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Back to School Snacks: Easy Recipes for Homemade Snacks

Kick after school hunger to the curb with these ideas for homemade snacks! From smoothies, to homemade baked treats, healthier dips, popsicles, and more there are tons of after school snack ideas and easy snack recipes to serve.

snack recipes collage

It’s back to school time and that means lots of preparation for us moms. I already shared some tips for easy back to school breakfast ideas, but I thought I’d share some quick and easy recipes for homemade back to school snacks.

I remember as a child, the first thing out of my mouth upon arriving home from school was usually “I’m hungry!” And it’s no surprise that I’m hearing our kids say the exact same thing.

I try my best to make sure they eat a decent breakfast before school and I always provide food so they can pack a balanced lunch, but a day at school is full of hard work: mentally in the classroom and physically during their after school sports practices.


I like to focus on fruits and vegetables for after school snacks. It gives my kids a little something to sustain them until dinner, but not enough to fill them up and spoil their appetites.

The key is finding a healthy after school snack that won’t spoil dinner (try to stay away from prepackaged items or anything with a lot of sugar) and teaching kids about portion control. 

An after school snack doesn’t need to be a meal, just a little something to tide one over until dinner.

  • don’t eat too close to dinner!
  • alternate snacks that feel more like treats (muffins) with fruits fruits, vegetables, or nuts to create balance.
  • don’t allow an open pantry policy – it usually goes better if we have a plan for what snacks are rather than endless grazing.

Check out these ideas for getting your kids to enjoy some yummy fruit and vegetable snacks after school without spoiling their dinner:

After School Snack Ideas

It's important to have the house stocked with the ingredients you'll need for homemade back to school snacks. Snacks will give kids the energy they need to complete homework and other after school tasks (plus nourished bodies always seems to lead to a more positive attitude in our house!).

Smoothies for Snacks

Smoothies are great back to school snacks because you can easily vary the ingredients based upon what you have on hand and what's in season. They're super quick to whip up, but even more so when you take advantage of this make ahead option.

I love to make freezer smoothies for the kids and stores them in these Ball Plastic 8-Ounce Freezer Jars. I purchased some of these freezer-friendly plastic jars a few years back. I often make an extra large batch smoothie for breakfast for the kids and freeze the extra in these jars to keep on hand for later dates.

BONUS: These freezer smoothies are also great lunchbox additions. They serve as a great fruit source and help keep the rest of the lunch box items cold. Serve with a spoon.

Fresh Fruit For Snacks

Fresh fruits are an easy after school snack because it requires very little preparation. I like to keep a variety of in-season fruit choices on hand. My kids also enjoy dried fruits, 100% real fruit store bought fruit leathers and freeze dried fruit.

Fresh fruits on a stick make after school snacks super fun. These ideas are simple enough for kids to help out with and can easily be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator (or freezer for the frozen grapes).

Veggies and Dip for Snacks

I like to prepare cut vegetables in advance on less busy days and store them in a ziploc bag or resealable container in the refrigerator. When you're ready for a snack the vegetables are already prepared and easy to pull out of the refrigerator and set out on the kitchen table.

Most kids love to dip. Dips are a great opportunity to get more fruits and/or vegetables into your kids. Set out a plate of cut, fresh vegetables after school along with a bowl of dip. Kids can snack while mom cooks dinner. Additionally, you can offer whole grain pita chips to scoop these dips.

To make your own whole grain pita chips, check out this recipe for Whole Wheat Garlic Parmesan Pita Chips.

Healthier Baked Treats for Snacks

Some afternoons just call for a little something sweet to eat. In my opinion, it's okay to offer treats for an after school snack once in a while as long as it doesn't become an expectation to have special snacks every day.

I don't think there's anything that can really replace the traditional after school milk and cookie memories of my childhood, but we tend to eat dinner on the earlier side since the kids are still going to bed early so I don't like to offer something that will put a huge damper on the dinner appetite.

TIP: Make muffins and quick breads ahead of time. They can be easily frozen and used as needed. Just thaw or reheat what you plan to use that day.

Granola and Energy Bites for Snacks

Granola Bars and Homemade Energy Ball Bits pack a big punch when it comes to homemade snacks! I love how you can often customize recipes to your liking by substituting different dried fruits and different nuts! These all store well in the refrigerator for about a week, or in the freezer for longer storage time lengths!

Crunchy Snacks

I can't resist and salty, crunchy snack! They're often one of my personal favorites, but our kids love these recipes, too. Nuts offer lots of protein, kale chips are crunchy like chips but healthier (who knew that you could make kale taste like chips?!), and chickpeas roast up into a nice crunchy snack, too. If you can't get past that chips and salsa craving, try making your own tortilla chips!

Popsicles for Snacks

I love making popsicles for snacks for the kids because I can make them ahead of time and store them in the freezer! Homemade popsicles are so great because you have complete control over the ingredients (no mysterious ingredients here!) and can customize the flavors however you want. BONUS: the smoothies at the beginning of this post can be frozen in popsicle molds to make smoothie popsicles (these are my favorite popsicle molds!).

What is your Back to School Snack strategy this year? Do your kids have a favorite after school snack?

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Wednesday 8th of August 2012

Great ideas! My kids will love the kabob's.


Sunday 28th of August 2011

The fruit kabobs look really delicious. I love this idea. I really like the sound of freezer smoothies as well. Thanks for sharing.

Jamie | My Baking Addiction

Saturday 27th of August 2011

Love these ideas! I'm always looking for an after school snack for myself. Those smoothies sound just perfect!


Wednesday 24th of August 2011

Thanks for the great ideas. I have a two year old and am always trying to come up with healthy snack ideas for her. This is super helpful.


Wednesday 24th of August 2011

Love these ideas. I recently started working from home so I really want to give the kids some great, healthy after-school snacks.