after school snacks

75 healthy, quick and easy after school snacks for 2023

After a long day at school it can be hard to persuade your kids not to raid the unhealthy snack drawer! Fear not – I have compiled a list of healthy after school snacks that are sure to satisfy their hunger until dinner time and, an added bonus, are healthy and easy to prepare!

So next time you are looking for snack inspiration be sure to check out the list below.

What are the best healthy, quick and easy after school snacks?

Nothing breaks the tranquility of a peaceful home like the ‘snack!!’ chant echoing throughout the house when the kids get in from school. How often have you succumbed to the sugar laden snack drawer only to find that the chocolate bar has disappeared in 2 swift chomps and has done nothing to satiate the hunger pangs?

I have compiled a list of the best healthy, quick and easy after school snack ideas to dip into whenever the chants get too loud! Find your kids favorite in the following categories: 

  • Cheese based
  • Sandwiches
  • Pitta and rice cakes
  • Homemade
  • Yogurt
  • Dips
  • Fruit based
  • 2 Second grab
  • Smoothies

Please note that some snack suggestions include nuts, gluten and other foods that your child may have a known allergy for.

Cheese based

A firm favorite with most children! A fantastic source of calcium and protein – just try to stick to the healthier cheeses (parmesan and cottage cheese for example) to avoid excessive amounts of salt.

1. Popcorn with grated parmesan cheese

Pop your kernels as normal in a small amount of oil. When popped and cooling add a mix of powdered parmesan cheese, salt and a little onion powder then give the pot a shake to make sure all the popcorn is fully coated.

2. Tortilla chips with cottage cheese

A simple dip with lightly salted or flavored tortilla chips.

3. Pretzels, cheese and avocado

Mash the avocado up so your kids can simply dip in their pretzel then layer with a slice of cheddar or cheese of your choice. 

4. Cantaloupe with cottage cheese

Refreshing and delicious – this is the perfect snack for warm summer days to keep the kids happy until dinner time.

5. Turkey and cottage cheese roll up

Try whole wheat tortilla wraps for this snack – simply layer slices of turkey and cottage cheese with some salad leaves for crunch. Add some chopped walnuts or dried cranberries for variety.

6. Crusty whole meal toast with melted mozzarella, tomato and basil

Older kids will appreciate the more adult tastes here – simple and easy to prepare. Why not encourage them to grow their own basil plant?

7. Chickpeas roasted in parmesan

Avoid sugary snacks by offering your children these: dry a can of chickpeas then add to a bowl of minced garlic (2 cloves should do it!), parmesan and olive oil. Mix well until all the chickpeas are coated then spread out on a baking tray, roast for approx. 15 minutes, shake the tray then an additional 15 minutes roasting (may need 5 minutes longer if chickpeas were still a little damp). They will be very hot when you take them out!


A classic go to – try to use whole grain or even sourdough bread for extra ‘healthy’ points!

8. Avocado and chicken sandwich

Use leftover roasted chicken with smashed avocado – this tummy filler will keep your child satisfied until dinner time.

9. Peanut butter and banana sandwich

Whoever discovered this perfect pairing is a genius! Nutritious, delicious and easy to make – yum!

10. Grilled chicken and cream cheese sandwich

Use cream cheese instead of mayonnaise for an added calcium boost without the sugar – easily livens up leftover roast chicken.

11. Ham salad sandwich

Classic – ham of any variety loaded with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber etc. Add a touch of seasoning with mayo and you have a winner!

12. Egg mayo sandwich

This may take a little prep in advance but pre-prepared egg mayo stored in an airtight container in the fridge can last safely for up to 3 days.  

13. Turkey and spinach sandwich

The most ‘virtuous’ of sandwiches – any parent can feel good about giving this to their child after school! Healthy turkey (low in sodium, fat and calories but high in) and protein rich baby spinach leaves is the ideal after school snack.

Pitta and rice cakes

Choose whole grain pitta and rice cakes made from whole grain brown rice for extra health points here. 

14. Sliced peaches with pistachio crumbs in whole wheat pitta 

Sounds amazing right? Use fresh or tinned peaches in your pitta with a few crumbed pistachios sprinkled on top. Can get a little messy in smaller hands but this is a snack they will ask for again and again!

