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The Best After-School Snacks For Kids
It feels so great when you open your fridge/freezer/pantry and see it’s stocked and full of great options. Unfortunately, that never seems to last very long! The rate most of us burn through food is consistently shocking. It feels like another full-time job keeping the family fed. While some might think that
buying snacks for kids is easy, finding options that are healthy, balanced, and tasty can be surprisingly difficult.
With that in mind we’ve put together the below list of after-school snacks for kids that are all around children and parent-pleasers. So stock up to cut down on those supermarket runs and late-night online food orders.
More Snack Ideas:
The Best After-School Snacks
If you're a fan of
Shark Tank (who isn't?), you might recognize Ka-pop! Snacks and their healthy take on Cheetos. Since appearing on the show last year they've added a bunch of top 12 allergen-free new products and flavors, all of which kids will love.
Whisps Parmesan and Cheddar Snack Packs
These single serving
bags of Whisps are perfect for school lunches and after-school snacks. Made with 100% real cheese and baked (versus fried), they're high in protein, low in carbs and sugar-free.
Very Good Dog
Very Good Dog makes plant-based "meat" options that not only taste good, but are actually healthy (fact: most meat alternatives are loaded with chemicals and preservatives). They're also flavorful enough that you don't need to load them with sauces and dressings, making them perfect for a quick after-school option.
GOOD PLANeT Foods
just launched snackable plant-based cheese wedges perfect for throwing into a lunchbox along with some crackers (we love the new ones from GOOD PLANeT Foods Pipcorn...more below!). Trust us when we say the kiddos - and you - won't be missing Laughing Cow.
You might know
Pipcorn from their appearance on Shark Tank a few years ago when they impressed with their mini "popcorn" that doesn't get stuck in your teeth. The brand has since massively expanded and they now make a variety of snacking options, including sustainably made crackers (they're made by upcycling leftover corn flour). They're (watch out!) addictively good on their own, but even better with a schmear of cheese.
Rule Breaker Snacks
We've tried a bunch of avocado and chickpea-based sweets as they've become more and more trendy. They pretty much always, in our humble opinion, taste bad.
Rule Breaker Snacks is an exception. Their chickpea brownies and blondies are rich, gooey and actually satisfying, while packing in protein and fiber. Plus, with bright packaging and fun flavors like Birthday Cake, kids will never suspect they're not having a classic treat.
Freeli makes after-school snack pouches - think chicken noodle or burrito bowl - that only take 45 seconds in the microwave and can be eaten straight out of the pouch. All of the options have low to no sugar, 11-15 grams of protein and no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The only thing to watch out for is that some of the options are high in sodium.
Navitas is an OG in the organic snacking space and they continue to make some of the best and cleanest products. A family fave are their Power Snacks, which now come in portable 3-bite packs. They've got no added sugar or artificial ingredients, but they'll still satisfy a sweet tooth (the sugar in them is naturally occurring from ingredients like dates).
Leave it to
Rao's to come out with some of the best after-school options on the market. From pasta and pasta sauces, to frozen meals kids will love like Chicken Parm and Meat Lasagna. Speaking of frozen meals, unlike most competitors ingredients are all recognizable and top notch - no funky fillers, preservatives or chemicals.
If you want to arm your kids with the coolest snacks in their class checkout
Bokksu, a brand that partners with snack producers throughout Japan. They have a subscription service and an online marketplace to buy "a la carte." We are totally obsessed with their matcha Kit-Kats. Also it's worth noting that Japanese "junk food" tends to be lower in sugar than the American counterparts.
If you want to give the kids something home-made, but don't have the time,
TruEats is a wonderful middle ground. They make low-sugar, protein- and fiber-rich brownie and muffin mixes that are easy to make, but taste just like their from-scratch counterparts.
When given the option, it's always best to opt for whole fruits or smoothies where whole fruits are used so that the kiddos get fiber. When you juice fruit you're mostly getting water and sugar - and store bought options tend to be worse as they are usually also loaded in added sugar. If you must opt for a ready-made juice, checkout
Juicy Juice as they have no sugar added options.
makes better-for-you versions of popular junk foods like M&Ms and Snickers. Again, not healthy, but healthier than what the kids would otherwise be reaching for and they're actually more delicious than the originals they're "knocking off." UNREAL
Watch out for the sodium in some of
Prime Roots options, but other than that the food options are sure to get the kid stamp of approval for after-school noshing. We also love their Plant-Based Bacon Crumbles to top salads or put in the family morning omelettes.
Artisan Tropic makes allergen-friendly cassava and plantain chips. The ingredients are simple (only three!), so while they're not high in nutrients, fiber or protein, they're a heck of a lot "cleaner" than run-of-the-mill potato chips and just as satisfyingly crunchy and salty.
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