Having picky eaters at home can be tough, but it seems to be a very common thing among families. We often hear that picky eating is just a phase that kids will grow out of and that it's best to keep introducing new foods a few times in a row before allowing a kid to say, "Nope, I'm not into that," and moving on. But they can't always have it their way, can they?
Parents want their kids to eat as healthy as possible without much fuss, and who knows, if they start eating healthy at a young age, maybe that will continue on in their pre-teens and young adult lives. Although most kids love their chicken fingers and fries (who doesn't!), it's important they eat their greens and fruits, too. So what do parents do when their child's love for fried food overpowers their need for nutrients? Some parents can aim for healthy after-school snacks or even try new healthy recipes together as a family. Introducing these small, healthy snacks might just be a parent's ticket to them wanting more of the good stuff and less of the packaged stuff.
These 25 after school snacks will appeal to super picky eaters (and adults, too!).
Most children love granola bars, right? It's one of those quick meals on-the-go kinda thing. They're just a handy snack since they are so portable. Kids can bring them in their lunch box and they can also enjoy them as an after school snack once they get home.
These Apricot Sunflower Granola Bars from My Second Breakfast sound so good (and the picture is gorgeous enough to lick). Since kids love granola bars, these made-at-home bars are a healthier option than those packaged ones that last years on a shelf.
Energy balls are an awesome healthy snack. They are so simple to carry around and it couldn't be easier to give your child one or two of these when they get home from school when their tummy is rumbling.
These No Bake Chocolate Banana Energy Balls are from Julie's Eats & Treats and sound so good. With ingredients like chocolate, bananas, coconut flakes, peanut butter, vanilla (and more), what's not to like? It's a delicious combination that kids are sure to love.
Banana bread is something that all kids, even the pickiest ones, can be super excited about. Of course, most of us banana lovers are thrilled when someone pulls a warm loaf out of the oven. The slices are always so fluffy and filled with flavor (especially when topped with more bananas and maybe some peanut butter or nuts)!
This vegan recipe from Oh She Glows calls for bananas, walnuts, nut milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. And I don't know about you, but I can smell it now!
Every kid loves a good piece of candy (or five). Why else do you think Halloween is such a hit?!
Candy is, no doubt, delicious, but it's definitely not be the best snack to have after school. That's where this amazing recipe comes in. These Four-Ingredient Fruit Snacks from And What I Ate are both amazing and also healthy, so you'll feel good about giving them to your children. You'll need gelatin, honey, and fruit. That's it! Step aside Jolly Ranchers, we have our own candies now.
Cookies seem to always be something that children want to eat. That's just a fact. So why not make some healthy cookies in your kitchen and give them to your kid as a snack?
As a bonus, you can enjoy some, too.
These Chewy Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies from How Sweet Eats are a great snack idea for a few reasons: they're cookies and therefore appealing to children and, oh yeah, they have zucchini in them. If your kids aren't super on board with vegetables yet, this is a cool way to introduce them.
I don't know about you, but I have learned so much from Pinterest. It's a go-to source if I want to plan a wedding, find some cute new outfit ideas, decorate the house for a birthday or Christmas party, and, of course, find some dinner and meal inspiration.
This snack board would be an amazing after school snack for children. All we have to do is create a fun board covered in fruits, veggies, and dipping sauces. This is a fun idea since we can customize it to what our child loves and make it a little fun.
Peanut butter is one of the greatest spreads, is it not? Sure, we might have fallen for almond butter these days since it's become a popular trend lately, but chances are, peanut butter is still your best friend and goes with just about anything sweet.
These Peanut Butter Energy Balls from Deliciously Ella for after school snacks are the perfect snack. Combined of coconut oil, peanut butter, roasted peanuts, dates, and oats, these are a sweet and nutritious ball of fun.
Does your kid like vegetables? Some kids have no problem eating them and others are totally freaked out by the very thought, and when something is green, it's even worse. If your kid is a picky eater, they most likely aren't big on vegetables.
However, Lil' Luna has this recipe for Cucumber Sandwiches and they are absolutely child-friendly. Filled with protein, dairy, and veggies, these tiny cucumber, ham, and cheese sandwiches are fun without the bread. Plus, they're bite size to fit in your child's hands.