15. Pitta with turkey and avocado slices

This super simple pitta has plenty of health benefits – protein, potassium, vitamins and minerals. Avocado is famously believed to protect against heart disease so this snack is not only delicious but excellent for your child’s well-being.  

16. Rice cake with almond butter and banana

Still a relative newcomer on the scene, almond butter is the latest best friend of the humble banana – slather this gorgeousness inside a pitta and stuff it with slices of banana – happy child guaranteed! 

17. Whole meal pitta with guacamole

Guacamole can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. This is my fave: Combine avocados, lime juice, fresh minced garlic (no slicing!) and salt. That’s it!

18. Rice cakes with peach and pear slices

The kids can make these themselves no problem. Use fresh or canned fruit and as many wholegrain rice cakes as they like.

19. Rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced grapes

Grapes are notoriously difficult to manage – slippery, small and made for rolling! Slather the peanut butter on the rice cakes and get the kids to add sliced grapes one at a time per bite – they will eat slower and enjoy the process too.

20. Whole meal wrap with almond butter and banana

Use wholemeal wraps instead of rice cakes for something a bit more substantial. You may find this easier for runaway slices too!

21. Whole wheat pitta with tahini and sliced grapes

A sesame seed-based paste high in healthy fats, low in sugar and naturally gluten free – tahini is worth trying if your kids are already peanut butter fans. Not quite as easy to find on supermarket shelves but is growing in popularity due to its versatility. 

22. Whole wheat English muffin with cashew butter and banana

Cashew butter is an excellent alternative to peanut butter as it is peanut free (of course check the label to be doubly sure). It is lower in protein than peanut butter but has other health benefits including being richer in iron, magnesium and monounsaturated fats. One portion of this will keep the ‘snack!!’ chants at bay!

23. Whole wheat pitta with turkey and tomato

Quick, easy, nutritious simple flavors to appease even the pickiest of kids – the simple tomato provides the sweet juiciness while the turkey provides the protein. Super simple satisfaction. 


These snacks will take a little bit more prep time but they’re worth it!

24. Sweet potato pizza slices

Slice your sweet potatoes into rounds ½ inch thick. Coat with a little oil then pop in the air fryer or oven until cooked (approx 35 mins in a conventional oven, 20 mins or less in an air fryer). Take them out and spread some pizza sauce or tomato paste over each slice then sprinkle with cheese (mozzarella or cheddar). Pop them back in just enough to melt the cheese and voila! 

25. Homemade egg, ham and spinach muffins

Low in carbohydrates and high in protein with just a few minutes prep time. Make the night before or batch a large number then freeze ready for when hunger strikes!

  • 5 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup cooked diced ham
  • 1 cup grated cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup finely chopped baby leaf spinach

Grease a muffin tin (6 portions) then place equal amounts of spinach and ham (and cheese if using) in each cup. Pour over whisked eggs combined with seasoning until each muffin cup looks about the same. Pop in oven (400°F/ 200°C) for 12-15 minutes. 

26. Energy balls with peanut butter

A no bake combination of peanut butter, chocolate chips, oatmeal, flax seeds, and honey makes these fantastic bite-sized treats. Mix all ingredients together then put the bowl in the fridge to harden up a bit. Roll into bite sized balls and pop back in the fridge until needed. 

27. Carrot cake energy balls

Use oats, dates, grated carrot, desiccated coconut and cinnamon. Combine to make a sticky dough then roll into balls.

28. Homemade banana and walnut muffins

Inspired by banana bread this muffin recipe is versatile and the best way to use up ripe bananas. Swap nuts for chocolate chips if you prefer.

29. Homemade berry ice cream

Blend fresh or frozen mixed berries with milk then pour into a tub to set in the freezer for approximately one hour minimum. Frozen berries are often overlooked but can be stored in the freezer until needed and are often a cheaper alternative to fresh. 

30. Banana ice cream

This super simple recipe is a crowd pleaser! Just put some bananas and milk in a blender and whizz until smooth. Pour into a tub and pop in the freezer. It will need at least an hour to set. Scoop into bowls when the ‘snack!’ chant starts and get the kids to sprinkle mixed nuts over for a bit of crunch. 

