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A range of healthy snacks. Banana, apple, youghurt, blueberries, honey, nuts, crackers, veggie sticks, hummus, rice cakes

Back to school means back to those after-school hunger pangs! Lunchable and bento-box ideas aside, you might need a little extra inspiration in the after-school snacks department.


Where to start?!

We've listed some quick and easy tummy fillers that will keep your kids, big or little, going until dinner!

There is always the original fast food – fruit! Grab an apple or a banana, or any other of your kid's favourite whole or cut fruits! Available in a pinch.

But if that doesn’t touch the sides, read on for some more filling suggestions. Be mindful of sensory needs and dietary requirements. You can adapt these after-school snack ideas to suit your kid's tastes and your family's budget.

Prepare ahead

A bit of prep goes a long way. These snack ideas are the kind that you can do in bulk at the start of the week and freeze or refrigerate. They can be heated or assembled quickly and easily when that 3:30 hunger pang strikes! Leftovers are an honourable mention for this category.

  • Homemade biscuits (You have more control over the sugar content this way)

  • Peanut butter cookies

  • Boiled egg (Pre-boiled and put in the fridge)

  • Chicken satay skewer

  • Frittata

  • Filo parcels

  • Meatballs

  • Mini Quiches

  • Nachos

  • Protein balls (Bliss balls)

  • Quesadillas

  • Scones

  • Savoury muffins

  • Blueberry muffins

  • Steamed dumplings

  • Calzone

  • Gozleme

  • SoupsSlow cookers are a great way to have soup ready for hometime! Try a light broth that fills but doesn’t overfill!

  • Roti

  • Grazing plates - A mix of cheese, nuts, cold meats, vegetable sticks, crackers and dip, relish or chutney. Roasted or chargrilled vegetables or fruit (think peaches or apricots) are great additions. Even dolmades or other antipasti can be added.

  • Vegetable sticks – fresh green beans, snow peas, carrot sticks, celery, cucumber, capsicum, broccoli.

Whip it up

Whip these up in the pan, sandwich press or blender. Easy to prep ahead for these and then make them fresh and ready to eat within minutes.

Dip It

Add your favourite vegetable sticks to these tasty dips for a quick tummy-filling snack!

  • Peanut butter and Greek yoghurt

  • French onion soup mix and sour cream

  • Corn relish and cream cheese

  • Hummus (make your own with a tin of chickpeas and a dash of sweet chilli sauce)

  • Guacamole

  • Tzatziki

  • Peanut butter with celery or carrot sticks

  • Popcorn

  • Yoghurt

  • Pate

  • Sourdough with olive oil and dukkah

Trail Mix

Store this in a jar (hide a stash, too) ready for use.

Any combination of seeds, nuts and dried berries can make up a trail mix. Add optional extras like glace ginger, cocoa nibs, pretzels, or dried coconut flakes.  Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon powder if you like it.

On-the-go quick fixes

Toasted sandwiches and wraps fill this space but beware of the hot tomato!

  • Try yoghurt with frozen berries or grapes. Sprinkle a little LSA or chia seeds on top if you like.

  • Apple slices with peanut butter

  • Celery sticks

  • Savoury biscuits or crispbread with cheese, tomato and avocado with a bit of salt and pepper

  • Toasted sandwiches or wraps

  • Fillings – try any combination of cheese, ham and tomato or baked beans, marinated and pre-cooked chicken, or even leftover bolognese or savoury mince.

  • Homemade popcorn

Air Fryer Fillers

Air fryer lovers know how quick and effortless cooking can be with one of these appliances.

  • Roasted sweet potato top it with smashed avocado, ricotta and honey, fetta and pesto.

  • Pasties or pies (from frozen)

  • Cornish Pasties

  • Chicken schnitzels (see next)

Almost a meal

This category is when growing active kids need something a little more like a meal to fill the void. Try not to overdo it, though, as it can make squeezing dinner in later hard.

  • A big (or small) tin of tuna added to toasties, pasta or salad, with a boiled egg.

  • An amped-up salad with boiled egg and cooked chicken might meet with approval.

  • Poached eggs with sourdough

  • Chicken schnitzels in a wrap with lettuce and may or other favourite fillings.

Friday Fun

If creating fun memories is part of your approach, why not adopt something “special” for a Friday treat? Friday might be the day to include not-so-healthy options or to go out to a favourite café, bakery or eatery.

More ideas

The Cancer Council has created a Healthy Lunchbox resource.

SourceKids also has some easy nutritious after-school snack recipes here.

IDEAS does information so you can beat the after-school hangry hour!