No one can resist potato chips. Crispy, crunchy, salty... They are just so good — it's impossible to just have one! Personally, I know I can say that I'm not going to eat them and then there I am, eating a whole bowl... It happens to the best of us!
Making homemade potato chips is a fun project and can be a cool way to get your picky eater into the kitchen and seeing it as an enjoyable moment. Try these BBQ Sweet Potato Chips from Making It With Danielle , where you can eat as many as your kids do. Made with just sliced sweet potatoes and seasoning, these are chips you won't feel bad eating.
You can be sure that no child is going to turn down the chance to enjoy a sweet, juicy blueberry muffin. It's the greatest kind of muffin there is! Okay, okay, some of us might be thinking that lemon poppyseed or banana chocolate chip is the best kind. But blueberry is a classic and seems like something that picky eaters would still be into.
These Blueberry Muffins from The Movement Menu are both vegan and gluten-free. They're great if your children have food allergies or if you want a healthier snack option for them. Made with some pretty simple ingredients like almond flour, blueberries, and coconut oil (and more), these are pretty easy to make, too!
Peanut butter cookies are something that most of all ate as children. They are just one of those foods that kids tend to love. They are crunchy or soft, depending on the recipe, and just so peanut buttery and amazing.
This recipe for Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies from This Grandma Is Fun! sounds like a really good option for an after school snack. Most kids like to feel needed and helpful, so why not make these together? Grab the peanut butter and hit the kitchen!
You won't have to ask your kid more than once if they would like to try this smoothie. Chocolate and peanut butter? They will be so excited to drink it and will absolutely ask for seconds. Just make sure you have enough ingredients on deck.
Fraiche Nutrition has a great recipe for this Chia Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie and it's got chia seeds, cocoa powder, peanut butter, milk (or nut milk), frozen bananas, and ice! BOOM — that's it! All you have to do is blend it together and your child has a filling and healthy midday snack.
Eggs tend to be something that even picky eaters love to eat, which is great for parents because they're simple, quick, and nutritious.
If kids love both eggs and muffins, putting those two things together sounds like the perfect after school snack. Try these Frittata Muffins from How to Eat.
These have mushrooms, red pepper, thyme, cheese, and sound so yummy. You might want to make extra so you can enjoy some, too, and then your kid will want to eat all of the ones that you made, so you'll have to make even more.
If kids like granola bars, then they're gonna like granola. It's crunchy and can be really fun to eat. Sometimes it seems like making food more enjoyable is the best way to tackle having a picky eater in your house. At the very least, you'll have more fun making snacks and meals for them.
This Healthy Granola from Fablunch would make a great snack to give your kids when they are done with school for the day. It's got coconut oil, rolled oats, almonds, vanilla, cinnamon, and other good stuff in it to make you super glad that you decided to bake some granola.
Ice cream is undeniably yummy and so is nice cream (aka the dairy-free version of it). It's easy to make at home and it's also very easy to feed to children since they're not going to turn their noses up when they are faced with a sweet bowl of goodness.
This Vanilla Acai And Cacao Protein Banana Nice Cream from Casey's Wholesome Kitchen sounds delicious and looks incredibly good. You'll make two types of nice cream for this recipe and add toppings. You could for sure get your kids involved and have them choose toppings to put on their own bowl, too.
It seems like children really love variety. Well, we all love variety because otherwise, our meals become really boring and we wonder why we're even trying to eat healthy at all. When we're trying to get children to eat different foods and they tend to be more picky than not, a trail mix recipe could become their new favorite snack.
This Healthy Banana Split Trail Mix from Veggie Balance has a lot of sweet, crunchy things that children will definitely enjoy. It's an interesting snack since there are different flavors and textures. It's filled with cashews, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, banana chips, dried strawberries and pineapple, and diary-free chocolate chips!
Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups sound amazing and this recipe from A Few Shortcuts have just two ingredients: fruit and honey (or another sweetener). Yes. It's true — just two ingredients and you have yourself a DIY Fruit Roll-Up.