31. Home-made energy balls with oats, nuts and dried fruit

Combine rolled oats, nut butter of your choice, honey and mixed dried fruits – experiment with amounts and have fun with it! Put the mixture in the fridge for half an hour then roll it into balls. In general you can store energy balls in an airtight container in the fridge for approximately 2 weeks. 

32. Homemade apple cinnamon chips

A super easy alternative to potato chips – core and thinly slice apples of your choice, lay out on a baking tray and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook at 200°F for approximately 2 hours turning once or twice. Alternatively use an air fryer for a quicker result.

33. Zucchini Chips

Slice a zucchini as thin as possible – good knife skills can achieve this or use a mandoline slicer. The trick is to dry the slices as much as possible before cooking so blot them with kitchen paper towels to absorb moisture. Either gently toss in oil or lay the slices on a baking trap and drizzle with oil then sprinkle with salt. Bake for approx 2 hours in an oven at 225°F until crispy (turn a couple of times throughout). Alternatively use an air fryer for a quicker result. 

34. Homemade sweet potato chips

Super simple – thinly slice sweet potatoes using a knife or mandolin. Toss in oil and salt then lay on a baking tray for approximately 1.5 hours at 240°F. Turn occasionally for even cooking. Alternatively use an air fryer for a quicker result.  

35. Homemade banana bread

A great way to use up over-ripe bananas! There are hundreds of banana bread recipes out there so it can be difficult to choose – look for low sugar alternatives or those that require fewer ingredients for that healthy, quick and easy after school snack.

36. Homemade seed and nut granola with almond milk

An alternative to high sugar cereals. Use rolled oats, mixed nuts or seeds, dried fruits, coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Combine then lay on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden (about 25 minutes). Allow to cool completely then gently break up with your hands. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Serve with almond milk or milk alternative if desired.

37. Homemade lightly salted popcorn

Pop oil and salt in a large pan, put on a low heat then add popcorn kernels. Cover and remove from the heat when the popping slows down. Not only will your kids feel like this is a real treat but your house will smell wonderful!

38. Kids’ trail mix

Put your kid’s favorite dry food snacks in a bag, shake about and then let them feast away! Try:

  • Pretzels
  • Mixed nuts
  • Raisins
  • Cereal
  • Dried fruit
  • Dark chocolate chips

39. Homemade frozen yogurt popsicles

Fill silicone popsicle molds with store bought or homemade flavored yogurt and freeze. A delicious alternative to ice cream!

40. Homemade healthy snack bar

There are hundreds of recipes online to make your own snack bars – the best part is that you can choose the exact ingredients you know your children will love. Pack with nuts, dried fruits, seeds, oats and whatever else you like to add some personality – a kick of cinnamon maybe? In time you can teach the children to make their own … which you can then pinch for a snack … hmm the tables have turned?!

41. Overnight oats

This is great to prepare the night before and just keep in the fridge until ready. Grab a mason jar and fill a third with rolled oats. Top with natural yogurt, milk or water and frozen berries, drizzle some honey if you like then give a really good mix together. Pop in the fridge overnight and there you have it – a delicious filling snack for after school. Try adding nuts, nut butter, seeds, dried fruit, cinnamon – whatever you fancy. This also makes an awesome on-the-go breakfast.

42. Homemade egg muffin with broccoli

Similar to the homemade egg, ham and spinach muffins above, these low carb snacks are an ideal alternative. 

  • 5 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli
  • 1 cup grated cheese 

Grease a muffin tin (6 portions) then place equal amounts of broccoli and cheese in each cup. Pour over whisked eggs combined with seasoning until each muffin cup looks about the same. Pop in oven (400°F/ 200°C) for 12-15 minutes. 


Choose either full-fat natural yogurt or Greek yogurt for these healthy, quick and easy ideas for after school snacks. Both very good for you, the Greek yogurt is thought to have the edge as it is higher in protein and lower in sugar than regular yogurt. 

