After school snacks are a great way to tide hungry tummies over until dinner and, after a long day of learning, kids are usually ready for food as soon as they walk through the door – but what should you give them?
Well, a lonely apple will probably lead to grumbles of objection while letting them reach for an ice cream isn’t the answer either. How about some middle ground?
These bake-ahead after school snacks are great because they’re easy to create, suitable for batching and freezing, and delicious without being crazily unhealthy.
Kids love them and so do we!
Easy Banana Loaf
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 50g butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- ¼ cup (60ml) milk
- ½ cup mashed banana
Note: The above ingredients are meant for 10 x 20 cm loaf pans. To fill our 23 x 13 cm loaf pan, we doubled the ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray your loaf pan with oil and line it with baking paper, leaving a rim to lift out the loaf later.
- Sift flour into a large bowl and stir in sugar then make a well in the centre.
- Add in butter, egg, vanilla, milk and banana. Stir until combined.
- Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before serving.
HINT: Slice it up and freeze with greaseproof paper in between each slice to serve when needed. It tastes great when it’s slightly warmed under the grill too.
Mac & Cheese Bites
- 1 cup macaroni
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 2 tbs all purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Cook macaroni according to package instructions and set aside.
- Melt butter in a saucepan. Add in flour and let it simmer for a minute then slowly add in the milk. Simmer until it bubbles.
- Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Add macaroni, stir, then set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 190°C. Spray a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking oil and scoop 1 tablespoon of mac and cheese into each slot. Top with extra cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Allow them to cool before removing.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
HINT: If Mac & Cheese is a regular feature on your weeknight dinner menu, save time by cooking up a little extra for turning into bite-sized snacks.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 150g butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups plain flour
- 1 cup milk chocolate chunks (plus 1 tbs extra)
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until smooth and well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
- Stir in flour and milk choc chunks. Roll 2 level tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on prepared trays, 3 cm apart. Press down slightly. Decorate with extra choc chunks.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
HINT: Store raw dough in ice cube trays and freeze them for single-serve portions or store baked cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 200g sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
- 2 medium zucchinis, trimmed and coarsely grated
- 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
- 5 eggs, lightly whisked
- 100g (1 cup) Perfect Italiano Perfect Bakes cheese (cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.
- Add the sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the zucchini, flour, egg, cheese and remaining oil. Season well and stir to combine.
- Preheat the pie maker. Fill with mixture. Cook for 8 minutes or until set. Repeat.
HINT: These savoury pies taste great served hot or cold.