10 Quick and easy make-ahead snacks for the after-school rush

Feb 24, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. ET

Once you successfully get your kids out the door in the morning, you may be tempted to give yourself a big pat on the back. But hold on just a minute — your hard work isn't done yet. What are you going to feed your kids when they come home hungry after a long day of school?

The after-school rush is a parent's second biggest nightmare of the day, after the early-morning chaos we all would like to forget. One of the best ways to shut a whiny kid up after a frustrating day at school is with delicious, delicious food. Pro tip: This approach works for whiny adults too.

You can throw these satisfying after-school snacks together in less than 5 minutes and still make it to the car pool lane on time.

1. Almond butter and jelly on crackers

Almond butter

Organic almond butter, real-fruit jelly and whole-grain crackers offer a nutritious spin on the kid-favorite PB&J. Add banana slices to make this snack extra filling.

2. Ants on a log

Ants on a log

Image: Jenni Konrad/Flickr

Classic ants on a log is tasty albeit in need of an update. Try this childhood treat with a modern twist: Spread soft cheese on celery, and top with dried cranberries.

3. Apple and peanut butter sandwiches

Apple slices

Image: Pixabay

Layer thin apple slices with peanut butter, sandwich style. This handy snack will keep your kids quiet in the car with minimal mess.

4. DIY lunchables


Thank your past self for keeping a few of these homemade snack boxes in your fridge at all times.

5. Fruit skewers

Fruit skewers

Image: Pixabay

No matter what fruits you choose, fruit skewers are a convenient and delicious way to get those antioxidants.

6. Fruit smoothie


Quick to blend and easy to sip on during homework time — add kale to your kid's fruit smoothie for extra brain power.

7. Homemade trail mix

Trail mix

Image: Vegan Yack Attack!

Trail mix basically means any delicious and nutritious dried goods you can throw together in a pinch. Portion out one of these simple trail mix recipes for an after-school snack.

8. Sandwich roll-up


Reinvent your typical sandwich into a pinwheel: Start with a tortilla or wrap, spread on cream cheese, add deli meat and condiments, and roll it right up to eat on the run.

9. Yogurt parfait

Yogurt parfait

Once you get your kids home in one piece, they're going to need some protein to tide them over until dinner. This decadent yet healthy organic roasted cherry parfait can double as a snack or after-dinner treat.

10. Vegetable "sushi"

Carrot sticks

Image: Emily/Flickr

Here's a favorite from Martha Stewart's kitchen: Roll raw veggie sticks in a slice of bread, and cut into sushi-like cylinders. Your kids will love this faux sushi — hold the raw fish — served with mustard or ranch dip.

More kids' food

Mashed potato fudge is the best use of leftovers, ever!
Supermodel mom Niki Taylor shares her favorite kid snacks (VIDEO)
Kid-friendly dinner options that are healthy too