43. Natural yogurt with fruit puree

Make your own puree with whatever fruit you like (strawberries work well here). Blend the fruit up with a little water until very runny then pass it through a sieve if necessary. Dollop a generous amount on top of a serving of yogurt, swirl and enjoy!

44. Yogurt with granola and berries

Try Greek yogurt with this one and for extra points your own home made granola! Be generous with the toppings to fill tummies up until dinner time.

45. Yogurt with honey

Go Greek here – a classic never fails!

46. Dried fruit mix (dates, apricots and banana chips) with natural yogurt

This combo has the ideal amount of sweetness and texture variety. Dice the dates and apricots then place a few banana chips on top. The kids can easily help with this and can make funny faces with the fruit! 

47. Pineapple and mango chunks with full fat natural yogurt

Use fresh or dried for this snack idea and mix it up with some nuts or sprinkles of cinnamon for extra flavor.


Store bought or home made – it’s your choice of course. In time it may be worth showing the kids how to make a dip or two … and then delegate the task of snack prep entirely to them! 

48. Broccoli with red bell pepper dip

Wash and chop the broccoli into florets then place on a plate with a bowl of this amazing dip – healthy, easy and very quick if the dip is made in advance! This recipe uses very simple ingredients (red bell peppers, garlic, onion and cream cheese).

49. Cauliflower florets with hummus dip

Buy or make your own – this is an excellent way of getting children to eat cauliflower to their heart’s content.

50. Bell peppers with minted pea and natural yogurt dip

Gently defrost a few handfuls of frozen peas and pop them in a blender with a pinch of salt, some fresh mint leaves and a few dollops of natural full fat yogurt. You may like to add a bit of coconut oil to alter the consistency if you like. Blend until smooth and serve with sliced bell peppers. 

51. Cucumber and hummus roll-ups

This looks fancy but is actually really simple if you have a mandoline. Dollop a tablespoon (or teaspoon depending on the size of your cucumber slice) on one end of the cucumber then gently roll up like a fruit roll-up. Use a cocktail stick to keep in place if needed but remove this before serving for very young children.

52. Vegetable sticks with ranch dip

Put out a selection of cucumber, celery, bell pepper, carrot sticks or any other veg your children like (the more colorful the better) and a bowl of ranch then let them tuck in!

53. Bell peppers, carrots and/or cucumber slices with hummus

Who knows why but hummus is just the ultimate dip. Have a go at making your own to have with these veg – there are multiple recipes online but essentially it is a combination of cooked chickpeas, garlic, salt, lemon juice, oil and tahini. 

Fruit based

54. Apple slices with peanut butter

Healthy, quick and easy – a classic in the snack world.

55. Kiwi, passionfruit and blueberry fruit salad

A seasonal snack perhaps but the perfect one for tucking into after a hot, sticky summer’s day at school.

56. Berry and cheese skewers

Use wooden skewers and add cubes of cheddar cheese with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. No more squished berries rolling around on the floor!

57. Grape and strawberry skewers

A delicious combination that the kids can make by themselves.

58. Melon chunks

Any melon: watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, golden beauty, Galia – the list goes on. Choose one or combine any number in a bowl chopped into chunks then tuck in. Just be ready with a cloth to clean up sticky hands and faces!

59. Fruit salad kabobs

Make these as pretty as you like or chop the fruit to look like space rockets when arranged on the sticks. All the colors of the rainbow – strawberries, oranges, pineapple, grapes, blueberries, melon, kiwi (this list could go on and on but you get the idea!).

60. Snack pot

This is essentially a collection of whatever you can grab to put in your child’s designated snack pot – mini rice cakes, fruit chunks, orange segments, pretzels, broken biscuits – anything at all!

2 second grab

61. Celery, peanut butter and raisins

Slather peanut butter on sticks of celery then top with raisins – delicious every bite!

62. Ice pops

Store bought or homemade using fruit juice and water, these are the perfect ‘long’ snack for summer school days. Refreshing, tasty and hydrating.

63. Handful of nuts – pistachios, walnuts, pecans 

Older children (and those without allergies of course) may develop a preference for a particular nut. Buy bags of mixed nuts and encourage them to try new flavors and textures. Walnuts, pecans and pistachios are recognized as especially good for you and packed with antioxidants, high in fats and promote cardiac health.

