Guacamole has all the benefits of avocado, which is high in healthy fat, fibre, and vitamins and minerals. Try serving with some carrots, celery, and cucumber.

Chickpea Salad

A chickpea salad is a delicious snack and so easy to whip up. Take some chickpeas, slice up some of your favorite veggies (we recommend, onion, cucumber, and carrots), and add a simple oil-based dressing, like olive oil. Simple, easy, and kids love it. Chickpea salads are packed with veggies, and chickpeas themselves are high in fiber and protein.

Tortilla Roll Ups

Tortilla Roll Ups

Tortilla rolls ups are a really fun snack. Put some turkey and cheese in a tortilla and roll it up, then slice horizontally. You’re left with severalroll up snacks which are fun and delicious. These are a high protein snack to keep active kids going.

Fruit or Vegetables

To round out our list, let’s go back to basics. Sometimes, a simple snack of fruit or veggies is all you need! Your kid probably has a favorite fruit, and might even have a favorite veggie. Why not just make that the snack? The health benefits of fruits and veggies go without saying, the only trick is getting kids to eat them! If they like multiple fruit, cut up some fresh fruit and make a fruit salad. If they enjoy veggies, serve some veggies with cream cheese on the side.

BONUS: Chocolate Milk

For our bonus snack, we’re throwing in a childhood favorite, chocolate milk! Does chocolate milk technically count as a snack? We’re not sure, but kids love it, and that’s all that matters really. Chocolate milk is a delicious treat, and also contains all the benefits of milk. Chocolate milk is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

Conclusion

Thanks for checking out our top healthy snacks for kids. We know how difficult it can be to get kids eating healthy, and the purpose of this list is to provide easy homemade snacks for kids that go beyond pre-packaged things like unsweetened applesauce or string cheese. We chose these options for their health benefits, but we also wanted to provide snack options that kids would actually eat and enjoy.

These snacks have substance, and will help fuel kids who lead a healthy lifestyle. After all, snacks can serve an important purpose in anyone’s lifestyle. Just be sure to exercise moderation in anything you give your kids, as it’s never too early to start good snacking habits!

6 Kid Friendly Protein Bar Recipes

One item that has made its way into our lives mostly due to convenience is protein bars and granola bars. They’re so portable and easy to grab and my kids like them. However, with that ease comes a big price tag. Not only that, I’m usually a little worried about the amount of sugar in them as well as other questionable ingredients that an already stressed mom is maybe supposed to worry about. (Oils? Preservatives? I can’t keep up.) At any rate they make a me a bit angsty, yet they’re so convenient, so I’m always looking for bars with a bit more protein to try and balance things out.

With the goals in mind of reducing expense and increasing protein, I went in search of kid friendly protein bar recipes. Here is a list of recipes I found that look like they’ll be healthy and tasty. We’ll be trying these in the coming weeks as I keep looking for ways to make lunches and snacks ahead of time.

Baked Protein Bar Recipes:

High Protien, All Natural: Sarah Miller’s Recipe “is just the recipe for you if you need a granola bar that is rich, filling, and only made with real ingredients.” It’s baked in an 11 x 15″ pan, making a big batch of bars.

Grain Free Protien Bars: This bar recipe uses only 7 ingredients and they are things you’re likely to have on hand. With no oats or refined sugars, the recipe is a gluten free and paleo friendly “granola” bar.

No Bake Protein Bar Recipes:

Use up Bananas: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars – These bars are vegan, no bake and have a yummy dark chocolate top. The ingredient list is short and what’s not to love with chocolate, bananas and peanut butter?

Oat Free, Nut Free, Peanut Free: These No-bake, Allergen-free Protein Bars are super customizable. The base recipe is only three ingredients and you can easily mix in any extras you’d like.

Maple Pecan No Bake Barsthis no-bake bar is filled with natural sources of protein, fiber and no refined sugar. These kid friendly protien bars are made using a food processor, then pressed into a pan. They can be made ahead in a large batch and frozen in individual portions even, so you can easily pull them out in the morning to stick in a lunch for snack time.

Healthy and Chewy These no bake bars look like the chewy granola bars your kids might be used to. They aren’t super high in protein, but the recipe is flexible and with no refined sugars they make for a great breakfast or lunch snack.

Between the different kid friendly protein bar recipes here we’re bound to find a few that my kids like. Making these on the weekend sets us up for easy to grab snacks that I feel good about them eating.

Best Snack Containers for Toddlers

Parents on the go understand how important it is to have snacks ready at all times for toddlers. A hungry toddler can cause quite a commotion, and being able to fill up their belly on the go is an essential trick for every parent’s skillset. To have snacks handy on the go parents need the best snack containers for toddlers.

Check out some of our favorite toddler snack containers below!

