After School Snacks and Easy School Lunch and Dinner Ideas

Wow, that might be the longest title ever to show up on my blog πŸ˜‰Β  I couldn’t figure out a more succinct way to tell y’all that I had snacks, lunch and dinner ideas to share with y’all, though πŸ˜‰

Welcome to week 5 (I know, right!) of the HEB/ConAgra meal maker blogger challenge!

snacks collage

My kids come home from school starving (their words) so I’ve devised a few quick and easy, nutritious, delicious and fun ideas that work for snacks, lunches or dinners!

I don’t know about your kids but my kids are WAY into finger foods and colorful snacks, things easily and quickly eaten on the way to soccer practice, kickball, playgroup, slumber parties etc…

One of my favorite ways to get them to devour a healthy grilled cheese, grilled ham and cheese, toasted PB&J (you get the idea) is to serve it french fry style (i’ve even served them in paper cups, which they LOVE)

For today’s purposes:Β  we’re serving them sliced on a fun little partitioned serving tray:

grilled cheese

Cook your sandwich, and if it has cheese in it, allow it to set for a few minutes before slicing into strips “fries”.Β  I use my pizza cutter for quick and easy sandwich slicing.

This is perfect with baby carrots (ranch for dipping, if your kids are dippers! I got the ranch dip free with a COMBO LOCO deal that HEB had going: Buy a pack of hot dogs get: chips, dip, relish and Hormel Chili for FREE F-R-E-E!!!) and apple slices, or grapes or whatever your favorites!

This is one of my kids’ favorite quick school night dinners and my son, who eats cold grilled sandwiches, loves to take this for lunch!

After School Snack, Lunch, Dinner Idea #2

quesadilla strips and grapes

Quesadilla Strips

What is it about tortillas and cheese?Β  They’re a special brand of comfort food, or is that just here in the South?

Monkey only goes to school two days a week and yet he wants a “school” lunch 5 days a week, just like his big sister.Β  These Quesadilla strips are perfect for his lunches and absolutely awesome for fueling Princess up for soccer practice!Β  Plus, crazy easy and when served with frozen grapes.. SCORE!

  • 2 tortillas
  • favorite shredded cheese, I use a colby jack mix or a mexican blend (or really, whatever is on special or whatever I have on hand)
  • refried black beans
  1. spread a THIN layer of refried black beans (protein and fiber FTW!) on one tortilla, sprinkle shredded cheese over BOTH tortillas and then smoosh the two tortillas, filling sides in, together.Β  Place the quesadilla on a hot skillet/cast iron/griddle and cook until both sides are crispy and golden.
  2. Let rest for a few minutes and then using your favorite knife or pizza cutter, slice into strips and then cut in 1/2 (this makes it easier for small fingers)

I serve these in a small plastic cup alongside a cup of frozen grapes or cantaloupe and it makes for the most perfect on the go snack full of dairy, fiber, protein and vitamins! GO MOM!

After School Snack, Meal, Dinner Idea #3

thin pizza snacks

Whole Grain Mini Pizzas

Everyone in my house has a different taste when it comes to pizzas but we all agree on one thing: WE LOVE PIZZA.

There’s just something about individual pizzas, too, they’re so enticing and fun to eat.

I use whole grain little sandwich rounds, thins, whatever they’re called, they came free with a loaf of bread coupon at my HEB yesterday πŸ™‚

I set up a make your own pizza bar for dinner tonight because Nathan was out of town and cooking for two small people and me can be tricky.

  • 4 whole grain sandwich rounds/thins
  • Italian cheese blend
  • OPTIONAL: pepperoni, mushrooms, sauce, diced tomatoes (remember those Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes we got for free.. there you go), green peppers…. etc… etc… etc… you see where this is going.
  1. pre-heat oven to 370
  2. let each person make their own pizza, we prefer thin crust pizzas so these are PERFECT!
  3. Princess:Β  sandwich round, garlic butter, italian blend cheese. (done)
  4. Monkey: sandwich round: pepperoni, tomatoes, cheese, pepperoni
  5. Me: everything please
  6. Nathan: everything please
  7. Bake straight on the rack for crispier pizzas, these take about 7 minutes, depending on your oven
  8. Slice, serve. NOM

Princess actually prefers her pizza cold so we make these for dinner and then put hers in the fridge and she takes it for lunch the next day.

These are also FABULOUS for slumber parties and after school cram sessions!

Do you have any FABULOUSLY easy and delicious snack/lunch/dinner recipes? I’d love to hear them!!

I am an HEB ConAgra Meal Maker Blogger participating in the Meal Maker Blogger Challenge.Β  This challenge involves using and sharing online and in store coupons to create and share recipe ideas of school lunches and easy dinner fixes to help the busy family.Β  Each of us was allowed to interpret this as we may πŸ˜‰ I will be compensated for my time and talents at the completion of this program and I received a $25 HEB gift card and some yummy ConAgra products as well.Β  I have ALSO been allotted 5 goodie bags matching the one that I received to give away to readers. THREE have been given away already.. stay tuned…. next week πŸ˜‰ You could be next

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  1. I LOVE THIS! Except I’ll probably be packing these in Bella’s lunch box rather than having them for her after school. She rarely wants a snack, just something to drink. πŸ™‚

    1. HEY YOU! πŸ™‚ Awe, thank you!
      I have decided that my kids are ravenous bottomless pits of energy and hunger, seriously.
      And it’s not like I don’t feed them! πŸ˜‰
      YAY! Let me know what Bella thinks! Did you see the ka-bobs from week one?
      easy and yummy!

  2. These are wonderful. My daughter runs a day-care for toddlers so I’m passing these ideas on to her. I’ll use them when the grand-girls come to visit πŸ™‚ Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks! I love the quesadilla one, too. I have been known to make them for myself with the whole grain tortillas πŸ˜‰ NOM. toss in some mushrooms and caramelized onions for some serious win!

      1. I tried to reply to this on my phone, but apparently my phone is wiggity wack.. So, what I was saying was that I wish I had thought of that cuz it sounds fabulously yummy. However, my lack of kitchening skills is massive. How do you caramelize onions? I’ve had them before and love them, but the making…I’m not so good at that part always.

    1. Thank you πŸ˜‰ They are most DEFINITELY their own people with their own ideas and tastes.
      It’s wonderful and frustrating all at the same time πŸ˜‰

  3. Those little pizza rounds look awesome! What a great idea! And you know what? We’ve got a package of whole wheat English muffins in the freezer… Huuuuuum. πŸ˜‰

  4. Love, love, love all of these ideas! Now that school is back I’ve got to come up with fun, creative, healthy things for the kids to eat (all. day. long.). I can’t wait to try these fabulous ideas. Thanks Rachel!

  5. My little dude will love all of these!! I’m making the quesadillas tomorrow for lunch, for sure. Love these suggestions! And you make them look so pretty in the pics!

  6. Love al these ideas for after scool snacks / lunches!! My kids are always “starving” after school as well.
    Also where did you get the lunch trays from?? i have been searching for years now for some and have had zero luck …. Any help would be so appreciated!! Thanks πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Chrystal ~

      We got those from our HEB plus here in Corpus Christi…. I LOVE them, as do my kids!
      I’m sorry if that’s absolutely no help to you πŸ™

      1. oh man … we dont have a HEB store here in Ca but i do have a friend in TX maybe i might give them a call & ask for a favor … lol … Thanks so much, i do appreciate it & am loveing looking trrough your recepies!!

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