64. Edamame beans

Rich in antioxidants and vitamin K they are actually a really good snack idea. An added bonus is that they can take a little while to eat, encouraging a more sedate snack time.

65. Beef jerky

Often passed over for more sugary snacks, beef jerky is well known for its health benefits – low calorie, high in protein and full of vitamins. Also, it does not need refrigeration so is a great one to keep in your handbag for snack-related emergencies!

66. Cheese sticks

Not the healthiest but by no means sinfully bad for you – grab a cheese stick from the fridge and hey presto the ‘snack!’ chants stop!

67. Handful of dried apricots

This snack will provide over 90% of the recommended daily Vitamin A requirement. A portion of just 3 or 4 is not only recognized as one of your ‘5 a day’ but also the high fiber content is an excellent constipation reliever.  

68. Hard-boiled eggs

Everyone has their own idea of how long to boil the perfect egg but I find for a medium-sized egg 8 minutes is best for a set yolk. Peel then slice or keep whole then hand to your child for a nutritious, filling and very simple snack. 

69. Celery sticks with almond butter

Who knows why these two go so well together but they do!

70. Cheese and crackers

Allow your kids to choose the cheese or stick to cheddar. This simple go-to snack will satisfy hunger pangs without the sugar rush!


An essential for any kitchen with kids: a blender. By all means use a hand-held blender but you may not achieve a smooth enough consistency without lumps for smoothies. 

71. Banana, spinach and almond milk smoothie

Simple – use up peeled ripe bananas, a large handful of baby leaf spinach and top up to the line with unsweetened almond milk.

72. Fruit smoothie

Put any fruits you like in the blender and whizz with water and a few ice cubes. A dollop of natural yogurt creates a really creamy texture. Experiment with colors and flavors.

73. Green smoothie

Avocado, baby leaf spinach, kale, cumber – you get the idea: anything green! Veggies and fruit can combine and why not pop a scoop of maca powder in for variety with some coconut water? Does it get much more superfoody than this?

74. Chocolate cherry smoothie

Simply put: blend frozen cherries with almond milk, banana and cocoa powder – already sounds delicious doesn’t it? Blend it all with ice and serve to the kids … make extra for you too!

75. Veggie smoothie

This may take a little while to perfect as kids tend to prefer a sweeter taste but start with these ingredients and build from there: carrot, apple, frozen pineapple, ice and water – blend.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best after school snacks?

The simple answer is: any snacks your kid asks for and finishes! As long as you are choosing healthy options then the rest is down to personal preference.

What are 4 useful snack tips?

  • Prioritize nutrition over calories
  • Be careful with portion sizes – this will change according to what your children have already eaten that day, what snack you have chosen for them and their age plus activity level.
  • Try to use different food groups – fruits, vegetables, pulses, whole grains.
  • Select the snack that will keep your child satisfied until dinner so try to use unrefined carbohydrates with protein e.g. 54. Apple with peanut butter.

What are the the most satisfying after school snacks?

Any snack that combines wholegrains, protein and unrefined carbohydrates such as number 8. Avocado and chicken sandwich.

What snacks are best for brain food?

A snack with berries, nuts (especially walnuts) and green vegetables (the leafier the better).

What are the current trendiest snacks?

Nuts and seeds continue to be popular plus trail mixes. Try making your own – see number 38.

What are after school snacks?

After school snacks are an important part of a child’s daily routine. They provide the necessary energy and nutrients to help children focus and stay alert during homework and after-school activities. 

Eating healthy snacks after school can also prevent overeating at dinner and curb cravings for sugary or unhealthy snacks later in the evening. 

It’s important to choose snacks high in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, as they will help sustain children’s energy levels and provide essential nutrients for growth and growth development.

My final thoughts

Finding the perfect healthy, quick and easy after school snacks for your children can be challenging! I have experimented a lot and have found that preparing some snacks in advance is the best way of ensuring your kids (and you!) don’t just resort to chocolate bars and candy. 

Have a few ideas up your sleeve and ideally have a snack ready for the moment they walk in the door – then it’s homework/reading time without the drama!

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