50 Healthy Snacks for Kids After School that require NO prep

Are you looking for healthy snacks for kids after school? Something that doesn’t involve making cute googly eye insects out of apples or cutting sandwiches into butterflies.

No, you are not crazy for not wanting to do that. Let’s attack this issue of kid snacks before dinner guilt-free.

I so need quick and healthy after school snacks for my kids! These 50 ideas need no recipe. Also includes a free printable list of all 50 snacks. This makes afternoons so easy!

I swear… perusing Pinterest for healthy snacks for kids makes me feel like an awful mom.

All these cute little creations that obviously take loads of mom time – when I can barely keep the kitchen floor clean and throw a frozen meal into the instant pot for dinner.

I’m not putting candy eyes on a strawberry – I’m just not.

Nor will I parade junk food (I’m looking at you pizza sticks) as healthy just because my kids would love it.

Just yesterday, as I researched this post my nine-year-old daughter looked over my shoulder and searched the after school snacks on pinterest.

Everything from pizza sticks to chicken fingers…

She actually said, “Why can’t you be like these other moms and feed me pizza after school?”

I just stared. Ooh…that crossed the line.

Thankfully (for her)… she was joking.

But what do we do as moms? Do kids really need to snack? How do we handle it if they are hungry before dinner but we don’t want them gorging on junk food?

That’s why we need a list of quick, easy and healthy after school snacks for kids. Snacks that require zero prep and will satisfy our kids hunger without them wanting more.

What makes a healthy kid snack before dinner?

Many snacks for kids are loaded with extra sugar. While they might taste good, they make kids crave more and more – leaving them unsatisfied and irritable.

The foods on this list are low and sugar and most are high in protein.

To keep kids satisfied mix and match fruit with a cheese or meat. This will keep them fuller for longer as well as provide the optimal nutrient balance.

Healthy Snacks for Kids After School – The Complete List

  1. Apples
  2. Apple slices in a bag
  3. Clementines
  4. Bananas
  5. Grapes
  6. String cheese
  7. Turkey slices
  8. Plain yogurt with fresh berries
  9. Peanut butter on whole wheat bread
  10. Peanut butter with sugar free jelly on whole wheat bread
  11. Hummus and carrot sticks
  12. Frozen grapes
  13. Turkey and cheese rolled up
  14. Whole wheat tortilla with hummus
  15. Whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter
  16. Smoothie (blend milk and fruit)
  17. Applesauce packets
  18. Mandarin oranges in 100% real juice
  19. Pita bread
  20. 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt mixed with 2 TBS PBFIT powder
  21. Apple slices with peanut butter
  22. Microwave Popcorn (something low-fat like SmartPop)
  23. Almonds
  24. Carrots and guacamole
  25. Pear
  26. Pistachios
  27. Pita bread with tzatziki
  28. Baked goldfish crackers
  29. Cheerios (go with plain, the other flavors will start sugar cravings
  30. Mini Babybel cheese
  31. Blueberries with Light Cool whip
  32. Cherries (I pit mine with a cherry pitter)
  33. Black bean dip with baked tortilla chips
  34. Pretzels
  35. Edamame
  36. Sweet red pepper
  37. cucumbers
  38. Cantaloupe
  39. Raspberries
  40. A hard boiled egg
  41. Raisins
  42. Whole grain crackers
  43. Ants on a log with cream cheese or peanut butter (this is as far as cute snack as I’ll go)
  44. Frozen grapes
  45. Cooked shrimp
  46. Cheddar cheese
  47. Sugar-free popsicle
  48. Baked apple chips
  49. Chocolate hummus with fruit
  50. Pre-packaged peanut butter crackers
  51. Raisin bread

Tons of options right? And absolutely no googley eyes required.

Hungry before dinner? Here you go…

Some other tips I’ve found that help when kids are hungry before dinner are:

The fruit bowl – We have two bowls of fruit on our kitchen table. One is filled with apples and clementines, the other with grapes. We found that when our kids (and we) see the fruit, we’re more likely to choose it as a snack.

I so need quick and healthy after school snacks for my kids! These 50 ideas need no recipe. Also includes a free printable list of all 50 snacks. This makes afternoons so easy!

The snack shelf – This is completely self serve and stocked only with items I’m ok with the kids eating.

Everything else we keep on the appropriate shelf in the fridge and our kids ask before taking one.

Usually, I stop all kid snacks an hour prior to dinner. I find that it the optimal amount of time for them to come to the table hungry.

Do kids really need to snack?

One healthy snack immediately after school should satisfy kids before dinner. As long as they choose something off this list and don’t have access to anything additional – I find that my children will eat their meal without much prodding or complaining.

Kid snacks do not have to be complicated. You don’t have to go to any extreme effort to get them to eat.

Know that kids will eat healthy when they are hungry. If they aren’t hungry for a piece of fruit, they’re not really hungry.

I know how persuasive they can be and how guilty moms can feel. But trust me, you do not have to make Pinterest worthy after school snacks.

You got this!

JoAnn Crohn

CEO/Founder at No Guilt Mom
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator and life coach who helps moms feel confident in raising empowered, self-sufficient kid while pursuing their own goals & passions.

She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker who appears in national media. Work with her personally in Balance VIP

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  1. Hi! This list sounds absolutely great! I love many of the ideas and I am with you on getting kids to eat healthier after school. We do the bowl of fruit on the table too and they do eat it if they see it.

    I tried to get the list emailed to me, but it wouldn’t work, after I entered my email and my name, a page came up that said, The page I am looking for is not found. I tried a couple of times. I would really love the list cause it has so many great snacks listed!

    Thanks so much!

    1. Never mind I suppose. I just checked my email and it was there…and since I tried a couple of times, it was there twice! 🙂

      I don’t know why the page came up like that when I entered my info. Weird. Anyway, I got the list and it will be making it’s way to my fridge soon!

      Thanks Again! 🙂

      1. That is odd that it did that. I’ll check and see what’s going on. Thanks for the heads up! (And I’m glad you got the list!)

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