When my kids get home from school they demand snacks right away. You’d think they didn’t eat all day. What happened to that big healthy lunch and snacks I packed them… oh wait… But on the days they don’t have lunch leftovers to eat, I find myself giving them quick prepackaged snacks but wishing I had my stuff together to give them healthy homemade snacks. You know, like one of those good instagram moms.
I don’t know about you, but my kids come home from school starving. If I would allow, they’d likely eat anything and everything in sight. Pulling something prepackaged out of the cupboard for them is usually easier then preparing a snack but chances are that it will end up being something far less healthy. Not to mention that keeping snack foods on hand like granola bars, crackers, and cookies tends to add quite a bit to your grocery bill. That’s exactly why I like to plan ahead and have healthy snacks ready for when the kids come home. I know it’s not always easy to find the time to prepare snacks in advance. I hope that you may think twice after reading this article because with these easy and quick recipes below, I am sure that you will find that having homemade snacks on hand is much easier than you would have thought.
Who doesn’t love muffins? I know, I know, I write a lot about muffins but they really are the perfect snack. I like to keep it simple but yet healthy so I often make whole wheat banana muffins for the kids. These are a family favorite for us, in fact, I made them last night and the kids devoured them.
There are so many things to love about this recipe. They are healthy, they freeze really well and they are a one bowl recipe which means barely any mess. You’ll probably have the majority of the ingredients on hand at all times. Bananas are a staple in our house but let’s face it, far too often they ripen before we have a chance to eat them. So once they are past the point that anyone in my house will eat them, I peel and freeze them. This way I have a stash of bananas ready to be used for baking.
To top it off, these muffins are free of refined sugar and literally take minutes to make so if time is limited, then these muffins are a great option. Tip: try doubling the batch and freeze half for another week when you just don’t have time to bake. The original recipe was found at kristineskitchenblog.com.
- 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
- ¼ cup milk (any milk will work, I use almond)
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon (Sometimes I like to use ½ tsp of nutmeg instead)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- Add all your wet ingredients in a bowl.
- Mix well.
- Add your dry ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Fill lined muffin tins ¾ full.
- Bake at 350F for roughly 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
If you have read my previous blogs then you know that I have quite the picky eater on hands which can make cooking and baking a challenge. When I came across this recipe, I took a chance and it was a huge success. He loves them, he even requests that I make them for him. Win!
Plus, this recipe is so adaptable that you really can’t go wrong. Homemade granola bars are made with only a few ingredients that you likely have already. You will see that to make them takes no time at all and far less expensive than buying premade granola bars. Another amazing thing is that you get to control what goes into them. For example, you can make plain granola bars or you can go wild by adding in chocolate, nuts, and/or dried fruit. Really, anything goes with these bars.
I will warn you that they don’t always end up as bars. Sometimes they can crumble. When this happens, play around a bit with the amount of honey or maple syrup you use next time until you get it how you like it. If they do crumble, they still make for a great tasty snack or to use on top of your yogurt. However, I do think I have figured out the trick to keeping them as bars. Let them cool completely before attempting to cut and remove them from the baking dish, it really makes a difference.
In terms of making them ahead of time and freezing, I have yet to try that because they don’t usually hang around enough to be frozen. In fact, I usually double the recipe and even still, they are all gone before I know it. The original recipe was found at bettercrocker.com.
- 2 ½ cups oats
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup sugar (I use brown sugar)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (I use whatever oil I have on hand)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 325F
- Mix all your dry ingredients together and then incorporate the wet ingredients.
- Spray a 9×13 tray with cooking spray to ensure that the bars don’t stick to it.
- Pack the mixture down in the tray as much as possible to help it stick together.
- Bake for approximately 25 mins.
I am sure you’ve seen many recipes for energy bites that are a great, healthy, no bake and easy recipe for adults. Well did you know that you can make these for the kids as well? If you haven’t tried, you really should because they love them. Just be prepared to make these often because they will disappear right before your eyes!
These are also great for when you are on the go or in a rush to get something into their bellies. They are made perfect for little hands. What’s great about them is that they are packed full of yummy ingredients, you can control the amount of sugar and are great to keep active kids full of energy.
This is another recipe where you can add in whatever you would like. You can either keep it simple or you can have fun and add in some chocolate chips, caramel chips or even a few smarties. The original recipe was found at homemadeinterest.com. Be sure to store them in the refrigerator so that they stay firm and you avoid (or let’s be honest, reduce) the likelihood of having messy hands.
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ cup of chocolate chips
- Combine the peanut butter and honey first then incorporate the remaining ingredients.
- Refrigerate for 20 mins or so to help avoid a sticky mess.
- Roll into little balls and voila!
And there you have it! My favorite go-to after school snack options that the kids are sure to love!
I know that it is often hard to find the time to make things in advance but by doing so you will definitely reduce or even eliminate some of the rushing and stress that comes with getting food into their bellies. you won’t have to think twice because healthy snack options will be readily available and the kids can even help themselves while you are busy doing other things or simply trying to get out the door on time.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.