My son comes home from school STARVING. I created this list of 15 healthy and easy after school snacks for kids that will fill them up, too.
My son's demand for after school snacks is out of control. I know he is genuinely hungry because he always has an appetite for dinner, but the nonstop nibbling and back and forth and begging for snacks was driving me all the way up the wall.
For the sake of my own sanity, I decided that I need to have a more organized approach to finding easy after school snacks, and to treat them almost like a mini meal.
I wrote out a list of healthy and easy snacks that are filling and quick to prepare (or can be made ahead and waiting for them when they get home).
15+ Healthy & Filling After School Snacks for Kids
This list started as 15 ideas for after school snacks, but I kept adding on to it, so here you go! 15+ healthy and filling snack ideas:
1. Deviled / Hardboiled Eggs / Egg Salad
You can hard-boil eggs in advance and have them ready in the fridge for the week. If you're feeling lazy, just pull out the eggs as a snack. If you're feeling ambitious, turn the eggs into egg salad.
Eggs have protein, which is great for an after school snack.
2. Steam-in-bag edamame
Edamame is fun to eat and very nutritious. It's loaded with fiber and plant-based protein. It will give the kids a reason to slow down for a few minutes to sit and eat edamame from the pods.
3. Avocado or guacamole & tortilla chips
You will seem like the coolest mom (or dad!) in the world, giving your kids chips as a snack. Little do they know that avocado (and guacamole) is a super healthy dip for the chips. If you're feeling ambitious, bake your own tortilla chips for an even healthier snack!
4. Apples & peanut butter or almond butter (or sunflower butter for a nut-free snack)
Delicious, filling, and healthy! Apples have fiber, and nut butter (or sunflower butter) contains healthy fats and plant-based protein.
5. Sweet potato muffins
If you have time to bake on Sundays, these sweet potato muffins are a huge hit at our house! They last throughout the week, making them a great snack that has hidden veggies in it!
6. Banana, nut butter & chocolate milk smoothie
Adding chocolate milk to a smoothie is a great way to guarantee your kiddo actually want to drink it! Got a milk allergy? Use a plant-based chocolate milk. Got a nut allergy? Use sunflower butter.
7. Cheese stick & roasted chickpeas
Cheese has protein and filling fats, and roasted chickpeas are a crunchy snack that is a great alternative to chips! Try this roasted chickpeas recipe that has 4 different flavor options: taco, parmesan, honey, and BBQ.
8. Yogurt & granola
Yogurt and granola can be a healthy snack, if you opt for ingredients that don't have too much added sugar. Start with plain yogurt and add some honey or maple syrup to sweeten it.
Choose granola that doesn't have too much refined sugar, or make your own large batch and have it ready for snacking. This granola recipe has healthy oats, nuts, and coconut flakes for fiber, and is sweetened with agave or maple syrup instead of refined sugar.
9. Whole grain toast with toppings
Choose a whole wheat or other whole grain bread and top your kids' toast with whatever they like: filling cream cheese and fresh sliced strawberries, nut butter with banana slices, cottage cheese with a drizzle of honey, or sliced avocado with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime juice.
Whole grains will keep kids full after school and is better for their digestion.
10. Turkey pepperoni & crackers
Like lunchables, but a little cheaper! Look for turkey pepperoni (or any other deli meat) that is not cured with nitrates/nitrites.
11. Popcorn & pistachios
Homemade air-popped popcorn is such a healthy snack! Popcorn is a whole grain and happens to be delicious. Getting a popcorn maker and buying corn by the kernel for popping was SUCH a good investment, both for our wallet and our waistline. This is the popcorn maker we have.
If there is a nut allergy, you can substitute pistachios for roasted sunflower seeds!
12. Pita chips & hummus
Hummus is a great way to get kids eating healthy chickpeas! We always have it on hand. If I get lucky, then my son might even eat a few veggies with the hummus.
13. Granola bar & fruit
While granola bars do have a lot of added sugars, pairing it with a fruit makes a balanced after school snack that will fill your kids up.
14. Pasta salad with veggies
While pasta salad can be a whole filling meal, it can also be a great snack if given in smaller portions. Try using whole-wheat pasta or macaroni to make a pasta salad, and try a pasta salad recipe loaded with veggies!
15. Tuna salad on Triscuits
Tuna salad is loaded with protein, and makes a great filling snack, especially when served on top of whole grain crackers.
This easy 3-ingredient tuna salad is a great "hack" and your kids probably can make it themselves!
16. Green smoothie popsicles
Kids are more likely to eat a green smoothie if it's in popsicle form! Make a batch of these green smoothie popsicles and be HAPPY when your kids as for frozen treats because they're getting a ton of nutrition in each one!
For really young kids, you can call them "monster popsicles" to make it fun!
17. Almonds & veggie chips
While veggie chips are not necessarily much healthier than potato chips, they at least get kids used to the fact that they eat something vegetable-related instead of straight-up potato chips as a snack. And when eaten together with some almonds, they make a filling, balanced snack. You can even make your own veggie chips, like Jerusalem Artichoke Chips!
18. Peanut-butter filled pretzels
Delicious and filling!
Do you have any ideas for filling snacks to share? Post in the comments!
Tuesday 10th of January 2023
These are such great after school snack ideas! I am going to try some of these for my kids. They have a dentist appointment coming up I want to get them in a good routine of having less sugary snacks. Thanks so much!
Thursday 27th of December 2018
We take a flour tortilla shell, spread on peanut butter, drizzle on some honey, peel a banana, wrap the tortilla around the banana. Some variations: use nutella instead of pb, omit the honey but add a few mini semi sweet chocolate chips, sprinkle a bit of granola over the pb and honey.
Charlee @ Humble in a Heartbeat
Friday 23rd of October 2015
My girls are toddlers and would LOVE these snacks. We just had apples with peanut butter the other day and they couldn't get enough! We eat our snack at the same time each day, right after nap time. Hopefully when they go to school, we'll do snack time when they get home. Thanks for sharing these great ideas, Alyssa!
Creative Mama Renee
Thursday 9th of April 2015
My teenager does this too. He wants chips and cookies and sweets, and always complains about being hungry. Or he'll want to snack an hour before dinnertime because he's "starving" again. These snack suggestions are a perfect example on why protein is important (and not just filling up on simple carbs). Love all your suggestions!
Thursday 9th of April 2015
It's true about the protein. I wish I'd learned that a long time ago. I used to always snack on crackers/pretzels/etc. and then wonder why I was still starving an hour later.
Monday 6th of April 2015
I love this list. I use many of the above and swap it around. We use hummus for carrot dip...but also will toast non-GMO corn tortillas with hummus for the center. I also love sunflower seed butter and can be seen at all hours sneaking a spoonful. I've recently been filling dates with a tbsp.
Tuesday 7th of April 2015
I've never tried sunflower butter. I'll have to check it out!