Say it isn't so! The summer is coming to an end (didn't it just start?) and the back to school chaos has officially begun. On top of the thrill of new clothes and school supplies, your child is probably thinking about their new teachers, new classmates, and new lessons.
They're full of excitement and a perhaps little bit of dread or anxiety, depending on how old they are. And we're right there with them. As parents, we wish that we could pack ourselves into their lunchbox and be with them all day. Unfortunately, we can't do that.
But we CAN send little messages and special treats to remind them that they're loved and that no matter what happens at school, they have a parent who loves them. We've collected some super easy, sweet snacks for your kiddo's lunch box that will be sure to brighten up his or her day.
Most of these recipes don't even require an oven! But be warned-they might come home requesting more for their friends.
Credit: Candi Quik
Sarah from Miss Candiquik came up with this adorable kids' snack and although it's probably best suited for Spring, we think it would be perfect as a lunchbox treat any time of the year! If you have little ones in elementary school, this could also be a fun weekend recipe for the whole family to make. Then, on Monday, they can bring their creation to school with them.
Get the recipe here.
Monster Granola Bars
Credit: Mom on Timeout
The monster mix seems to work with everything from cake to cookies to granola bars! And these no-bake monster granola bars look absolutely delicious. Give your kid a break from the Chewy bars and make them something they'll be excited about eating (and showing their friends) during lunch.
Check out the no-bake recipe here!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Puff Cereal Bars
Credit: Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
We have such a soft spot for cereal bars, maybe because cereal is the quintessential nod to childhood. Rice Krispie treats, Lucky Charms treats, we love them all. Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs were one of our favorite cereals growing up, so it's nice to see it getting some time in the spotlight.
Erin from Dinners, Dishes and Desserts came up with this candy-packed cereal bar for a movie night with her son, and we're so glad she shared the recipe. With peanut butter puffs, peanut butter cups, and marshmallows all mixed together in harmony, Erin proves that you really can't have too much peanut butter.
Just make sure you pack your kid some milk, they'll need it. Check out more of the recipe here.
Butterfinger Puppy Chow
Credit: Your Cup of Cake
There are some pretty great puppy chow/muddy buddies recipes out there, but these Butterfinger munchies could be the best we've seen. Although, technically they should be called Chik-o-Stick puppy chow, since that's what Lizzy originally used. All you need is Chex cereal, and peanut butter and chocolate. The process is messy, but your kids will thank you as soon as they get home from school. Plus, if you make a big batch it will last you a few days.
Being the vintage candy-lovers we are, we'll probably use Chik-o-Sticks. Get the super easy recipe here.
Credit: Cookies and Cups
Mixing popcorn and candy is a dessert hack that everyone should know about, including your children. This delicious candy/popcorn combination from Cookies and Cups takes the hack to a new level. The recipe requires you to make a caramel sauce and then bake the popcorn, but the end result is so worth it. When the popcorn has finished baking, cut up some snickers bars and mix them in with the popcorn.
Send the popcorn off with your children in little bags and save the rest for yourself. See the recipe here.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Granola Bars
Credit: Two Peas and Their Pod
Another no-bake recipe, yes! This one is super simple and calls for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod warns you that you might want to make your own batch, because they're so delicious.
Rice Krispies, peanut butter, oats, pretzels, and chocolate chips make for a delicious sweet and salty granola bar. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and see how long they stick around until Friday!
Get the scoop here!
Reese's Pieces Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Blondies
Credit: Chocolate Moosey
These chocolate-covered blondies would be perfect for the first day back at school, because they're definitely a treat for the tastebuds. If you love to bake, you probably won't even have to go to the store for the ingredients.
Carla from Chocolate Moosey says that she adapted this recipe from Easter M&M blondies she made, so it's easily adaptable if you're not a peanut butter and chocolate lover.
See the recipe here.
No-Bake Granola Bar Bites
Credit: Real Life Dinner
Granola bars might not be the most appealing snack in the world to a child, but when you turn them into bite-sized treats, they're suddenly a little more tolerable. If you look closely, you'll be able to see that there's more than just oats in those balls-there's chia seeds and flax seeds, as well!
Maria from Real Life Dinner turned her infamous Energy Bites into sweet granola bites by adding M&M's and raisins. Just be sure to use an ice cream scoop to avoid a sticky mess. Get the recipe and thank her later at Real Life Dinner.
Credit: Tastes of Lizzy T
Shortbread is probably the simplest recipe ever: flour, sugar, and butter. Lizzy reduced the amount of flour and added some cocoa powder to achieve this fudge-like bread. The buttercream icing is optional, but who would ever opt out of icing? In fact, we recommend using equal layers of bread and frosting, just like Lizzy. Add some M&M's as a garnish and your kiddo will be thanking you all week long.
Get the simple but decadent recipe here.
Smartie Pants Bars
Credit: Crave by Random House
We have to give Rosie Daykin from Crave some major props for this photo. And while we're not sure how we feel about putting Smarties on top of a chocolate brownie, she makes it look good. Since the recipe is for a very dense, flat brownie, you could probably substitute the Smarties with M&M's or Sixlets and turn it into your version of a Cosmic Brownie.
Get the recipe at Crave by Random House.
Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears
Credit: The Gunny Sack
OK, so maybe you don't need a recipe to make chocolate-covered gummy bears, but we had to include this one because what kid wouldn't want to get these in their lunch box? Tonia mixed shortening with some melting chocolate and dipped the bears in the mixture with a fork. She must be a professional, because they landed on the wax paper without any mess.
Check out the recipe and see the gooey pictures here.
Caramel-Dipped Pretzel Rods
Credit: Sally's Baking Addiction
"Loaded" is one of the best words in the English language when used in terms of food, and these loaded caramel dipped pretzel rods are no exception. Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction melted a bunch of unwrapped caramels with heavy whipping cream for a simple caramel sauce. Crush up some of your children's favorite candy and you have a sweet and savory mid-day snack.
They're perfect to share with friends around the lunch table. Get the recipe here.