As a mom of five girls ranging from ages seven to 16 and twins in the mix, I’m no stranger to feeding an army. With school and extracurricular activities starting, I’ve made sure to prep quick breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. But what I forgot about was after-school snacks. After the first day of my kids coming home famished, I knew I needed a fix ASAP!
I headed to Costco with the sole purpose of stocking up on quick snacks that’ll tide my kids over until dinnertime. Trust me when I say these snacks are perfect for kids of all ages. (Okay, okay… you caught me. I’ve been known to munch on them as well.)
My one tip with snacks is to have a dedicated bin in your pantry just for after-school snacks. My kids know those items are off-limits except for after school. Otherwise, they’d be gone in a heartbeat! With each of these snacks, I like to pair it with a fruit or veggie and a glass of water to keep their tummies full.
1. Archer Grass-Fed Mini Beef Sticks ($15.69 for a 28-count bag)
With kids on the go after school with soccer, swimming, and more, I’m always trying to up their protein intake. I am partial to these beef sticks because they have wholesome ingredients and are portable. I can stick them in my purse or in my car, and they’re even compact enough to fit inside my kids’ lunch boxes if they want one for lunch.
2. Nature’s Garden Probiotic Apricots ($32.99 for two 40-ounce bags)
I wasn’t sure how my girls would react to these the first time I bought them, but they LOVED them. We all know when your kids give a food two thumbs up, it’s worth celebrating! These plump dried apricots boast tons of vitamins and minerals, plus they’re also enhanced with probiotic cultures that promote a healthy digestive system.
3. Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars ($15.99 for a 28-count box)
If you’ve got kids, then you know that anything with a gummy texture is a solid win. I used to reach for fruit snacks, but since we’re trying to eat more whole foods, they were the first things to go. I swapped them out for these layered fruit bars that are made with real fruit purées and juices. My kids are just as happy to munch on these as they were fruit snacks, which I call a win.
4. MadeGood Granola Minis ($14.49 for a 24-count bag)
We are granola fanatics at our house, so when I saw these I knew they’d be an instant hit. What I didn’t realize was just how much my oldest daughter would love MadeGood granola minis. She’s asked for them on road trips, for her lunches, and for late-night homework sessions. Yep, they’re that good.
5. PopCorners ($13.49 for a 30-count box)
Having a bag of chips on hand is what little kids live for. One time last year, my daughter specifically asked to have chips in her lunch because everyone had them but her. I realized it was important for her to have things like the other kids, but I still wanted something healthy-ish, so I picked up some of these PopCorners. They’ve been a staple at my house ever since. The variety pack at Costco has flavors for everyone and they satisfy a salty snack craving.
6. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars ($18.99 for a 40-count box)
If you haven’t tried these, then I highly suggest you add them to your shopping list. While we certainly enjoy fig bars after school, they make a great on-the-go breakfast. I love that they’re made with whole-grain flour and natural sun-ripened fruit, and did I mention they’re ridiculously soft? Pure joy radiates with every bite.
7. Kind Bar Minis ($20.99 for a 36-count box)
I’ve been a fan of Kind Bars for a long time, but these mini bars have stolen my heart. They’re a great substitute for granola bars, and the mini size is the perfect portion for my littles. They’re packed with fiber and protein to help keep kids full, and I love that they’re sturdy. Seems funny to have that be a reason why I’d buy something, but these bars won’t break and crumble when I toss them in my purse or in a backpack. If you’ve ever opened up a crumbled-up granola bar, you know what I’m talking about!