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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
The addition of cucumber lightens up the flavor of this hummus so that appetites aren’t spoiled so close to dinner.
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.
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.
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.
Banana and Peanut Butter Muffins
These yummy muffins contain two whole bananas—a great way to sneak fruit into after school snack time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep this recipe on hand for cocktail parties and game days—everyone will want a handful of these deliciously crunchy treats.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yogurt Covered Blueberries
Skewer, coat in yogurt, freeze, and done. So easy, and so delicious!
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.
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.