After School Snack Bar
September 13, 2018

After School Snack Bar

After School Snacks

It’s that time of year when the kids go back to school and “order” seems like it’s about to snap into gear when you realize, it’s you that snaps it back into gear.  Once school begins, more concrete schedules and daily check-lists become reliable to employ.  You have home work check-lists, reading check-lists, lunches packed, check, cute notes included, check, chores list and more.

Food is always central to planning any day, whether for your kids or your whole family.  With school starting and the weather changing, lets take some time to put together some easy, healthy and fun snacks and snack bars for your kids to enjoy whether you’re home when they arrive or a few hours off.  You’ll feel good knowing your kids enjoyed a fun and healthy snack, risk free of cooking or cutting.

When considering what to provide as snacks, we keep you in mind Mom.  We try and keep all the prep work out of the kids’ hands to minimalize the clean-up.  Accidents happen – they happen more in little hands.   We also try and find varied food in food preferences and colors as we also understand the picky littles.

Let’s start out with some basics that stand the test of time, first up, Kids Charcuterie.  This snack hits on many pluses for easy clean-up, finger foods that don’t require utensils.  Disposable paper boats make for fun for the kids to fill up so they can have their own plate to pick among.

Kids Charcuterie Foods

You will need to portion your foods appropriately for the number of children you are feeding. If this is a plate for one, of course keep this in mind when shopping.  Plenty of these items will be found in your refrigerator without pause.  As well as you can adjust these items to your children’s likings.

Cheddar Cheese

String Cheese

Laughing Cow Cheese Wheel (Your kids’ fave flavor)

Beef Jerky (your preference of processed beef stick or dehydrated)

Summer Sausage

Cantaloupe

Apples

Hummus (home-made recipe available below)

Chocolate Dip (home-made recipe available below)

Crackers of choice

Pretzels

Preparation:  Take your cheddar cheese and slice it in to ½” slices.  Use small shape cutters for dough to cut cute shapes. If you don’t have small cookie cutters, go ahead and free hand your flowers and hearts.  Try your hand at X and O’s as well.  Next take your string cheese and cut it into 3 equal pieces making them 3 mini sticks.  Use one full string cheese stick per child.  And your Laughing Cow cheese is fine in its little foil wrapper. It has the easy red-pull string that a 7-year-old can open.

Next you have your meat products.  If you choose Beef Sticks over the traditional jerky, cut this with kitchen scissors as you did your string cheese.  Cut it into 3 equal sizes and you have child size beef sticks.  Should you go the traditional dehydrated style Beef Jerky, then cut your jerky into small enough pieces for your kids to safely chew.  And finally, your Summer Sausage, sometimes consumed as a Beef Pop, but for today will be Beef Pizza Wedges.  Cut your sausage into an inch-thick wedge.  Now stack 2 or 3 and cut into wedges by slicing across the whole circle in 4 different angles, producing 8 wedges per slice of Summer Sausage.

And onto your fruit…Cantaloupe is fun in melon balls shape and can easily ball a half a melon in 15 minutes.  Or if you are strapped for time and want to get a few big slices, go for it and cut into manageable sizes for the littles.  And for your apple, use your traditional apple wedge slicer and corer to get the perfect wedges for dunking or simply to east that crisp wedge naked.  Green or red, pending your little’s preferences.

You can get yourself some store-bought hummus if it’s easier.  Though I prefer home made hummus and find it pretty simple to make, myself.  This way you can make it to your flavor preference.  Get can of garbanzo beans, spices to taste, olive oil and your mini-counter top mixer.   My favorite includes plenty of garlic (1 clove minced), salt and pepper, and Italian spices to taste with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add some color interest with a dash of rainbow sprinkles and your kids will love chick peas, if they’re anything like my confetti loving kids.

Chocolate Dip, you can prepare this simple recipe by making chocolate pudding and adding 2 cups of cool whip.  Mix thoroughly for your kids dunking pleasure.  In absence of this, Nutella is a great replacement.

Assemble all of the above items in a sealed and refrigerated container.  Keep servings of crackers and pretzels (store bought – lets not get crazy) in dry storage that’s easily accessible to the kids.  They’re probably used to snack bags by now.

Now when they arrive home after a day at school, they have a fun Kids Charcuterie board waiting for them. This is also a fantastic idea for when your littles have an after-school guest.

FUN Face Sammies

While playing with your food is not encouraged as we raise these littles to be good, rule following and properly social adults, sometimes it’s part of the program.  Decorating your food to be visually appealing is something that hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on annually in the culinary arts.  Though for our littles, we will make it inexpensive and FUN to create faces on their after school sandwich.  You may find this encourages your kids to choose ingredients they may normally not voluntarily put on their plate; bright and colorful fruits and vegetables.

Kids snacks can be fun when you let them use a snack bar to prep.

FUN Face Food List

2 Slices of bread per child

Cold cuts: turkey, ham or roast beef

Jack Cheese

Cheddar Cheese

Carrots, thinly sliced

1 Hard-boiled egg per child

1 Cucumber

A few broccoli heads (can be used as hair décor)

A cup of olives

Fall Snack Mix

Rice Chex Cereal

Candy Corn

Chocolate Chips

Raisins

Nut of choice (My kids like almonds)

Pretzel Sticks

Mini Marshmallows

FUN Face Sammies Inspiration

Kids snacks inspiration.