Smile Politely

Five awesome after school snacks

2020, you have really been a royal pain in the ass thus far. Thanks to COVID-19, a whole lot of us in the C-U community and beyond have found ourselves at home with virtual learners. In an attempt to keep life as normal as possible, I still try to take my antsy kids on a “after school” outing just like the good ole days.

Here are five snacks perfect for a midday treat or a quick stop on the way to an evening activity. I would love to hear your suggestions of other after school snacks, so please drop them in the comments. 

Jumbo chocolate chip cupcake from Lucky Moon Pies and More on a plate. Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cupcake | Lucky Moon Pies and More

There are so many layers to this decadent cupcake ($3.99) that I almost don’t know where to begin. From the bottom up, it is a moist, sweet chocolate chip cake, topped with chocolate chip cookie dough icing — and then, topped with a dollop of cookie dough. Yes, you’re seeing that correctly: cookie dough. Each bite is an explosion of different flavors and textures in your mouth that kids will go crazy over. This cupcake isn’t always on the menu, so check out their daily offerings on their Facebook page. Call ahead, order, and pay over the phone for fast and convenient curbside pickup.

Lucky Moon Pies and More
401 E. Oak St
W-Fri 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sa 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Strawberry smoothie in a plastic to go cup with no straw in front of Yoyo's sign. Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Very Strawberry Smoothie | YoYo’s Coffee

Thanks to COVID-19, our beloved YoYo’s self-serve froyo is a thing of the past. (For now, anyway.) Never fear though: the owners temporarily closed and re-opened as a coffee shop. YoYo’s still has the same beautiful atmosphere and excellent service which was a huge reason to drop by in the first place. The biggest and most exciting addition? A drive-through. Perfect for us busy guardians who need convenient and fast access to snacks and drinks for hungry little ones. The biggest favorite in my household is the Very Strawberry Smoothie ($3.75). The perfect blend of strawberries, bananas, vanilla, and skim milk will fuel your kiddos for the evening’s events. Dine-in is also available.

YoYo’s Coffee
104 S Lombard St
Su-Th 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
F 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sa 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cajun fries from Meathead's with a small black cup of cheese on a brown table. Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Cheesy Cajun Fries | Meatheads

Okay, we’ve all had the Cajun fries at Meatheads ($3.70). Crunchy, salty, spicy, and delicious, right? Not only that, but the size small is huge. The perfect portion for two kids to share. Have you ever topped these bad boys with Meathead’s cheese sauce? Oh my. Chef’s kiss, you guys. As a connoisseur of all things cheesy, I’m aware that not all cheese sauces are created equal. Some are too yellow, too nacho cheesy (in my daughter’s words), overly congealed, and, worst of all, cold. Meathead’s sauce is none of these. It has a true cheese taste. The sauce was warm (even after a 20 minute drive home) and is the perfect creamy accent to the spicy Cajun fries. Meatheads currently provides dine-in, carryout, curbside, or drive-through service. I chose to call ahead, place my order, pay over the phone, and run in to grab my food which was ready within five minutes. Super quick and easy when you’re on the go with a car full of wild ones.

1305 S Neil St
Su-Sa 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Cereal killer frozen drink from Pandamonium in Champaign, Illinois in front of the food truck. Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

The Blended Cereal Killer | Pandamonium Doughnuts

My 10-year-old and I made a truly shocking discovery one afternoon on a visit to Pandamonium: the Cereal Killer doughnut is also a drink ($5.75). What is this crazy sorcery you’re giving me, Panda? Not only is it pretty to look at, but it tastes just like a yummy, sweet bowl of icy cold Fruity Pebbles. Perfectly blended and adorned with a beautiful swirl of whipped cream and a confetti of cereal, it is truly a special after school treat. Walk on up to the brightly colored food truck (mask required), place your order, pay, and then head to the store front for pick up.

Pandamonium Doughnuts
1105 Windsor Rd.
W-Su 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until sold out)

Turkey sandwich and chicken soup from Art Mart on cellophane wrapper. Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Photo by Stephanie Wheatley.

Turkey Sandwich and Chicken Soup | Art Mart

I have been a huge fan of Art Mart’s grab-and-go case for years. Delicious, fresh, ready to eat snacks and meals that are awesome. My kids love a classic soup and sandwich combo, and Art mart doesn’t disappoint. This chicken soup ($3.99) is next level. I mean, for real. After her first bite, my daughter said, “Oh my God. Where did you find this?” Massive chunks of chicken, perfectly cooked noodles, and just a few carrots, so the picky kids won’t be too alarmed. The turkey and Swiss cheese on a croissant ($5.95) was delightful as well. The Dijon honey mustard smear was tangy, sweet, and the best addition to a basic sammie. Let’s not forget that grown-ups can grab a fresh coffee or a bottle of wine on the way out. Art Mart has something for everyone. 

Art Mart
1705 S Prospect Ave
M-Sa 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Su 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Top image by Stephanie Wheatley.

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