REAL SIMPLE. REAL LIFE.resident foodie Nathan Lyon offers these nutritious afternoon alternatives. (Yes, your kids will actually eat them!)

By Real Simple
Updated January 20, 2009
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David Prince

WHOLE WHEAT MINI PIZZAS

Toast a whole wheat English muffin, then top it with tomato sauce and a good quality cheese, such as aged mozzarella. (The better the cheese, the stronger the flavor―which means you can use less.) Pop it in the broiler until bubbly.

PRE-SLICED APPLES, CHEESE, AND PEANUT BUTTER

Perfect for prepping ahead of time. Slice an apple into wedges, drizzle with lemon juice, and place in a resealable plastic bag. (The citric acid will keep the apple from going brown.) Serve with a scoop of all-natural peanut butter and a small hunk of cheddar cheese.

HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX

Why buy the processed pre-made stuff? Instead, create your own blend from your family’s favorite nuts, dried fruits, and seeds, preferably salt- and sugar-free. (All that protein will keep tummies from growling before dinnertime.) Cater to sweet teeth by adding in dark chocolate chips with a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher.

FROZEN GRAPES

Rinse and dry fresh grapes, then place them in the freezer in a sealed plastic container for a guiltless anytime nibble.

MEDITERRANEAN DELIGHT

Set up an assortment of crispy pita chips, carrots, and celery alongside store-bought hummus and baba ganoush spreads.