Beat the After-School Hunger

Your kids hit the front door after school and what is the first thing out of their mouths? “I’m starving!” And it’s said with enough enthusiasm that you would think they hadn’t eaten all day. They want food and they want it fast. As tempting as it might be to shove a cookie in their direction, it’s much better if we plan on having some healthier afternoon snacks ready for our little students. Even our older students will benefit from healthier snacks. I have kids that range from elementary to college age at home and what’s good for one is good for the other.

Since kids come home so hungry, this is a good time to get them to eat healthier snacks. They are more willing to eat it. Need some ideas for healthy snacks that won’t ruin their dinner? Here are some great ideas.

  • Air popped popcorn (no butter and low salt) is a great snack. You can add a little spice to it by sprinkling a little cayenne or cinnamon on it.
  • Greek yogurt with cheese slices or fruit
  • Apple slices with cheese slices
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Frozen bananas with peanut butter
  • Green yogurt mixed with peanut butter. Use apple slices for dipping. (This is a favorite of mine)
  • Hard boiled eggs

The list is really endless. Just get creative but keep it easy and simple. Much of this can be prepared ahead of time so snacks are ready when your kids are. Keeping ourselves and our families healthy is a wonderful gift we give ourselves and them.

What kind of healthy snacks do you and your kids like? We’d love you to share your ideas with us.

Published on: September 06, 2013
About the Author
Photo of Lisa Holcomb

Lisa is co-founder of Build A Menu, an online menu planning website that helps families get their grocery bill under control and helps them to bring “dinner back to the table”. She is an advocate for family meal time, an author, and a public speaker.

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Recent Comments

Fresh seasonal fruit (right now it’s a choice of cantaloupe, apples, or pears) or veggies (right now the favorite is carrot sticks with some sort of dip or celery with just a sprinkling of salt) are the main choices around here. Sometimes we’ll have air popped popcorn. My daughter also has a love of roasted seaweed snacks or freshly cooked chickpeas.

Those sound great Rachel. My kids LOVE air popped popcorn as well. We have the several times a week. :)

Hummus and pita chips is the #1 after school snack in our house. It’s very filling so it doesn’t take much to keep the tummy from rumbling until dinner time and doesn’t give an artificial sugar energy rush.

Now when I was a kid, it was a bowl of ice cream and a cookie — every day after school. On the plus side, most days my mom and dad (who was a farmer) stopped what they were doing and sat down at the table with us kids. We had our snack and talked about our day.

Now that my kids are all gone, I miss that sweet after school time, even if I do get to work longer.


Cheryl, we usually had cookies waiting on us when we got home from school. I to give my children cookies on occasion but it certainly isn’t the norm.