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To avoid grazing when that mid-afternoon hunger strikes, prep these easy recipes beforehand and ensure that you have something at the ready. Each snack is tastier than a bag of chips and more interesting than just grabbing a piece of fruit—plus, they’re actually easy to make.  

Black Bean, Corn, and Feta Dip

Using simple, fresh ingredients, Hall Nesting created a vaguely Mexican-inspired dip to enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips or even just eat with a spoon (we won’t judge you). The light dressing makes it super refreshing, ideal for when the weather is still warm and you’re looking for something light to tide you over until dinner.

 

HALL NESTING

Homemade Blueberry Nutri-Grain Bars

Granola bars are the ultimate snack food, but did you know they’re actually easy to recreate at home? For a healthier take on Nutri-Grain bars, try Half Baked Harvest’s homemade blueberry version. Pro tip: Try heating them up for a few minutes to make them feel less like a snack and more like a dessert.

 

HALF BAKED HARVEST

Homemade Fruit and Nut Crisps

Girl Versus Dough’s copycat recipe of those fruit and nut crisps you see at the grocery store is just as delicious and way more affordable. Store the crisps in an airtight container for up to a week—though they probably won’t last that long.

 

GIRL VERSUS DOUGH

Garlic Herb Parmesan Pretzel Twists

Because it’s more socially acceptable to snack on plain bread if it’s in pretzel form (we think), these homemade soft pretzel twists from What’s Gaby Cooking are a must-try. They’re best eaten fresh but will hold up for a couple of days. Eat them with a dip or slice in half and add sandwich ingredients for a heartier snack.

 

WHAT’S GABY COOKING

Skinny Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Everyone loves a chip – especially this salty-sweet version made with vitamin-packed sweet potatoes.  Make a double batch and store in airtight containers to quell after school appetites for days to come.

SKINNYMOM.COM

Whole Fruit Pops

That’s not just plain water holding the fruit together—it’s coconut water, for even more fresh fruit flavor. These fruit pops are a sweet treat you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in. 

FOODIEFUN.COM

Yogurt Bark

This candy-like treat is made by freezing yogurt and then breaking into bark-like shapes.  There are no rules here, so add whatever your family likes best.  Dried fruit and granola would also be super tasty.

THE-LOWCARB-DIET.COM

Quinoa Trail Mix Bites

Instead of kids reaching for processed snack bars, these trail mix bites are chock full of healthy ingredients perfect for staving off hunger until dinnertime.  Quinoa, flax, and pumpkin seeds provide plenty of nutrition and crunch, while coconut, cinnamon, and brown sugar add just enough sweetness and delicious flavor.

CONNOISSEURUSVEG.COM

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

Combine creamy peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and honey to create this tasty dip perfect for dunking fruit and pretzel sticks.

COOKINGCLASSY.COM

Frozen Banana Penguins

Little ones will love these sweet banana pops made extra special when dressed as penguins—and they’re really easy to make. Freeze a large batch for no-fuss snacking all week long.

READINGCONFETTI.COM

Sugar-Free Caramelized Nuts

Everyone will want to dig into these tasty nuts, made sweet by mixing in cinnamon, vanilla extract, and natural sweetener.  And there’s no need to wait for a cold day to make a batch since these come together right on the stovetop.  So easy!

THEBIGMANSWORLD.COM

Healthy Gummy Bears

Think of this as part recipe and part craft.  Moms who are so inclined will love making these sweet, all natural gummy bears, full of fruit flavor.

SIMPLYTARALYNN.COM

Sweet Potato Banana Bites

These muffin treats are ideal for both snacking and breakfast.  They’re free of any flour or added sugar; chocolate chips are optional, but always a good idea. Yum!

THELEANGREENBEAN.COM

Frozen Pineapple Ice Pops

These pops don’t need a recipe – just skewer pineapple rings with lollipop sticks and freeze for a sweet, low calorie treat that everyone will love. Eat as is, or upgrade by dipping into melted chocolate and nuts before freezing.

EATSAMAZING.CO.UK

Spicy Sriracha Popcorn

Big kids will love the salty, buttery, spicy flavor of this crunchy popcorn treat that’s light enough not to spoil dinner.

WAYFAIR.COM

Strawberry Muesli Crumble Bars

These bars look complicated, but they only call for 8 ingredients. The filling is made with fresh strawberries, and muesli adds lots of delicious crunch.

JOLLYTOMATO.COM

Healthy Homemade Mango Fruit Roll-Ups

Also called fruit leather, this yummy kid-friendly treat is surprisingly easy to make at home. There are plenty of recipes available for a variety of different fruit flavors, but the idea of fresh mango sounds too tempting to resist.

JUSTATASTE.COM

Raw Zucchini Sushi Rolls

Big kids who like sushi will love the clever presentation of these veggie wraps. Make no more than 1-2 days in advance, and store in an air-tight container to preserve crunch and freshness (you may want to make extra for lunch at the office, too).

