Party Tips & Activities
Discover a whole host of fancy and fabulous party tips and recipes, seasonal craft and activity ideas, and reading-readiness suggestions from the folks who bring you Fancy Nancy!
Stumped about what to serve the hungry kids when they get home from school? These simple, wholesome snacks will keep them happy till dinner comes along—and provide some healthy nutrients, too.
Fancy French dippers
- Wrap apple slices with thin slices of ham, cut lengthwise into strips, and slices of Cheddar cheese. Serve with a simple dip made from low-fat yogurt and Dijon mustard.
- Your kids won’t know if it’s a dessert or a snack: make peanut butter granola bars by combining 1/3 cup of honey with 1/4 cup of natural peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a pan. Stir until smooth, then add 1 cup of crisp rice cereal, 1 cup of rolled oats, and 1/4 cup of dried fruit. Shape bars on a baking sheet and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. (These keep well for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge—if you can manage not to finish them all!)
Ants (and friends) on a log
- Ants on a log are a great old-fashioned after-school snack. Modernize this treat with creative additions to the raisin ants. Try chopped apricots, dried cherries or cranberries, currants, or chopped walnuts. Drizzle some honey on top of the peanut butter. Or swap the peanut butter for cream cheese or goat cheese.
- Pears and pecans are a delicious combination. Cut a Bartlett pear lengthwise, core, and fill with chopped pecans and honey. Try the same thing with apples and walnuts.
Nacho mère’s nachos
- Who says nachos need corn chips? Make a healthier (and just as delicious) after-school version with pita, cut into quarters and topped with salsa and shredded cheese. Broil until the cheese melts and top with sliced scallions or chopped tomatoes.
- Even kids who don’t love veggies often enjoy them raw, especially when you add the fun of swiping and dipping. Whip up (or buy) some ranch dip, hummus, or guacamole, and serve with carrot and celery sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, and breadsticks.
White bean hummus
- Try those same crudités and some breadsticks with a super-healthy after-school snack: white bean dip. Just puree cannellini beans (drained and rinsed) with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Trail-mix popcorn balls
- Transform popcorn balls into an even more wholesome snack by substituting raisins or other chopped dried fruit and nuts for the candies and chocolate.
- Mini-pizzas made on pita or crackers are a super-simple, healthy after-school snack.
- Deviled eggs are a protein-rich snack, and you can make them earlier in the day, wrap, and refrigerate. Just mash the yolks of hard-boiled eggs with reduced-fat mayo, Dijon mustard, a dash of white wine vinegar and hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Refill the eggs and top with a snip of scallion or a dash of paprika.
- Crunchy, crisp roasted chickpeas are a great (and healthier) alternative to chips. Combine drained, rinsed chickpeas (dry them with paper towels) with a bit of oil and your favorite spices, such as paprika and cumin or coriander and cinnamon. Roast in a single layer on a baking sheet until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through.
- Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-rich and delicious afterschool snack. Roast wedges sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and serve with a dip of low-fat yogurt mixed with chopped scallions and paprika.
Open-faced muffin sandwiches
- Whole-wheat English muffins are the base for a wide range of great after-school snacks: pizzas, of course, but also apple slices and melted cheese, peanut butter and raisins, hummus spread with chopped apple, or egg salad.
- Don’t forget the simplest snacks of all: a handful or nuts, some dried fruit, and everyone’s favorite: peanut butter on a whole grain cracker.
Need some after-school reading to go along with the snack? Try:
Don’t forget to check out the Fancy Nancy show on Disney Junior!