School Resources

21 No-Hassle Back to School Snacks for Kids

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Sep 13, 2021

No-prep back to school snacks

Let’s be real: prepackaged snacks are a lifesaver for busy parents who are trying to juggle work, kids, and after-school actives while still keeping everyone fed. Here’s your permission slip to stock your pantry with any, or all, of these snack items guilt-free:

1. Granola bars

set of granola bars (muesli or cereal bar) isolated on white

Keep three or four flavors of granola bars or cereal bars on hand, so kids have a variety to choose from because you know that when they’re ten bars into a 48-pack of chocolate chip, they’ll want something different.

2. Yogurt cups

Fill your fridge with a variety of calcium-rich yogurt cups in flavors your children love. Or buy family-size yogurt and portion it into small reusable lidded containers.

3. Cereal and milk

A bowl of cereal works just as great for an after-school snack as it does for breakfast.

4. Fresh fruit

Keep a variety of washed fruits like apples and berries on hand, so it’s easy for kids to grab a piece. Bananas and oranges are great because they don’t even need to be washed.

5. Deli meat and string cheese

This simple snack hits the spot with growing kids. Unwrap a piece of string cheese and then roll two or three pieces of deli meat around it and enjoy.

6. Frozen waffles

Waffle Peanut Butter Sandwich

Eat them plain or top with syrup, fresh fruit, or peanut butter. Blueberry or chocolate chip waffles are great for grab-and-go snacks on busy days.

7. Toaster Pastries

After-school snacks don’t get much easier than opening a pack of toaster pastries. They’re excellent eaten as it, and if a toaster is available, your kid can warm them up.

8. Fruit cups

An easy-to-serve snack plus a serving of fruit, it doesn’t get much better than premade fruit cups. Cups of applesauce also fit the bill, plus they come in fun flavors.

DIY back to school snacks

Snacks that require a bit of preparation are great for kids who love to cook or want to customize food to their liking. A set of kid-safe kitchen tools, plastic bowls, and measuring cups will safely help your kids safely find their groove in the kitchen:

9. Peanut butter and jelly

Classic peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches are easy and filling.

10. Turkey pinwheels

Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on a tortilla. Add a layer of sliced turkey and a layer of cheese slices. Roll up, cut into slices, and secure with toothpicks.

11. Fruit smoothies

Set of various fresh fruit smoothies isolated on white background.

Place two cups of frozen fruit in the blender and add milk, juice, or water to cover the fruit. Blend until smooth.

12. Garlic toast pizza

Heat garlic bread slices for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni slices. Return to oven and make for five minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Substitute other meats and veggies to fit your tastes.

13. Walking tacos

Crush a single serving size bag of Doritos, add some taco meat, salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream, and you’ve got yourself a delicious taco with less mess.

14. Chips and dip

Whether you like plain potato chips and onion dip, pita chips with hummus, or tortilla chips and salsa, chips and dip are must-haves for your pantry.

Back to school snacks to make in bulk

Making back-to-school treats in bulk means healthier options plus a happier wallet. Schedule an hour or two on the weekend to shop for and prepare a few batches of snacks for the kids (and you!) to enjoy during the week:

15. Muffins

Use up old bananas or the last bit of frozen blueberries to make muffins on the weekend. You can store the muffins in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 months.

16. Frozen grapes

A bunch of green and red grapes.

For an icy-cool treat that’s not ice cream, keep a container of frozen grapes on hand. Wash grapes and let them drip dry. Freeze on a cookie sheet for five hours or until solid. Transfer to resealable containers or individual bags so kids can help themselves when they get home from school.

17. Monster cookie energy bites

Try this no-bake twist on a favorite cookie. Mix 3 cups of quick-cooking oats, one cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup honey, and 1/2 cup mini M&M candies. Roll into balls and store in an air-tight container. Energy bites freeze well, so make a double or triple batch, to always have some on hand. Instead of peanut butter, you can use another nut butter. Also, feel free to swap out the candy for coconut flakes, almond slivers, dried cranberries, or chia seeds to make them a bit healthier.

18. Hard-boiled eggs

Tide the kids over until dinner with a protein-rich egg. On the weekend, hard boil a dozen eggs and keep them in the fridge for a grab-and-go snack that will last all week (or until they’ve been gobbled up).

19. Snack mix

Use your family’s favorite ingredients to make a bulk batch of snack mix. Portion it into zip-top sandwich bags. Make your own snack mix by combining about one cup of any of the following: Chex cereal, pretzels, Goldfish crackers, peanuts, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, cheese crackers, mini marshmallows, sliced almonds, large coconut flakes, popcorn, or dried fruit.

20. Frozen yogurt cups

A healthier alternative to ice cream bars, frozen yogurt cups can be made in large batches and stored in the freezer for  2 months. You need just two ingredients: yogurt and fruit pieces—line muffin tins and place 2 tablespoons of yogurt in each cup. Add a piece of fruit. Top with another 2 tablespoons of yogurt and a piece of fruit. Freeze for 5 hours or until solid. Store in a large plastic freezer container. You can use whatever flavor combos your kids love, and feel free to get fancy and add some chopped nuts or coconut flakes. When taken to school, they’ll thaw before lunchtime.

21. Frozen banana pops

Frozen chocolate dipped banana pops with an assortment of sprinkles, nuts and coconut.

Cut peeled bananas in half and put a popsicle stick inside. Cover with a thin layer of nut butter. Dip in melted chocolate and sprinkle chopped peanuts, coconut flakes, or granola bits on top. Freeze until firm (about 5 hours) and store in the freezer in zip-top freezer bags for a healthy sweet treat after school gets out.

Back to school snacks

Are you ready to make some of these back-to-school snacks but do not have time to run to the store?  Let an Instacart shopper help. Place your order, and it can be ready for pick-up in 2 hours, or get it delivered right to your door! This will be a gamechanger in how getting it all done during the school year.

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