Kids love the packaged Fruit Roll-Ups and, well, we do, too, don't we? We all probably have fond memories of them since they were a staple of many childhoods. Making some homemade ones that are really good for your kids and only have some healthy sweetener and fruit is going to be a lot of fun. Plus, your children will be thrilled, and that's always the end goal.
Avocado toast is one of the trendiest things that we could make these days, and adding a fried egg to it is a great, easy way to add protein and make it a snack or a meal. It can work for any time of day as well, which is always a good thing.
If your kid is really picky, they might like a snack that is a bit outside of the box and more exciting than a handful of cereal or a piece of fruit. A nice piece of crunchy toast, some creamy mashed avocado, a fried egg; it sounds like a dream snack for any of us and it's very possible that your picky eater will love it, too.
These Blueberry Porridge Squares on Deliciously Ella's website are a guest post from Livia's Kitchen, and they would make an awesome after school snack for kids.
First of all, blueberry oatmeal is the best, and second of all, blueberry oatmeal squares sound like dessert... and we all love dessert. Kids definitely love dessert and have most likely never met something sugar-filled that they didn't like.
The good news is these are healthy and have maple syrup instead of white or brown refined sugar.
Smoothies can be a good way to get picky eaters to, well, eat something (or drink something, as the case might be). They are easy to make and tasty to drink.
Kids love orange juice and that might be part of their daily breakfast routine. This Immunity Boosting Orange Smoothie from Kristine's Kitchen seems like something that children would absolutely love. It has vanilla, mango, and banana, and it's such a gorgeous orange color that you'll have a great time blending the ingredients into a smoothie and giving it to your little one.
Pinterest to the rescue again! This toast idea comes from the popular social media website and it seems like something that children would dare to try.
Kids love eating toast since it's easy to eat and they can hold it in their hands, right? And when toast is made in a different way than just butter or jelly — it can seem exciting for your little one. While it's not everyday a child munches on figs, it's a great time to introduce them to figs while on a spread of peanut butter toast.
When I think of a traditional breakfast for children, my mind goes straight to cereal — mainly because it's what I ate growing up. Kids love a bowl of cereal and milk, maybe with some fruit on top.
It seems only logical to make a kid-friendly after school snack that combines both fruit and cereal then. This recipe from All Bran is a Dried Fruit And Cereal Bar. Sweet, crunchy, crispy: that's definitely snack perfection. These are very similar to a granola bar and since children tend to be big fans of granola bars, this is a great snack idea.
Have you heard of nice cream or given it a try? It's ice cream made from bananas (or other fruit) and it's a non-dairy dessert that vegans, vegetarians, or those with food allergies really enjoy.
It goes without saying that children love ice cream (we all do), so this nice cream recipe from Nutrition Facts will thrill them.
It's got strawberries and bananas—which are sweet fruits that are definitely kid friendly— and it also has vanilla and almond butter. Yum. Make sure to save a few scoops for yourself.
These Apple Muffin Tops from Karen's Vegan Kitchen would make another perfect after school snack for your kids.
It's hard not to love muffin tops. They are sweet and delicious and, let's face it, the best part of the muffin. When I think of typical snacks for kids, an apple is one of them because it tends to be a child-friendly fruit, along with bananas and oranges. It seems like picky eaters would be totally cool with chowing down on these muffin tops since they are apple flavored with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
When it comes to the kinds of breakfasts that many children love, oatmeal is at the top of the list. It's easy to add banana or peanut butter to it, which are other foods that many kids enjoy eating, and it's just a comforting thing to eat in the colder months.
Applesauce is also something that children love, and combining oatmeal and applesauce into a muffin—like this recipe from Making Healthier Decisions—is a great idea. This recipe also includes blueberries, so if your kid loves those, this will be even more of a home run.
References: My Second Breakfast, Julie's Eats & Treats, Oh She Glows, And What I Ate, How Sweet Eats, Deliciously Ella, Lil' Luna, Making It With Danielle, How to Eat, Fraiche Nutrition, ThisGrandmaIsFun, The Movement Menu, Fablunch, Casey's Wholesome Kitchen, Veggie Balance, A Few Shortcuts, Deliciously Ella, Kristine's Kitchen, All Bran, Karen's Vegan Kitchen,