Oh my goodness. I think you’re going to LOVE this idea. It’s as EASY as can be, and it’s absolutely no fail. Whatever food you’ve got in the house — raisins, fresh veggies, nuts, cheese, frozen peas, olives, and on, and on — can be used.
This is why it’s such a hit at our house:
1) It works with anything we have on hand. You can go savory with olives and pickles and cheese and broccoli and almonds and cherry tomatoes. Or think rainbow, and pick red raspberries, orange carrots, green peas, and blueberries. You can use dried, fresh or frozen foods. Raid your pantry. No special ingredients required!
2) It’s creative. Our kids love making patterns and designing their letters. Will they go upper case or lower case? How about script? (As a bonus: it gets them thinking about typography — something I hope all of my kids have at least passable knowledge about. Is the O they are making rounder, or more elongated — and what sort of personality does each letter have?) If your kids aren’t spellers yet, you can create their name-in-food for them as a surprise. Or, you could even write their letters on the parchment with pencil, and have your child trace the letters with food.
3) You can customize the snack with your child’s favorite foods, or, you can use it as a great way to introduce kids to new flavors. Ask them to make each letter out of a different food! And you can manage the portions by having the kids make the letters bigger or smaller. If your child has a long name, you could go with initials and make them big. Or use the full name and make them small. Or maybe use a nickname.
4) It’s easy! The how to is pretty darn simple. We use strips of baking parchment for our “trays” because we can make them as long as we need. Then, I set out the building materials. Things like raisins and cherry tomatoes and peas can be set out as is. For foods like carrots or cheese, some simple chopping will be required. Try 5 or 6 food options today, and next week, you can try a whole different assortment of ingredients. You can arrange the options on one big plate. Or place them each in a little bowl.
5) We’ve noticed our kids are more relaxed and tell us more about their day if their hands are busy and the chatting is casual. This activity works wonderfully for encouraging conversation.
6) Though it’s simple as can be and requires nothing special to pull it off, this snack activity feels special, it feels out of the ordinary. And kids of all ages (meaning YOU too!) will love working on these. There are no rules or lines to stay within — it’s the best sort of playing-with-your-food.
We all know school days can be long and hard for kids. When they get home from school, my kids are sometimes completely wiped out. Maybe they’re mastering a new math concept and their brain is exhausted. Or maybe they had an emotional exchange with a friend and are feeling tender-hearted. Whatever they might be feeling, we’re all about an after-school snack as soon as they get home. It’s one part recharging with some sustenance, and it’s another part connecting with the kids as they report about their day. Anytime we can make after-school snacks feel a little special is aces in my book!
How about you? Would your kids enjoy something like this? I’ll bet you’ve got everything you need for this snack in your kitchen right this minute. Try it with your kids today!
255 thoughts on “The Easiest (and Most Fun!) After School Snack”
Thanks for the snack ideas!
I completed the survey. Thank you for letting your audience help inform your content decisions.
I think I might try the traced name on parchment snack idea this afternoon!
I think this would be a great at-work snack too. I’d just need to pack up some wee Tupperwares of food.
I did the survey. :)
Great little survey – I appreciate you asking for feedback,
Fun idea! I love the suggestion that this is a good time to start a casual conversation about the day. Survey filled out!
I’ll reiterate what I put on my survey; I am thankful Design Mom exists! Xoxoxo
I filled out the survey! You’re doing good work.
Completed the survey. Thanks!
keep up the great work. I read about 100 blogs (bless feedly) and yours is my favorite. I took the survey.
completed the survey.
Completed the survey and hope using this snack tip will get my kiddo eating more nuts!
Completed the survey!
completed the survey
Very cute snacks! My preschooler and I had fun looking at all the letters.
I completed the survey!
I completed the survey! Thanks for the opportunity to help.
Nice survey! My fingers are crossed :)
I completed the survey
I completed the survey. And, I’m planning to do this exact snack idea tonight with my toddler. Thank you!
Hi! I completed the survey. Hope it helps. Thanks! :)
Completed the survey. :)
Planning to do this snack idea today for my 13 year old. She has decided if I make her after school snacks they are healthier. I have had fun doing so far. I know she will like this! Even at 13!!
i had a hard time just picking five things I love about your blog.
Filled out the survey.
Just took the survey! :)
Gorgeous snack idea! (My kids would probably insist on photos before eating them.)
I filled out the survey as well.
Finished the survey. Hope it is helpful.
i did the survey. Thank you!
Odd realization….I think this was the first survey I did, where I had to check the 35-44 box.
I completed the survey. Thanks too for the great snack idea!
I hope the survey helps. I just completed it. Picking JUST 5 things I love on your blog was tricky.
filled out the survey!
Great survey and great snack tip! I’m going to try it with the boys I nanny when they wake up from their nap!
Oh man, it turned out to be a HUGE hit. They each made their name four times over! I think my favorite part was that it usually feels like I spend ages on snack prep only for them to inhale it in 30 seconds, but this kept them occupied for a good hour for the same amount of prep!
I did the survey. Thanks!
I took the survey…but what I really wanted to say is THANKS for this snack idea! So simple yet I just KNOW it will make snack time an even bigger hit :)
great snack idea! Survey complete!
I completed the survey – I agree picking 5 was difficult. I couldn’t fit in that I also enjoy the current events posts – but I do!
I did the survey!
I just did the survey.
fun snack idea, and thanks for the survey drawing.
Survey completed. Thanks!
Just found out this morning my daughter is anemic and needs more leafy greens/beans. Our snack might end up being a little less pretty and more messy but I love this idea for snacking. And practicing our letters. Thank you once again. Also completed the survey. Reading your blog makes my day. I hope you realize how appreciated you are! :)
Lovely idea with the names – survey completed!
completed survey. wish i could have selected more that 5 topics i like on your blog!