After School Snacks: 12 Great Ideas!

Thanks to Foodie.com for partnering with me today to form this curated collection of AWESOME school lunch recipes! All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

Check out After School Noshing

by Tiffany at Foodie.com

We’ve been back at school for a week and a half, and we are starting to get in our lunch groove, which is good. But we haven’t figured out this after school snack business AT ALL. It only make sense that my child would be hungry after 7 hours of work and play, but I have NO plan for what to offer her that will give her a boost but not spoil her dinner (especially since we have dinner at 5…we’re bringing early bird back, friends).

So check out my 12 ideas for simple and good snacks on Foodie. Then let me know what you are serving up because I could use some more ideas!

Simple Lunch Box Idea: A Picnic and an “Ant” Invasion with California Raisins


Three cheers for all you Bento box mamas out there. I used to sort of hate you because I felt like your creativity indicated some inherent flaw in me that I really didn’t care to have pointed out.  But I’ve come to realize that most of you who are crafty and are able to create full scenes worthy of a magazine spread in your child’s lunch box every day really do get a lot of joy out of it. It’s not about me, or how decidedly lacking in skills it makes me feel. It’s about bringing a smile to your kid’s face. And so I say to you, rock on, mama!

As for me, my child will not be eating food items that I turned into panda bears or the ocean floor. But I haven’t given up on creativity altogether. Sometimes you just have to re-think it a bit and take an easier approach.

Wanna hear my fun lunch box idea? Go with a picnic theme (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.) and to add a bit of flare and to make your child giggle, your picnic needs to get invaded by ants, big-time.

Enter California Raisins! 

California raisins ant invasion 4

My daughter is more partial to hot dogs than hamburgers, so I went in that direction. She’s only 5, though, so half a hot dog is going to be enough for her. Half a hot dog is not cute in a picture, though! :-)

california raisins ant invasion 1

What’s a picnic (or a hot dog, for that matter) without some slaw? I’ve left it to the side so that the bun doesn’t get soggy. You could switch this out for potato salad, relish, or whatever you think might appeal most to your child. Also include a few carrot chips, because they are fun to pair with the slaw to turn it into a dip.

California raisins ant invasion 2

The problem with this picnic definitely started with peanut butter that was meant for the apples. You can see that the “ants” (yummy California Raisins!) are going to town on it! All you need to do is cut your apple into slices and put them in a bag with a bit of water and a squirt of lemon juice (this keeps them from browning). The ants won’t be able to get inside the bag to the apples, but they should be covering the peanut butter. And let me just tell you, apples dipped in peanut butter and raisins is SO good. I’m keeping it in mind as a snack for myself, too!

Depending on how old your kid is, and therefore, how much food they need in their lunch box, you can add other elements (watermelon comes to mind as a picnic-worthy addition). Once you have your lunch complete, it’s time to add those extra raisins all around. I think kids will have great fun finding raisins all over the place as they eat their meals. Raisins are such a fun, naturally sweet snack, and so I think kids will have no problem “exterminating” them on the spot! They will also be very easy to take off the food (to each his own, but a raisin hot dog is not really my jam).

california raisins ant invasion 5

California Raisins, whether you turn them into ants or not, really are a great item for the lunch box. They fall in line with clean eating practices, which is what we strive for. Go ahead and check out the ingredient list on the box of raisins in your pantry, or the next time you are in the store. It likely says, “raisins.” That’s it! Woo hoo! They are also the most economical dried fruit out there, and they are fat free, cholesterol free, and have 9% of your daily fiber and 6% of your daily iron in 1/4 cup. They are also a wonderful option for anyone who doesn’t have a way to provide temperature control for their lunches. Hot, cold, or in between, raisins don’t mind! If you want more ideas about fun ways to incorporate California Raisins into your lunches or snacks, check out the California Raisins Facebook page (you can sign up to receive a California Raisins prize pack, there, while supplies last!).

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Building Confidence, One Brick at a Time: LEGO JUNIORS Sets

Ever since we took a trip over to LEGOLAND in Atlanta, Darah’s interest in all things LEGO has been building. Until now, she and Layah have only played with the LEGO DUPLO sets for younger children. They are larger, easier to work with as a beginner, and they aren’t choking hazards, so they are definitely the right fit for the 3 and under set.

But Darah is now 5, and after seeing the smaller LEGO pieces at LEGOLAND and all the absolutely amazing things that could be built with them, her interest was piqued.

But was she ready to upgrade? I wasn’t so sure. Building LEGO structures can be quite a complicated endeavor, and I didn’t want Darah to get frustrated and too quickly declare that LEGOS weren’t for her. And this, my friends, is why you need to check out LEGO JUNIORS, if you have a little one that might be ready to graduate from DUPLOS.

LEGO 7

Darah first started working on the two sets we were sent with her grandparents. But over the weekend she asked to get the sets back out and do some building with her daddy.

I wish I could go back in time to record that moment, friends. The look of sheer delight on Tim’s face when his child asked him to play LEGOS with her was priceless. He promptly sacrificed his beloved Saturday afternoon nap to get down on the floor and do some building with his daughter.