4-Piece Snack Containers Seleware Portable and Stackable – This is such a great snack container for slipping into your bag. Toddlers can be super picky eaters and what they love for a snack today may be completely different tomorrow. The Seleware 4-Piece snack containers gives you options. These containers are stackable and twist together for easy carrying.

You can have four different snacks handy and ready to go for your toddler when you use this snack container. The top container also looks like a Panda bear. Color options include green, blue, orange, and brown.

Pros:

  • Twist lock system
  • Four separate containers each a different size—5, 6, 9, and 11 ounces
  • Made of BPA and Phthalate free materials
  • Stain and odor resistant
  • Microwave safe up to three minutes
  • Freezer safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Temperature resistance from -40 degree Celsius to 109 degrees Celsius
  • Silicone ring inside the lids to ensure leakproof and airtight
  • Weighs only 12 ounces

Cons:

  • Plastic will melt in the microwave if you use high power for more than three minutes

We love this super easy to use snack container for traveling and having options ready on the go. This isn’t a snack container that toddlers can use themselves, but it is the perfect snack containers for picky toddlers. Parents can even use this snack container for healthy snacks at work like almonds, grapes, cheese cubes, and sunflower seeds.

Munchkin 2 Piece Snack Catcher- Toddlers are messy. There’s no real way to get around it, but the munchkin snack catcher is a great way to keep little messes under control.

Each container holds up to nine ounces, and the lid is designed so that your child’s hand can reach in and grab a snack but turn it upside down or shake the container without any food falling out. The lid is twist on, and there is a handle on each side to make carrying the container around easier on tiny hands. We also love that this container fits in most standard cup holders in cars and strollers.

Pros:

  • Spill-proof
  • Twist-on lid
  • Holds up to nine ounces
  • BPA free
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Perfect for toddlers 12 months and up
  • Two-pack offered in green/blue or orange/pink combination
  • Flexible lid flaps provide easy access to tiny hands

Cons

  • Lids are not interchangeable between Munchkin products
  • Some toddlers may be able to twist off the cap

Munchkin snack containers are an excellent option for toddlers who get hungry in the car or like to graze and snack. Your little one can carry this snack container around, and you don’t have to worry about spilling snacks all over the floor. Your toddler will love the independence of carrying around their own snack and feeding themselves.

Bentgo Box- The Bentgo Box is one of our favorite lunchboxes for toddlers and it’s a great way to give your toddler lots of different options of snacks to choose from. The Bentgo Box has drop-proof, rubber-coated edges for durability.

Your toddler’s food will stay fresh and mess-free when you use the Bentgo Lunch box because of the separate compartments. One of the best things about this lunch box, however, is the removable trays that allow you to pop the food into the microwave easily to reheat if you desire. The trays are also dishwasher safe and clean up easily by hand as well.

Pros:

  • Bestselling lunch box for toddler
  • Compartments for easy food portioning
  • Reduces plastic waste for baggies
  • Removable trays
  • Slim design
  • Durable
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • Comes in three fun colors—purple, blue and green
  • Leakproof
  • BPA-free materials
  • 2-year warranty and customer support through Bentgo

Cons:

  • The Bentgo Box doesn’t keep food hot or cold. You’ll need to pack the Bento Box in an additional thermal lunch box if you need to keep food at a specific temperature

The Bentgo Box is an excellent choice for parents who want to offer lots of different choices for toddlers to eat; it lets toddler “graze”. The Bentgo Box is not insulated; however, so if your child’s snacks needs to be kept cold, this option may not be the best for you.

Skip Hop Toddler Snack Cup- Skip hop is at it again offering super cute containers. The Skip Hop Toddler Snack Cup support independent eating without making big messes. The handle has grooves for tiny hands that make holding the cup super-easy and the snap top lid ensures that snacks stay fresh.

The inside opening features flexible flaps for toddler’s hands to comfortable fit through to retrieve a snack without snacks spilling out. The cup comes in seven different adorable animals’ patterns including unicorn, llama, narwhal, and bumblebee.

Pros:

  • BPA, phthalate, and PVC free
  • Snap-on lid, so food is sure to stay fresh
  • Flexible interior opening for tiny hands to fit comfortably
  • No-spill
  • Easy-grip handle
  • Seven animal designs to choose from
  • Top screws off for easy clean
  • Clear body so parents can see when empty
  • Holds up to 24 ounces

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe

The Skip Hop toddler cup offers an adorable design that allows toddlers to feed themselves without making a mess. The snap-on top keeps food fresh and comes off for easy cleaning. We wish this snack cup for toddlers was dishwasher safe, but they are easy to clean out quickly in the sink.

Toddler snack containers are a great asset when it comes to baby-led weaning and toddler feeding. You will get a ton of use out of any of these toddler snack containers, and your little one will love their new independence.

For more toddler lunch supplies, check out these posts: