An apple with peanut butter or a bowl of cereal will always be classic and satisfying after school snacks, but we’ve got a whole new creative and delicious group of snack ideas for you to try this school year. These are snacks the entire family will love to nosh — and they’re great for between-meal weekend eats, too. Dig in!
Chia Pudding: This has become popular among food bloggers and can even be found in restaurant menus. This pudding can be made on Sunday night and eaten for a few days. The recipe makes 8 servings — so either make one large batch of it, or divide into individual dishes for a pre-portioned snack. Mix 4 cups nonfat milk or unsweetened soy milk with 2 mashed bananas, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir in 3 cups sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or seeds) and cover the container with plastic wrap. Let sit, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours…but up to 3 days.
Mini Tuna Melts: //www.bumblebee.com/recipes/mini-melts/ These mini-melts are easy and satisfying. If kids aren’t old enough to use the oven, skip that part, and let them serve the unmelted cheese on crackers with a spoonful of the tuna mixture.
Fruit Skewers with Peanut-Yogurt Dip: Spear melon cubes, berries, and other sliced fruit on skewers. Serve 2 fruit skewers with 1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt mixed with 2 teaspoons peanut butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Note: You may be thinking, “Will peanut butter really blend into yogurt?” It does, and only takes about 1 minute of consistent stirring to get there.
Smoothie Pops: In a blender, combine 2 cups skim milk or unsweetened dairy alternative with 2 bananas, 1/2 cup pineapple (fresh, frozen, or canned in own juice and drained), 2 carrots, and a large handful of fresh spinach. Blend on high for 2 minutes, until smooth and frothy. Divide mixture between 4 ice pop molds and freeze. Have a produce-packed ice pop as a refreshing snack.
Chili-Parmesan Popcorn: Toss 6 cups of air-popped popcorn (let cool first) with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1/3 cup chopped toasted cashews. Place 1 1/2 cups of the mixture into individual bags for on-the-go snacks. Don’t have an air-popper? All you need is a microwave and a brown paper lunch bag to get air-popped popcorn! Instructions here.
Nacho Bites: Top 8 tortilla chips each with 1 tablespoon fat-free refried beans, 1 teaspoon salsa, and 1 teaspoon shredded Mexican blend cheese. Microwave for 45-60 seconds, or until cheese is melted. Double, triple, or quadruple the snack by placing chips on a baking sheet and broiling for 30-45 seconds to melt the cheese.
How do you stay creative with your snacks? Do you and/or your family have any favorites you want to share?