When the kids return home from school with a look in their eyes that says they wont make it until dinner, you need to have a snack ready.
Wed all love to think children would reach for carrot sticks or an apple. More likely, though, theyll be looking for something crunchy and salty or sweet and chewy.
And lets face it: Kale chips probably wont do.
Why not be prepared with healthful fuel for the brain: a snack mix or bar filled with whole-grain cereals and nuts?

Recipe from the Dispatch Kitchen:
Makes 20 servings
Have the kids help put this mix together on Sunday so its handy for the school week.
2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
2 cups Honey Nut Chex cereal or other favorite flavor
4 cups air-popped popcorn
1 cup raisins
1 cup M&Ms candies
1 cup cocktail peanuts (see note)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Note: To help those with peanut allergies, substitute walnuts or almonds, or a cup of broken pretzel sticks.
PER SERVING: 165 calories, 4 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 15 g sugars, 7 g fat (2 g saturated), 1mg cholesterol, 72 mg sodium

Recipe from www.eatright.org:
Makes 24 to 35 squares
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup dried cherries
Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with parchment paper.
Combine oats, cereal and salt in a bowl.
In a small saucepan over low to medium heat, combine peanut butter, chips, oil and honey; and stir until chocolate is melted. Pour mixture over cereal mix to coat.
Stir in cherries.
Press into pan. Chill for 3 hours, then cut into bars.
PER SERVING (based on 35): 100 calories, 2 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 8 g sugars, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 0 cholesterol, 57 mg sodium

Contact Lisa at labraham@dispatch.com or at @DispatchKitchen.