By Rachel Wells
After the day is over, it is almost a guarantee that your child will be hungry and looking for an after school snack. Instead of the same boring prepackaged treats, enjoy some fun time together while teaching your child how to cook easy, fun, and unique treats.
Your child will love the feeling of independence they have once they are able to whip up a delicious treat on their own. If your child is looking for some new after school snack ideas, read on, and try a few of these yummy ideas together.
In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup of chunky peanut butter, ½ tsp of honey, and ½ tsp of vanilla. Stir in 1/3 cup of nonfat dry milk powder, 1/3 cup quick oats, and 2 tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Place two 1-quart re-sealable plastic bags inside one another. In the inner bag combine 1 cup of half and half, ½ cup of fresh raspberries, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Seal both bags, removing as much air as possible. Place the 2 bags in a gallon sized re-sealable freezer bag. Add 4 cups of ice, and ¾ cup of salt in the gallon bag. Shake and knead the mixture for 5 minutes, or until it has thickened up. If the bag is too cold, have your child wear gloves while mixing. Pour this after school snack into a bowl and enjoy.
Spread peanut butter onto a flour tortilla. Drizzle the peanut butter with honey and granola (and maybe some dried fruit too). Roll up the tortilla and cut into slices. For an allergy free version of this one, simply switch out the peanut butter for sun butter. Yum!
Cut pealed bananas in half. Insert wooden Popsicle sticks into the flat side of the banana pieces. Dip the banana in yogurt, then roll in cereal to coat (fruity pebbles are a great choice) Place bananas on baking sheets lined with wax paper. Freeze for 1 hour, then enjoy.
Mix some of your favorite after school snacks – pretzels, cheese crackers, peanuts, raising, chocolate candies, animal crackers, etc. Serve in a bowl, cup, or ice cream cone!
Combine 12 ounces of miniature pretzels, 12 ounces of Bugles, 10 ounces of salted cashews, 6 ounces of miniature goldfish crackers, 1 envelope of ranch dressing salad dressing mix, and ¾ cup of canola oil. Stir until everything is well coated, then dig in.
When children cook, they learn more than just how to make the these after school snacks. Cooking gives children an opportunity to learn math skills (measurement, counting, and fractions), reading skills, problem solving skills, chemistry (how does food change throughout the cooking process), creativity, an understanding of health and nutrition, fine motor skills (whisking, mixing, pouring), and responsibility, all while gaining independence and a sense of accomplishment.
Teaching your child how to cook will arm them with skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Cooking is great family bonding time, so enjoy the process of teaching your child how to make simple foods, simple after school snacks, and try to involve them in cooking family meals with you as well. You can also read about some of the engaging after school pick up conversations you could have with your child.