LEGO 3

Before I opened the LEGO JUNIORS sets, I assumed that they would be smaller than DUPLO pieces, but bigger than traditional LEGOS. Perhaps they were an in-between size? I was definitely wrong: they are the same size as traditional LEGO pieces.

I think a key difference with the JUNIOR sets is the instructions. They are beautifully simple, and they walk the child through the process, brick-by-brick.

LEGO 4

One of the fun things about LEGO sets is that building is only part of the fun. Once you have created what you want, it’s time to play with it! Darah enjoyed having her horse leap over fences (he’s more of a flyer than a leaper, as it turns out) and brushing him in the stable.

LEGO 6

She also really loved sending LEGO figurines flying through the air thanks to her catapult. I’m pretty sure every member of the house spent some time playing with this creation. :-)

LEGO 2

After Tim and Darah wrapped up their LEGO projects for the afternoon, Tim shared with me about just how impressed he was with how the sets kept Darah’s attention, and how well she was able to follow the directions. She even worked ahead a few times, which shows a growth in her confidence level, as the very first time she played with the sets (with her grandparents) she gave up more quickly and left the work to them to finish. When I sat down with Darah to admire her work, she was eager to show me the other things that she could build with her sets, and we agreed to tackle those projects in the near future. It only took 2 sessions of building for her to go from shy and slightly reluctant to fully engaged and confident in her skills as a builder.

LEGO® JUNIORS is designed to give children age 4-7 a great first experience with LEGO bricks through iconic, fun and easy to build models. LEGO JUNIORS sets contain quick start elements and numbered pre-packed bags that can be built without help from Mom or Dad – which makes any small builder extra proud.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Splendies Underwear Subscription Box Review

Referral links included. I only promote what I love! Thanks to Splendies for sending along a package for review. 

I just love this whole subscription box trend that is going strong right now. I love gifts, I love surprises, and I love learning about new-to-me products. You tend to get all of those things with a subscription box service.

Today’s subscription box is different from other ones I have reviewed in the past, though, because the items you receive are actually underwear!

Check out Splendies. For $12/month ($17/month for plus sizes) you get 3 surprise pairs of underwear. Want to see what came in my first package? Check out the “unboxing” below!

Pretty cute, right? For the record, the XL size totally fit. Not too big, at all! I guess my rear is smaller in my mind than it is in reality. Ha! And based on the other reviews I have seen, it does seem to be the case that most everyone gets 1 thong in each package…just something to keep in mind in case you are decidedly anti-thong.

I think Splendies is a really fun treat and a great way to breathe a little life into an area of your wardrobe that may be lacking. Don’t forget to use the coupon code SPLENDIES at checkout to get $4 off (if you want to plus size, use code VOLUPTIES to get $5 off your first month).

splendies review

What do you think Is this the kind of thing you would go for, or not so much? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

My KIND of Snack Attack (Giveaway)

Thanks to my friends at KIND for sending along some snacks to check out. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always! 

Y’all. I am going through some sort of phase where my snacking needs simply cannot be met. I mean, I snack frequently as a general rule. Grazing is just how I roll. But lately it’s like there’s a hungry teenager inside of me…why eat a bowl of cereal when I can just eat the whole box? Why have 1 chocolate covered almond when I can have 14?

Out. of. control.

I think my body is aware that I’m about to start spending some time on the treadmill once Layah starts school and it is freaking out or something.

I think it also means that I need to switch up some of the snack foods we have on hand. When I get in a snacking funk, I find that I just keep eating more and more as I try to find that one thing I really and truly want.

But oh my friends. I found that thing. Oh yes I did.  KIND dark chocolate mocha almond bars

KIND has an amazing snack bar out that comes in a 12 pack. It’s like almonds are doing a dance in the rain, only the rain is dark chocolate.

Or maybe it’s caramel.

KIND caramel almond bars

Do we even need to discuss this further? Are you not already sold just by looking at them??? They taste every bit as good as they look, and I would know because I’ve been hitting them pretty hard over the past few days. :-)

Nut-Free Snack Option

KIND vanilla blueberry

Darah has been enjoying the Vanilla Blueberry KIND Healthy Grains bars, and I wanted to highlight these because you may have a family member with a nut allergy or your child’s school may have requested nut-free products be sent in school lunches due to the prevalence and severity of nut allergies. I thought that Darah had to bring nut-free items, and have recently learned that this isn’t the case, though if she has a product with nuts in it at lunch, it could impact who she is allowed to sit by. So I’d prefer to do my best to keep things nut-free. These bars are SO good, and like all KIND products, they only contain items that you can pronounce. 

If you are in a snacking rut, or if you are looking for a nut-free snack item, definitely pick up the KIND products I’ve highlighted here. And truth be told, you aren’t going to go wrong with any KIND product you try. I’ve had many products in their line and I have yet to be disappointed!

Win it!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win a box (12 bars) of KIND bars in your choice of chocolate or caramel. Awwww yeah!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to enter my other current giveaways, found on the right sidebar of the blog.