10 Healthy After School Snacks Kids Can Make Themselves!
Teach kids to be more independent with this list of healthy snacks kids can make themselves!
Kids come home from school HUNGRY. And a small boost of energy can help them feel balanced and happy until dinnertime.
My biggest goal in after school snack time is to keep it simple. I don’t want to cook or make a lot of dishes when I’m already thinking about dinner. Which is why teaching kids to get their own snacks has been so helpful!
Of course, this takes a little prep and practice so your kids are equipped with the skills and know-how they need to get their own snacks.
How to Teach Your Kids to Get Their Own Snacks
- Collaborate! Sit down with the kids and this list and let them decide on 5 snack ideas that sound great to them.
- Let them help you prep ingredients on the weekend for snack time. Older kids can help cut veggie sticks and younger ones can stir up the dip. Stash prepped foods in a kid reach-able spot so they can help themselves with mom hands free.
- Guide their serving sizes. Put a 1/2 cup measuring cup in the container of trail mix. Have small-portion bowls at their reach for yogurt.
- Practice. Walk them through the process for a while so you don’t end up pulling your hair out over a big mess in the kitchen!
- Don’t forget clean up. Show them where you expect the empty containers to go or how they should be washed. Show them how to wipe the counter after snack.
10 Snacks Kids Can Get Themselves
1. A Scoop From the “Trail Mix” Container
Nuts and dried fruit are an energy-dense snack that’s full of healthy fats and fiber! Kids like to scoop their own with a measuring cup.
2. Veggie Sticks and Dip
This snack works especially well when you prep ahead some cut veggies in the fridge. Kids can get their own along with a scoop of their favorite dip or dressing.
3. Hard Boiled Egg & Fruit
Protein and fiber help kids stay satisfied until dinner. And peeling hardboiled eggs provides fine motor practice, too!
4. Yogurt and Fruit Parfait
Kids feel like a fancy chef when they layer berries, yogurt, and granola to make these healthy parfaits! Make sure your kids use small scoops when making these so portions stay right for little appetites.
5. A “Bunny Carrot” and Hummus
Kids as young as 5 can learn to safely peel a carrot. Then it’s ready to eat, no chopping required! We call whole peeled carrots “bunny carrots” because that’s how bunnies like to eat them. 😉
6. Energy Balls or Bites
Here’s a make-ahead snack idea that keeps for up to two weeks in the fridge, and kids can easily portion out for themselves.
7. Ants on a Log
Kids get fine motor practice when they spread their own PB and dot raisins or cranberries into celery sticks. A classic snack!
8. Fruit & Nuts
Here’s a snack that’s just as fast and simple as opening up a packaged granola bar!
9. Guacamole & Tortilla Chips
Guacamole is full of healthy fats and vitamins. And kids can learn to serve themselves a small bowl full of guacamole with a portion of corn chips.
10. Cheese & Crackers
Classic, simple crackers and cheese can stave off after-school crankies and help kids grow their independent snacking skills. Choose whole grain crackers for the best nutrition.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
I hope my kids would love these healthy snacks. I like them to eat real food and avoid processed foods. I also encourage them to play outside and do sports.
Even though I don’t have my own children, I am an uncle to 9 year-old twins (boy and a girl) who have developed some picky eating habits. Some of which includes eating greasy, fried foods and sugary stuff at the 1st chance they get. They also eat fruits and vegetables, but not as often as their parents would like. My nephew is pretty stuck in his ways and rarely tries anything new. My niece, on the other hand, will try new things, but it’s always just a tiny bite and then gives up on it. My brother and sister-in-law have been hesitant to let me try educating the kids on developing healthier eating habits. I should mention here that I am currently a dietetic intern at a school in New Jersey. Telling the kids that eating chicken fingers and French fries is unhealthy doesn’t go over too well with their parents because it’s hard enough to get them to eat anything when out at a restaurant. This blog post about 10 healthy after school snacks kids can make themselves is excellent because you are not only making it fun for kids to eat these healthy foods, you are getting them involved in the process. I was always taught that kids tend to eat healthier if parents get them involved in actually making the food itself. This blog entry gives me (and my brother and sister-in-law) some great ideas to get the kids to develop healthier eating habits. Thank you.
Pampered Chef sells a kid safe knife, called “MY SAFE CUTTER”. 🙂
Wondering what to feed your child when he is back from school hungry? We bring you recipes of some delicious snacks that will keep him feeling full and meet his nutritional demands as well.
Love this!! Can you make it into a handout. As a dietitian I would love to use it.
That is a great idea – we will definitely create one!
I made peanut butter cookies that you can bake then and they can be on your bench for a long time. A really good snack and treat!
Thanks for the great snack ideas. We’re going back into lockdown so I love the idea of a little prep beforehand and then for the kids to assemble it themselves.
Lovely Healthy Snacks Ideas. Will surely try out a few.