School is officially in session, and just as kids may stomp their feet in protest all the way to the bus stop, so, too, might moms and dads as they face another daunting year of keeping their little learners full and healthy. As you think of the new school year and wonder how you’ll be able to do it all, look to Food Network’s Back-to-School Headquarters to help you make the grade. Each week this fall FN Dish will share can-do weeknight meals, easy lunchbox picks, after-school snack strategies and more from our best collection of recipes and tips.
It’s 4 p.m. and your child has just walked in the door from school. He’s hungry — really hungry — because he ate lunch hours ago. What do you feed him? It needs to be satisfying, of course, but not so filling that he won’t want to eat dinner. Instead of reaching for bags of salty chips and sugar-laden drinks, prepare for him a healthful after-school snack.
The Hummus Trio from Food Network Kitchens (pictured above) takes only 10 minutes to make and is a good-for-you alternative to creamy, cheesy chip dips. Made with just blended chickpeas, tahini and fresh lemon juice, the top bowl of hummus is a light and smooth no-fail classic. The bottom two bowls are dressed-up versions of the original, one featuring nutrient-rich spinach and soft artichoke hearts, the other pine nuts and sweet peppers. This snack in particular is ideal to offer if you’re feeding kids of different ages or with various tastes, as almost everyone will find their favorite flavor. Serve the hummus with crispy pita wedges, pretzel sticks and fresh vegetables, and watch your kids enjoy easy, delicious dunking.
If your youngster has a sweet tooth that just won’t quit, look to Food Network Magazine’s Loaded Oatmeal Cookies (pictured right) to curb his craving. Unlike traditional oatmeal cookies, these two-bite beauties are made with applesauce instead of butter or oil and feature healthful additions like wheat germ, protein-rich nuts and dried fruit. Since they boast a whole cup of shredded coconut, however, they’re still deliciously sweet and will wow your kids, too. Perhaps the best part about this recipe is that it can be made in less than 20 minutes, thanks to a store-bought mix that delivers already-combined dry ingredients.
For more easy-to-make munchies, check out Food Network Magazine’s roundup of 50 After-School Snacks.