5-Minute After School Snack Ideas (Preschool through Elementary!)


Whether you have little kids in daycare or preschool, or older ones in elementary and middle school, these easy after school snacks will help you keep them satisfied until dinner—no matter what the afternoon holds!

After School Snacks

If your house is anything like mine, you have hungry kids flying in the door wanting all of the snacks. To help you stay stocked and also mix things up whenever you land in a snack rut, these ideas are here to help.

I’m dividing these ideas up by category so you’ll have an easy to reference place to start whenever you need new kids snacks.

There’s even a section with easy snacks to pack for after daycare since I know many families need a snack for the way home.

pretzel sticks, cheese, avocado on blue plate

1. Pretzels, Cheese, Avocado

Any type of pretzel will work here, but I like thin sticks for younger eaters since they are easier to chew.

2. Pretzels, Nut/Seed Butter, Berries

Serve pretzels with nut or seed butter as a dip and add a side of berries like strawberries or raspberries.

3. Pretzels, Nutella, Milk

Let the kids dip their pretzels into Nutella and serve with a glass of milk for a yummy snack.

cheese, crackers, and fruit cup in containers

4. Cheese, Crackers, DIY Fruit Cup

Pair diced or sliced cheese with crackers (like Triscuits Thin Crisps or Breton crackers) and a homemade fruit cup with diced fruit and a splash of lemonade.

5. Cheese, Crackers, Banana

Swap out the fruit cup for a banana for an easier option.

6. Cheese Crackers and Sliced Pear

Pair cheddar crackers with sliced ripe pear for an easy snack option.

fruit-cup-and-quarter-sandwich-in-snack-cups

7. ½ Sandwich and Sliced Cucumbers

Half of a sandwich can be a satisfying snack (and it can work if there’s some left from lunch). Pair with fruit or sliced cucumbers.

7. Toast with Mashed Avocado and Hard-Cooked Egg

Serve up a snack version of breakfast with avocado toast and an egg. This would be a great option for hungry kiddos since the fat and protein would help to fill them up.

8. Toast with Jam and Fruit

Top a slice of toasted whole grain bread with jam and serve with a side of fruit.

yogurt and fruit puree swirl in bowl

9. Yogurt with Fruit Puree

Whole milk yogurt (regular or Greek) with fruit puree stirred in is one of my favorite snacks since it’s flavorful, easy, and so yummy. Top with granola if you’d like.

12. Yogurt with Applesauce

Mix plain yogurt with an equal amount of applesauce for a nutritious snack that can be served in a bowl or in a reusable pouch.

11. Yogurt Smoothie

Blend 1 cup yogurt with 1 cup frozen fruit for a super simple yogurt smoothie. (Find my Strawberry one here!)

cottage cheese and tomatoes in containers

12. Tomatoes and Cottage Cheese

Top cottage cheese with a few sprinkles to make it fun and serve with tomatoes.

13. Cottage Cheese, Granola, and Diced Pineapple

Add granola and diced fruit to a bowl with cottage cheese for a protein-rich snack option that’s super delish.

14. Tomatoes, Guacamole, Veggie Straws

Dip Veggie Straws into guacamole and serve up a side of tomatoes to round it out.

cereal bar with banana on counter

15. Cereal Bar and Banana

My homemade Cereal Bars store so well in the fridge and take just minutes to make. They’re a great snack with a banana.

16. Cereal Bar and Milk

You can also go for a bar and milk for a classic after school snack option.

17. Granola Bar and Berries

Pair berries with a store-bought or homemade granola bar for a satisfying snack.

peanut butter granola bars on a plate

18. Granola Bar and Milk

Milk (either dairy or non-dairy) is a great snack option and if you choose one that has fat it in, that can help the kids stay full longer too.

19. Snack Bar and Drinkable Yogurt

Pair a snack bar (you can find some of my favorites here) and purchased drinkable yogurt to help the kids stay full until dinner time.

20. Muffin with Milk or Fruit

Pair a muffin with milk or fruit for a super simple snack that you can prep ahead of time. Win, win!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are good after school snacks?

If you can combine 2-3 food groups, you have so many options for easy and satisfying after school snacks. And it’s totally fine to go through phases so remember that it’s normal for the kids to be really into certain snacks for a few weeks and then transition to others.

What are good on-the-go snacks?

Some easy snacks to pack and take on the go include a smoothie in a reusable pouch, yogurt and puree in a reusable pouch, dry cereal, and a snack bar. These are good options for the way home from daycare if needed too.

How can I make sure afternoon snacks don’t ruin my kid’s appetites for dinner?

