Now that the kiddos are heading back to school, you need to have the pantry prepared for the traditional after-school-snacks raiding. Growing kids come back from school and sports practice famished–and here are the best after-school snacks for your hungry kids ideas that are healthy, filling, and will hopefully appeal to your kids’ perhaps-picky natures.

Veggie Dippers. Keep a ready supply of already-cut veggies on hand in plastic Ziploc bags (broccoli, celery, carrots, cauliflower, bell pepper strips, sugar snap peas, etc.) in the crisper. Let your kids pair them with dips, because many vegetables are rich sources of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin D and E. Try hummus, lowfat cream cheese with herbs, lowfat ranch dressing, or cucumber sauce.

Fruit Dippers or Cheesers. Slice up apples and pears and serve them paired with lowfat cheddar cheese or a lowfat cream cheese dip (try mixing sugar-free strawberry preserves with cream cheese for a fantastic dip).

Snack mix.  Make your own snack mix with Chex or Life cereal, dry-roasted nuts like almonds and peanuts, raisins, coconut shavings, and dried fruit and granola. Served with lowfat milk or yogurt, this is a powerhouse snack, packed with fiber, calcium, protein, and good energy-giving carbs.

Tortilla rollups. Keep whole wheat tortillas around and smear or fill them with a variety of items: hummus, tuna salad, shredded cheese and veggies, cream cheese and jelly, sliced ham or turkey, etc.

Mini-pizzas. Have your kids make their own with whole wheat English muffins, topped with pizza sauce, lowfat mozzarella cheese, and whatever toppings suit their tastes. Pop them in the toaster oven or under the broiler and in five minutes, you have a tasty, nutritious, and filling snack.