It’s 3pm, your child came back from school not long ago and is starving. You have a stash of “healthy” wholemeal biscuits or plain crackers available, but you don’t want to resort to that all the time. You see full-time mums come up with elaborate afternoon tea snacks for their kids on Instagram. Not everyone has the time for that, you think, as you plate some crackers and pour out a glass of milk. All the “snack ideas for kids” you see out there on the internet are so time-consuming.
I hear you. And I’ve got some better options for you.
Afternoon tea snacks are something I’ve always looked forward to, as a child coming home from school. Sometimes it’s just a bread bun, but other times, it’s a savoury mini “meal” or a refreshing salad on a hot day. I look back at those times with fond memories. It made me realise the effort my mum put in just to make sure I didn’t go hungry. That’s why I think it’s worth putting in just a little bit of time to fix up a snack for kids.
You can do it too. I know time can be a limiting factor so I’ve made sure these snack ideas for kids are kept to just 3 ingredients. As you scroll through them, you may realise that some may require more time than others—simply save those for the weekends! Also, they do not all have quantities; you can easily adjust them to the age and activity level of your child, and the amount of food you think they need. These are designed to be quick and easy throw-together snacks, so don’t be too fussed about an exact recipe.
I hope your kids enjoy them as much as I would’ve, as a child.
1. Ants on a log
This always fascinates younger kids. Chop a length of celery up into 3-inch pieces. Fill the concave of the celery with some peanut butter and place raisins, the “ants”, on the peanut butter.
2. Tomato baked eggs
Grab a bunch of tomatoes, cut them in half and remove the seeds. Then, pour some egg into the hollow of the tomato halves you’ve created and top with shredded cheese. Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes.
3. Chocolate avocado mousse
Blend together ½ an avocado, 2 tsps of cocoa powder, and 1 tsp of honey until smooth. Serve immediately or after refrigeration, if your child prefers a cold mousse! To make this look more appealing, you may pipe the mousse out using a piping bag.
4. Peanut butter banana toast
On a slice of toast, spread some peanut butter and top it with sliced bananas. For extra deliciousness, heat it up in a toaster oven for 4-5 minutes until bananas become soft and gooey. This is so basic, but is one of my favourite snack ideas for kids.
5. Crunchy cucumbers
My mum used to make these for my sister and I; they make a refreshing treat for a hot day. Roughly chop up some cucumbers and sprinkle some sesame oil and soy sauce over them. Give the mixture a stir and serve chilled.
6. “Apple pie” oats
Mix ¼ cup of oats, ¼ cup of chopped apples, and ¾ cup of milk in a cup. Microwave on high for about 3-4 minutes (checking in and stirring at 1-minute intervals so the mixture doesn’t spill over) until oats are cooked through and creamy. For extra flavour, and if you’d be so inclined to a 4th ingredient, add in a dash of cinnamon powder to really get that “apple pie” fragrance.
7. Crunchy “pizza” slices
On some plain crackers, place on each a slice of tomato followed by a slice of cheese. Heat them in a toaster oven for about 4 minutes until the cheese melts.
8. Fruit salad
This one’s so easy you can even get your kids to mix and match ingredients. In a bowl, combine a variety of chopped fruits, and top with 2 tbsps of plain yoghurt and 1 tbsp of nuts.
9. Shiny carrot soldiers
Cut up some carrot sticks and toss them in olive oil with a dash of paprika. Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 10-15 minutes.
10. Berry-creamy crumble
In a small bowl, add in ¼ cup of fresh/frozen berries (you may use strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mixture of all) and top them with 2 tablespoons of vanilla-flavoured yoghurt. Then, take a sweet biscuit and crumble it over the yoghurt.
11. Chocolate peanut butter “ice cream”
If you haven’t hopped on the frozen banana “ice cream” bandwagon yet, you probably should! Blend together 1 frozen overripe banana (previously chopped into pieces and frozen), 1 tbsp of peanut butter, and 1 tbsp of cocoa powder. Serve immediately before it melts!
12. Surprise popcorn
In a paper bag, put in 1 tbsp of raw corn kernels. Microwave on high heat for 1-2 minutes; the kernels should start popping at increasing intervals. Once the popping becomes more sporadic, it should be done. Toss the popped corn in some melted butter and sprinkle in a “surprise” topping. It may be some cinnamon powder, salt, sugar, honey, paprika, or grated parmesan!
13. Peppery tomatoes
In a bowl, mix together cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and some black pepper. Serve it chilled as a quick pre-dinner salad! This is probably one of the fastest snack ideas for kids. When you have really fresh, sweet, and juicy cherry tomatoes, that’s all you need!
14. Corn on the cob
This is another one of my favourites from my childhood. Rub some softened butter over an ear (or half, if you’re feeding a younger child) of corn, and sprinkle some salt over it. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 35-40 minutes.
15. Cucumber and cheese sandwiches
These are pretty self-explanatory, but makes for a tasty and refreshing snack. Sandwich thin slices of cucumber and a slice of cheese between 2 slices of bread. Cheddar cheese adds a nice, sharp flavour while cream cheese makes for a moister sandwich.
16. Traffic light slushie
This is a great way to get some fruits into your child’s day. Simply blend green, orange, and red fruits separately. Then, layer them one on top of the other in a clear glass so it looks like a traffic light! Some fruits for each colour include:
- Red: raspberries, watermelon, grapefruit, strawberries, cherries
- Yellow/orange: oranges, papaya, cantaloupe, mango, persimmons, nectarines
- Green: kiwi, avocado, or skinned apples with a handful of spinach/mint
If you have time, freeze them as popsicle sticks!
17. Roasted pumpkin slice
Slice pumpkin into wedges. Drizzle some honey over them, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes.
18. Miso seaweed soup
This makes for a nice savoury snack on a rainy/winter day. In a pot, simply mix a cup of water, 1 tbsp of miso paste, 1/3 cup of chopped silken tofu and ¼ cup of seaweed. Bring the mixture to boil and serve immediately.
In a transparent glass, layer muesli, yoghurt, and chopped fruits. Offer your child a choice of fruits, or get them to make it themselves!
20. Surprise French toast
Kids love surprises, so this is another one with an element of surprise. It is also something my mum used to make for us. First, put together multiple sandwiches with different fillings each, such as peanut butter, jam, cheese, or honey. Then, cut each sandwich into 4 triangles. Coat each triangle entirely with egg and pan fry it like you would a French toast. From the outside, they all look the same, but the filling is a surprise!
You can make many of these at one time, cool them down, and then freeze them. This way, your child can simply pop some of these in the toaster after school whenever they like.
That sums it up. These are some of my favourite snack ideas for kids, and I hope they inspire you to try them out at home. Where a snack calls for salt or sugar, along with its alternatives like soy sauce or honey, try to use them sparingly. Kids should be exposed to the natural tastes of food without these condiments overpowering the dish. This helps them develop more sensitive taste buds and reduces cravings for foods high in salt or sugar in future.
Get your kids involved in the process of preparing these too. Not only does it save you some time, it also empowers them to start preparing their own snacks as they grow older. Kids also have a vivid imagination, so getting them involved may also spark some interesting food combinations that they enjoy!