The easiest way is to try to have at least 90 minutes to 2 hours between snack and dinner and also remember that it’s okay if kids are hungrier for snack than they are for dinner—that is quite normal. You can try to make snacks look more like mini meals too if you are worried about the balance of foods being offered at each.

Best Tips for After School Snacking

  • Aim to serve 2-3 food groups in each snack to help them satisfy, but don’t stress if the kids don’t always eat everything (because they won’t). We don’t have to force balance.
  • Pack any of these to send to eat between activities. Use an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack if needed.
  • A reusable pouch can be helpful for smoothies and yogurt.
  • Consider snacks mini meals and don’t stress if the kids eat more afternoon snack than dinner—it’s very normal for kids to be hungrier at snack time!
  • You may also like Preschool Snack Ideas, Best Snack Containers, and my go-to Snacks to Buy at the Store.

I’d love to hear your feedback on these ideas, so please comment below to share.

after-school-snacks-on-countertop

5-Minute After School Snack Ideas

Amy Palanjian

Take the work out of feeding the kids each afternoon with these quick and healthy ideas suitable for preschoolers on up! Adjust the portion sizes as needed for your child (Nutrition will vary based on the snack idea you choose.)

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 0 mins

Total Time 5 mins

Course Snack

Cuisine American

Servings 1

Calories 326 kcal

Ingredients  

PRETZELS, CHEESE, AVOCADO

  • 1/2 cup pretzels, 1 ounce cheese, ¼ cup avocado

PRETZELS, NUT/SEED BUTTER, BERRIES

  • ½ cup pretzels, 2 tablespoons nut/seed butter, ½ cup berries

PRETZELS, NUTELLA, MILK

  • ½ cup pretzels, 2 tablespoons Nutella, 1/2-1 cup milk

CHEESE, CRACKERS, DIY FRUIT CUP

  • 1/2 cup whole grain crackers, 1 ounce cheese, ½ cup diced fruit with 2 tablespoons lemonade or apple juice

CHEESE, CRACKERS, BANANA

  • 1/2 cup whole grain crackers, 1 ounce cheese, 1 small banana

CHEESE CRACKERS AND SLICED PEAR

  • 1/2 cup cheese crackers, 1 small sliced pear

½ SANDWICH AND SLICED CUCUMBERS

  • 1 slice bread, 1 tablespoon each jam and nut or seed butter, ¼ cup sliced cucumbers

TOAST WITH MASHED AVOCADO AND HARD-COOKED EGG

  • 1 slice whole grain bread, 2 tablespoons avocado, 1 hard-cooked egg

TOAST WITH JAM AND FRUIT

  • 1 slice whole grain bread, 1 tablespoon jam, ½ cup fruit

YOGURT WITH FRUIT PUREE

  • 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt, ¼ cup fruit puree

YOGURT WITH APPLESAUCE

  • 1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt, ¼ cup applesauce

YOGURT SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt blended with 1 cup frozen fruit (like bananas, cherries, mango, or berries)

TOMATOES AND COTTAGE CHEESE

  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (halved if needed) and 1/4-½ cup cottage cheese

COTTAGE CHEESE, GRANOLA, AND DICED PINEAPPLE

  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons granola, ¼ cup diced pineapple

TOMATOES, GUACAMOLE, VEGGIE STRAWS

  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes (diced if needed), 2 tablespoons guacamole, ½ cup Veggie Straws

 CEREAL BAR AND BANANA

  • 1 Cereal Bar, 1 small banana

CEREAL BAR AND MILK

  • 1 Cereal Bar, 1/2-1 cup milk

GRANOLA BAR AND BERRIES

  • 1 Granola bar, ½ cup berries

GRANOLA BAR AND MILK

  • Granola bar, 1/2-1 cup milk

SNACK BAR AND DRINKABLE YOGURT

  • 1 snack bar, 1/2-1 cup drinkable yogurt

MUFFIN WITH MILK OR FRUIT

  • 1 muffin, ½ cup fruit (or one piece)

Notes

  • Aim to serve 2-3 food groups in each snack to help them satisfy, but don’t stress if the kids don’t always eat everything (because they won’t). We don’t have to force balance.
  • Pack any of these to send to eat between activities. Use an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack if needed.
  • A reusable pouch can be helpful for smoothies and yogurt.
  • Consider snacks mini meals and don’t stress if the kids eat more afternoon snack than dinner—it’s very normal for kids to be hungrier at snack time!

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 12gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 685mgPotassium: 264mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 339IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 216mgIron: 2mg

Keyword after school snack




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