SOURCE: Hidden Valley

September 16, 2014 13:24 ET

A Simple Twist on After School Snacks

MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - Sep 16, 2014) - (Family Features) We all know it's important to start the day off with a healthy breakfast. As a parent, you also have lunch covered for your hungry student, whether it's packed in a brown bag or eaten in the cafeteria. But after a busy day of learning, young tummies often need a wholesome after-school snack to tide them over until dinner.

Keeping a stash of kid-friendly snacks handy is a sure-fire way to keep snack time manageable, while making sure kids don't have a full afternoon meal, which would spoil their appetite for dinner.

Instead of potato chips or cookies, try crunchy veggies paired with a flavorful dip. As an added (and educational) bonus, invite kids to help make snacks ahead of time, assigning them age-appropriate tasks like measuring and mixing. This introduces them to family meal prep and helps teach them about healthy eating habits at an early age.

Kick off your new after-school snack routine with a recipe like this one for Ranch Pimento Cheese Celery Logs, created by country music star and busy mom of seven, Sara Evans, on behalf of Hidden Valley. For a little kick, Evans suggests substituting with Hidden Valley® Spicy Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix. If your kids resist celery or you want a little variety, this spread also makes great finger sandwiches when layered between two slices of sandwich bread and cut into small triangles.

For more kid-friendly after-school snack ideas, visit

Ranch Pimento Cheese Celery Logs 
Makes: 30 filled celery logs 
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes 
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Hidden Valley® Original Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix
1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained
30 (2-inch) celery logs, cut from about 1 bunch of celery

Place cheese, mayonnaise, seasoning mix and pimentos in bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times until well combined but still chunky, taking care not to over mix. Alternatively, you can mix by hand, but it won't be quite as spreadable.

Divide cheese mixture among celery logs (about 2 teaspoons per log), mounding it into cavity.

Serve cold.

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