6 recipes to surprise your kids with after school

Now that the kiddos are back to school, some parents have a little extra time during the day (and a little more sanity!). Use that quiet time to relax and bake up some surprise treats to welcome the kids home from school.

Homemade soft pretzels

Nothing says welcome home quite like a warm, soft homemade pretzel. Whether you dip it in cheese, mustard or just eat it alone, it will be a delicious reward after a long school day. Plus it’s a fun skill to teach the kiddos how to twist their own pretzels. And then there is always the tough decision of salt or no salt.

Get the recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Monster bites

These no-bake monster cookie bites have no flour, eggs or white sugar, so you could even call them healthy (or healthy-ish!) with the combo of oats, peanut butter, honey, M&Ms and chocolate chips. They’re the perfect quick snack when you are craving something sweet and take no time at all to whip together. So on those afternoons when suddenly pick-up time is right around the corner, these monster bites are a great quickie recipe to keep in your back pocket. These are also ideal to have in the fridge as go-to snacks on the way to those after-school sport practices and classes to give a little protein energy boost.

Get the recipe at Like Mother, Like Daughter.

S’more cookies

Summer may feel officially over with the start of school, but the divine taste of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate never gets old. These s’more cookies are a great and easy twist that the kids will devour after school or at any playdate. Plus you make it in one big layered batch on a baking sheet with a graham cracker base topped with cookie dough, chocolate and mini marshmallows. The best part is the same taste, but a whole lot less mess than the real deal s’more.

Get the recipe at The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Peanut butter dip

Everybody loves a good dip. Add this peanut butter dip to your after school repertoire with just four simple ingredients: peanut butter, vanilla yogurt, honey and vanilla extract. It’s a protein-packed snack that is delicious to dip apple slices, pretzels and fruit into. Total bonus: it gets your kiddos to eat some more fruit! It’s so good that you’ll find yourself dipping in as well.

Get the recipe at Love Grows Wild.

Cranberry oat cereal bars

If your kiddos are always grabbing for cereal as their after-school snack, these cranberry oat cereal bar treats will hit a home run in your home. These are made similarly to the famous Rice Krispie treat by melting butter and marshmallows, but then you add in oat cereal to the melted mixture. Next pick your choice of sweets like cranberries, raisins or anything you desire to mix in. These hold well for school snacks the next day or even a morning treat on the go.

Get the recipe at Martha Stewart.

Chocolate chip cookies and milk

Sometimes there is no need to be original or creative. That warm, out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie with a big glass of milk will make any bad school day flip on its head. This recipe for chocolate chip cookies is straightforward, but the results are crispy and chewy, sweet and buttery and doughy enough while still being fully baked. Plus, don’t you remember walking into your childhood house to the smell of cookies fresh from the oven?! Make sure to sit down and share those memories with your own cookies and milk, along with your kids.

Get the recipe at JoyFoodSunshine.

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