FORTHELOVEOFFOODBLOG.COM

Chocolate Almond Date Balls

Believe it or not, these date balls contain only three ingredients…that’s it. The food processor does the hard work blending everything together, and then just roll and refrigerate—no baking required. Genius!

SOMETHINGSWANKY.COM

Cucumber Hummus

The addition of cucumber lightens up the flavor of this hummus so that appetites aren’t spoiled so close to dinner.

VEGANFAMILYRECIPES.COM

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

You’ve probably heard of breads and cakes with zucchini inside.  These muffins have such a rich and chocolatey flavor that no one will know there’s 2 ½ cups of healthy veg hiding inside.

ELLACLAIREINSPIRED.COM

Antipasto Kabobs

These kabobs are all about presentation—and don’t we all swoon over anything served kabob-style? There are no rules here, so add what you like. Just store in an air-tight container, and avoid foods likely to spoil quickly like leafy greens.

SUGARANTS.COM

Chocolate Banana Pops

Sometimes simple is better.  These petite banana pops are simple, easy to make, and delicious. Once frozen, conserve space by moving all pops into an airtight container for after school (or anytime) snacking.

DOMESTICFITS.COM

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix

There are plenty of ready-made snack mixes in the supermarket, but this homemade version can be customized to your taste with as much seasoning as you like. Add in more nuts for added protein, or Sriracha for spice.

AVERIECOOKS.COM

Banana and Peanut Butter Muffins

These yummy muffins contain two whole bananas—a great way to sneak fruit into after school snack time.

CARLA HALL VIA POPSUGAR.COM

Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels

Kids and adults love pinwheel sandwiches. Lighten yours up for afternoon snacking with thinly sliced veggies, and don’t worry—a delicious Ranch-cream cheese spread ensures these healthy wraps are also packed full of flavor.

DINNERATTHEZOO.COM

Apple Cinnamon Chips

Pop a large batch of these “chips” in the oven over the weekend, and kids can snack on them all week long.

SIMPLYSISSOM.COM

Homemade Cheese Crackers (Grain + Gluten Free)

Think of these crunchy treats as a healthier homemade version of Goldfish crackers. A full 2 ½ cups of cheese ensures they’re packed full of delicious, savory, cheesy flavor—you’ll want to have extra on hand for late night snacking, too.

TEXANERIN.COM

Homemade Baked Banana Chips

If you’ve been buying banana chips in the store, you’ll be glad to know how easy and inexpensive you can recreate this snack at home in your own oven.  You’re welcome.

DIETHOOD.COM

Roasted Chickpeas

Keep this recipe on hand for cocktail parties and game days—everyone will want a handful of these deliciously crunchy treats.

SKINNYTASTE.COM

Rainbow Fruit Kabobs

Presentation is everything. That beautiful rainbow of colors is sure to tempt tummies when after school hunger sets in.  Just be sure to make these no more than 1-2 days in advance so that fruit remains firm and fresh.

CHOCOLATECOVEREDKATIE.COM

Baked Whole-Wheat Raspberry Doughnuts

Treat them to this healthy take on doughnuts made with whole wheat flour and a full cup of fresh raspberries. They bake up in a short 14 minutes in a 375-degree oven, and keep well for days when stored in airtight containers.

POPSUGAR.COM

Frozen Grapes

Who knew something so simple could be so temptingly good? There’s no recipe necessary—just pop fresh grapes into the freezer, and enjoy their cool refreshing crunch anytime you need a quick snack.

JAMIEOLIVER.COM

Applesauce Puffs

These muffins are sure to keep appetites at bay until dinner time. For even more apple flavor, grate in some fresh apple; this will also add a bit of texture. 

HOMEINTHEFINGERLAKES.COM

Frozen Smoothie Popsicles

No hungry kid will be able to resist these homemade yogurt pops, and with plenty of fresh fruit inside, you’ll be glad they’re snacking healthy.

THECHICSITE.COM

Red Pepper Hummus Pinwheels

Keep these pinwheels in mind for appetizers and game day fare, too. A heartier take on veggie pinwheels, these also call for deli meat, cheese, and an optional yogurt dip. Just a few of these will certainly keep appetites in check until dinner.

IWASHYOUDRY.COM

Yogurt Covered Blueberries

Skewer, coat in yogurt, freeze, and done. So easy, and so delicious!

BEAFUNMUM.COM

3-Ingredient Banana Nutella Popsicles

For an insatiable sweet tooth, these popsicles sneak in yogurt and lots of banana, creating a snack that’s decadent and healthy, too.

PRETTYSIMPLESWEET.COM

Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips

When only salty chips will do, have a bag of these homemade zucchini chips on hand. They practically make themselves in the oven, and have all of the tempting salt and vinegar flavor of their favorite potato chip—minus the empty calories.

Originally published August 2016. Updated August 2017.

SUGARFREEMOM.COM