“Variety is the spice of life” is a bit of a tired saying, but there is some truth to it, especially when it comes to after-school snacks. Just like adults, kids can get bored of eating the same thing, even if “bored” actually means, “I loved this for two days, but now I NEVER want to see it again.” So, what’s a parent to do?
Here’s an idea: Stock your pantry with an array of tasty, fun, and affordable snacks that are super low effort. To help you choose, we’ve curated snacks in different categories so you can mix-and-match weekly based on your kids’ food preferences, dietary needs, and, well, just how picky they are (we even included some prepackaged options that are still wholesome). The best part is, you can find them all at ALDI—the grocery store carries a seemingly endless supply of organic fruit, pretzels, cheeses, and more that your kids will love, all at prices you’ll love even more. Read on for 21 after-school snack ideas to help you stock your pantry and fridge, and visit aldi.us for even more inspiration.
Real fruit snacks
Fruit salad: One of the easiest after-school snacks to whip up is a mix of chopped watermelon, peaches, pineapple, and banana. ALDI has an impressive selection of organic fruit delivered daily, so you can substitute by what’s in season or currently on your kids’ list of faves.
New-school ants on a log: It was a classic when you were a kid and it still is today. For this twist, swap the celery for a Granny Smith apple. Slice, then smear a bit of Simply Nature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter on top of each piece, and sprinkle with raisins.
Fruit squeezies: Sometimes, there’s no need to mess with perfection; what kid doesn’t love a fruit pouch? Simply Nature Unsweetened Apple Fruit Squeezies are made with real fruit and no artificial colors or flavors.
Veggies and hummus: Give your kids fiber and protein with this quick snack. Celery and baby carrots are our favorite dippers for sweet, yet savory Park Street Deli Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (an ALDI-exclusive), which also comes in convenient single-serve mini-cups.
“Peppy” guac: For kids who are gluten-free or need more veggies in their diet, use cut-up rainbow mini peppers. They pair perfectly with Park Street Deli Fresh Chunky Guacamole.
Bite-sized veggie burgers: Earth Grown Veggie Burgers are an ideal choice for a healthy snack; they’re vegan and made with 11 different vegetables. (They also happen to be backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal.) Simply cut into bite-sized pieces and serve plain or with ketchup for dipping.
Green bean “fries”: Roasted green beans are a wonderful vegetable for picky eaters because of their crunchy texture. Tossed washed beans in olive oil and salt, then bake in a 350º oven until crunchy and firm (about 25 minutes). We love dipping them in Little Salad Bar’s Avocado Ranch Dressing.
Baked veggie chips: Sometimes kids just want their favorite salty, starchy vegetable. (Admittedly, they’re not the only ones.) Swap out greasy potato chips for these Clancy’s Veggie Chips, which are baked and naturally colored with red beet powder and turmeric.
Ham and cheese ‘sticks’: It’s a double-protein punch with this snack. Thread skewers, alternating between Happy Farms Cheddar Cheese Cubes and folded pieces of Appleton Farms Prosciutto. Tip: Add sliced apple chunks for extra crunch.
Yogurt tubes: Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein, but sometimes the cups aren’t the easiest (like in the back seat of a car). Instead, keep Friendly Farms Moo Tubes on hand for when snack time hunger hits.
Looking for another great on-the-go snack? Try Happy Farms String Cheese, three-time champion in the annual ALDI Fan Favorites’ survey.
Pretzels ‘n almond butter: Give your kids an added boost of energy with this on-the-go option. Use Clancy’s Pretzel Rods as dippers for Simply Nature Creamy Almond Butter. You can even prep these ahead and freeze for a cool treat.
Protein waffles: For a sweet treat that still packs a ton of protein, you have to try this tasty mix from Aunt Maple’s Protein Pancake & Waffle Mix. Serve with Specially Selected Raspberry Fruit Spread or 100% Pure Maple Syrup for dipping.
French toast sticks: For another breakfast-anytime snack, we love the portable Breakfast Best Cinnamon French Toast Sticks. You can dip into Simply Nature Unsweetened Applesauce if you’re feeling fancy.
Silly-shaped sandwiches: Cookie cutters are an excellent way to make an old treat new. Make your favorite kind of sandwich (peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese) using L’oven Fresh 100% Whole Wheat Bread, then use a cookie cutter to trim it into a fun shape like a star, heart, or letters in the alphabet.
Caramel apples: You don’t need to wait for the county fair when you pick up Park Street Deli’s Apples & Caramel. The single-serve packs come with pre-sliced apples for a sweet treat on the go.
Cookies and oat milk: This after-school classic snack gets a boost when you use Bake Shop Kitchen Sink Cookies—a peanut butter cookie packed with coconut, pretzels, and a duo of chocolate chunks—instead of a simple chocolate chip. Pair with a tall glass of cold Friendly Farms Original Oatmilk.
Cream puffs: Who says these French creations can’t be a perfect post-school treat? Specially Selected Mini Cream Puffs are frozen, so you can defrost just one at a time.
Popsicles: It’s the rare kid that doesn’t love a popsicle and we love Sundae Shoppe Junior Pops because they make a no-sugar added version.
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