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Back-to-School Snack Recipes Kids Can Make Themselves

The kids are heading back to school, and there's suddenly a frequent need for snacks -- for during the school day, for after the school day (and, in the case of a certain 2nd grader I know, for "pre-dinner"). Ideally, I'd like my kids to be reaching for a relatively healthy choice. Better yet, it's fun (and educational!) when they can make their own homemade snack, with just a little help from me. 

Many of the easy-to-follow recipes in The Lemonade Stand Cookbook make great snacks to bring to school or to enjoy at home. Read on for the recipes for Sunflower Crunch Balls, Owen's Cheddar Chompers, and Maple-Cinnamon Granola Bars.

Sunflower Crunch Balls

These crunchy, no-bake snacks will remind you of your favorite peanut butter cup candy, only healthier and allergy-friendly.

Makes 20 to 22 balls

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup sunflower seed butter
  • ⅔ cup roasted, salted, unshelled sunflower seeds, divided
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Arrange 22 mini muffin liners on a baking sheet.
  2. Mix the oats, sunflower seed butter, ⅓ cup of the sunflower seeds, honey, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  3. Place the remaining sunflower seeds in a small bowl. Roll the oat mixture into 1-inch balls (a 1-inch cookie scoop is helpful, if you have one), then roll them in the sunflower seeds to coat them. Set each ball in a mini muffin liner.
  4. Refrigerate the balls for an hour before serving. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week and in the freezer for several months.

Owen's Cheddar Chompers

Have you ever made your own crunchy cheese crackers? It’s easier than you think and they taste better than anything you can buy at the store. After 6-year-old Owen tried out this recipe, he felt they should be called “chompers.” That it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Makes about 15 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water,* divided 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the oven to 375° Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cheese, butter, salt, and paprika with an electric mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon until it’s well combined.
  3. Mix in the flour until the mixture forms small, pebble-like clumps.
  4. Slowly add two tablespoons of the ice water and mix until the dough forms a ball; if the dough is too dry to form a ball, add the additional tablespoon of ice water a little at a time until the ball comes together.**
  5. Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a rolling pin and a clean cutting board. Divide the dough in half, and roll out each piece into a very thin rectangle, about ⅛-inch thick, on the cutting board.
  6. With a pizza cutter (or a sharp knife, with an adult’s help), cut the dough into 1-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheets (if you decide to bake one sheet at a time, put the second in the refrigerator while the first bakes).
  7. Bake until the crackers are puffed and beginning to brown around the edges, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool completely. The crackers will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to one week. 

*To make ice water, simply add ice cubes to a little more cold water than the recipe requires and let it chill for a few minutes. Remove the ice cubes and measure out the amount of ice water you need.

 **When you use a wooden spoon, it doesn’t form a ball on its own. You have to press it and see if it sticks together in order to test the dough.

Maple-Cinnamon Granola Bars

These easy-to-make crunchy treats taste even better than the store-bought kind.

Makes 24 bars

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the oven to 300° Line a 9x13-inch metal baking pan with parchment.
  2. Mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the corn syrup, melted butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup until it’s well combined.
  4. Pour the syrup mixture into the oat mixture and mix well.
  5. Transfer the combined mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it to the edges in an even layer, packing it down firmly with a spatula.
  6. Bake until the bars are lightly golden, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully pack the hot mixture down really well again with a spatula.
  7. Cool the bars in the pan for 15 minutes, then lift out the parchment and transfer it to a cutting board. Cut into bars while still warm. Allow the bars cool completely on a cooling rack before serving. Store them in an airtight container for up to a week.

Discover more kid-friendly recipes, crafts, and more in the award-winning The Lemonade Stand Cookbook, by Kathy Strahs!



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