20 after school snacks only the most well-behaved kids deserve

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The hours between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. cause terror in even the most experienced parents. That's when kids burst through the door after school shouting/whining/pleading "I'm hungry!"

20 after school snacks only the most well-behaved kids deserve

You need to get food on the table quickly and it needs to be delicious, satisfying but not too filling and hopefully a little wholesome.

These snacks fit the bill. Don't be surprised if you find yourself sneaking bites from your kids' plates.

1. Chewy no bake rainbow chip granola bars
Pack your homemade granola bars with quick cooking oats, rice cereal and flax meal and your kids won't even know they're eating fiber. Of course, that's because there is a healthy dose of rainbow chips and a sticky, sweet glaze that binds the bars together. Try them straight out of the freezer for a frozen candy bar-esque treat.

2. Roasted chickpeas
These crunchy roasted legumes are easy to make, packed with fiber and perfect hot out of the oven. Just sprinkle drained chickpeas with oil and roast them at 410 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes until they are golden brown and emit a nutty, intoxicating aroma. Toss them with salt, pepper, BBQ seasoning or any of your kids' favorite herbs. They don't keep very well, but that's okay because there won't be any leftovers.

3. Mini ham and cheese croque monsieur puff pastry tarts
Warm mini ham and cheese snacks will make your kids wish every day was a school day. The bechamel is gooey and creamy, the cheese is melty and each tart is tiny enough to be thought of as "cute" by even the pickiest eaters. Substitute tomatoes for the ham to make this a vegetarian treat.

4. Redneck macarons
This is genius. Vanilla wafers. Peanut butter. Sprinkles. Boom. This won't win any awards for a healthy afternoon snack, but every kid deserves a treat for a good report card. Your children can make these themselves with minimal mess and no heat source. Use chopped nuts or chia seeds mixed in with the sprinkles to give a nutritional boost.

5. Apple stacks
Let your kids engineer their own after school snacks with sliced apples as the only guidelines. Vary the mix-ins with pretzel sticks, raisins, honey, nuts and cereal. For glue, try peanut butter, Nutella or even tahini. The only limits are your imagination and your pantry.

6. Fruit and marshmallow skewers

These skewers are as versatile and simple or complex as you prefer. Your kids' favorite berries, melons, stone fruits or apples are delicious and adorable when paired with pastel-hued marshmallows. Mix it up and skewer fruit, cheese and cured meat for an even heartier snack.

7. Stuffed dates
These soft, sticky fruits are the perfect vehicle for any of your favorite cheeses or spreads. Split them down the middle, stuff with cream cheese and crushed almonds, then drizzle with honey. Or go the savory route and stuff your dates with brie or goat cheese, then crown them with crisply fried bacon.

8. Toothy apple smiles
Apples, peanut butter and marshmallows in a goofy, toothy grin. There's no better way to celebrate apple season.

9. Vegan "cookie dough" dip with banana cookies
This dip is sweet with vegan chocolate chips and dates and is perfect for a healthy afternoon treat. If you can't find banana cookies, use actual sliced bananas for your little monkeys.

10. Peekaboo heart popsicles
Make frozen yogurt popsicles in small paper cups and put a strawberry in them. Right before you serve, let them thaw slightly, then cut out a tiny heart for a cute surprise.

11. Watermelon cereal treats
A box of leftover cereal, a few marshmallows, some food dye and chocolate chips and voila: a sweet snack that is almost too cute to eat. Keyword: almost. Use any dye-absorbent rice or corn cereal that's lying around your pantry.

12. After school spritzers
Break out the frosty glasses and little umbrellas and treat your kids to cocktail hour with some juice and seltzer water. Or go crazy and make virgin piña coladas for the entire family. If you add a little something stronger to your glass, it's okay — we won't tell.

13. Tropical fruit platter
It's a tropical vacation with these breezy snack plates. Kiwi, bananas and fresh clementines or oranges make this work of art both easy to make and delightful to eat.

14. Homemade pretzel dogs
Hot dogs meet soft pretzels in the greatest duo since Lucy and Ricky. The homemade dough can be made with the kids, and if it takes a little longer to get on the table than the normal afternoon snack, it does double duty as an early dinner. Serve with mustard, ketchup and BBQ sauce for a dish kids of all ages love.

15. Tomato avocado melt
Taste the rainbow the healthy way. Use your favorite cheese, buttery avocado and the freshest tomatoes you can find. If tomatoes aren't in season, get creative with slices of roasted squash, baby kale massaged with lemon and garlic or roasted bell peppers.

16. Candied grapes
Sour candy lovers swear by these make-at-home substitutes. Just roll grapes in tangy melon flavored gelatin and freeze for an hour. Serve to kids and watch them squeal in glee as they enjoy these sweet-and-sour grape treats.

17. Vegan lime creamsicles
Because the ice cream truck doesn't run in every neighborhood. The secret behind this shamrock hue is avocado, which you can't taste but lends a rich and creamy texture to the ice cream. It's sweet with honey, tart with lime and sure to disappear faster than your kids can say "what do you mean I just ate an avocado popsicle?!"

18. Hummus brownie bites
Hummus replaces butter all together in these moist brownie bites. Granulated sugar and banana make them sweet, and you can leave them au naturel or frost them with peanut butter. That is, of course, if your kids don't eat them all the very second they're out of the oven.

19. Salt and vinegar carrot chips
Crunch, tangy and Grandma says they help you see in the dark. Salt and vinegar carrot chips, what can't you do? Be sure to use a mister to spray the seasoning on the chips before baking and feel free to experiment with whatever vinegars and oils are in your kitchen.

20. Ladybug strawberries
No matter how old your kid is, these adorable ladybugs make everyone smile.

Fuente: mashable.com
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