The month of August in Texas brings two things, blazing heat and the first day of the school year.
My daughter seemingly forgot how to eat lunch at school last year. She dutifully threw out nearly every day the sandwich that I carefully put the exact right amount of peanut butter and jelly on, the fruit that I evenly sliced, and the side that I obsessed over to fill in the third hole of her lunchbox. Sure, she nibbled, but I proclaimed that she survived on juice and air to keep her going until the bell rung.
Clearly, starvation mode set in the second we got home, right on cue with me telling her to wash her hands and take off her shoes. I like to take advantage of her famished state and capitalize on the opportunity to pump some decent ingredients into my otherwise bird-like eater. In our house, we keep good fats and proteins readily available, as well as a vast assortment of fruit and limited supply of vegetables that the kids will (fingers crossed) willingly snack on. Staples on my grocery list include whole milk yogurt, avocados, nut butters, bananas, and frozen berries.
Since the temperature outside is still just below melting, I like to offer cold snacks to cool the kids off and to keep my oven door closed. Below you will find five of my go-to after-school snacks that are easy, do not require more than a few minutes to prepare, and use simple ingredients. Best of all? These are kid approved.
Most kids love to dip. My youngest would dip everything in ketchup if he could. I like to combine healthy ingredients into dips because they are easy to mix with fruit, vegetables, crackers, and chips. It is also less expensive than buying pre-made, store-bought packages.
- 1/2 whole avocado
- 1 c. of plain yogurt (whole milk works best)
- salt, pepper, and garlic powder seasoned to taste
- toppings, including feta cheese, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds (optional)
Peanut Butter Dip
- 2 Tbsp. peanut butter (any nut butter will work)
- 1/2 c. plain yogurt (add more if you want a creamier consistency)
- swirl of honey
- cinnamon to taste
- In a bowl, add dip ingredients and blend. Serve chilled with chips, sliced fruit, and veggies (carrots, celery, and cucumber are our favorites).
Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Bites
(makes six servings)
- 2 c. frozen mixed berries, chopped and thawed
- 3 c. plain yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. honey or agave
- muffin tin
- 6 cupcake liners (paper or silicone)
- Combine yogurt, fruit, and honey/agave into a large bowl and stir.
- Scoop even amounts into lined cupcake tin.
- Put them into the freezer.
- Once frozen, you can take them out of the muffin tin and put them into a freezer safe storage container. Let them sit out five minutes before eating.
Frozen Peanut Butter and Chocolate Dipped Bananas
(makes six servings)
- 2 fresh or frozen bananas
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
- peanut butter powder (if nut free, you can omit this ingredient)
- popsicle sticks
- muffin tin (these can be added to the same pan as the yogurt bites)
- cupcake liners
- Cut whole bananas into three segments. (If starting with a frozen banana, this step should be completed before freezing your bananas, which is also useful if freezing them for smoothies.)
- Put a popsicle stick into one end of each segment.
- Roll the banana in the peanut butter powder.
- Dip the bananas in the chocolate sauce and roll them until fully covered in chocolate.
- Lay them in a muffin tin.
- Enjoy once frozen.
Chocolate sauce: Combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 45 seconds; stir until smooth. If you need a thinner sauce, add another tablespoon of coconut oil.
Turkey, Spinach and Cream Cheese Rollups
- sliced turkey lunch meat
- cream cheese
- fresh spinach
- Lie turkey out flat and spread cream cheese.
- Layer on the spinach.
- Roll it all up and slice in half.