We all remember getting home and tearing through the cupboards and the fridge like a Tasmanian devil. No box of granola, cup of yogurt or almost-stale cracker was safe.
When it hits 3 p.m. today, your kid's stomach will have been rumbling since 2:18 p.m. The bus drops him or her off at home and they are now Level 5, red-alert hungry. There's no way he or she is going to wait until dinner. It must be time for an after-school snack.
The following are five quick and easy after-school snacks that will keep you and your kids happy. You're welcome.
For the kid who loves popcorn
This rosemary, garlic and Parmesan popcorn takes five minutes to make, and less than that to devour. Make a bag of microwave popcorn, then mix in some minced rosemary, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a pinch of garlic powder for some flavor-packed munchies. If your kid isn't into rosemary, just skip it and add something else.
For the picky kid
If you're human (and not gluten-free), you have stale bagels getting even more stale in your freezer. Turn them into bagel chips and make everyone happy. On a lazy Sunday, slice the bagels into 1/4-inch slices, brush them with olive oil then bake them in the oven until golden brown. Seal them in a bag and have them ready for whenever your little one comes home hungry. Serve them with cream cheese, hummus or even peanut butter.
For the kid who likes cheese (all of them)
Squash your kids' after-school appetite with some high-protein cottage cheese on toast. Mix some fresh dill, tarragon, chives or whatever fresh herbs you have on hand into a container of low-fat cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper, then spread over some toasted rye bread. This should hold them over until dinnertime.
For the adventurous kid
Black bean hummus is perfect for a fancy dinner-party appetizer or as fuel for your kid's afternoon homework session. Mix garbanzo beans, black beans, olive oil, garlic, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper (if you want to add some heat). Serve the dip with carrot sticks, crackers or whatever you have on hand.
For the kid who won't eat anything but watermelon
You can make this recipe for a simple watermelon salad the night before or while your kid is finishing his or her homework. Cube some watermelon and mix it with mint, olive oil and lime. That's it! Who knew keeping your kid happy could be so easy?
I'm just a big (wise) kid. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_