11 Top Healthy Snacks for Kids
As parents, it is natural to want to buy the healthiest snacks for kids, but there is also the easy temptation of buying cheap, salty snacks that children seem to love. When your children are complaining that their stomachs are rumbling, it can seem like a major task to prepare a healthy snack, but there are a number of easy and nutritious options that your kids may love.
Childhood obesity is a global epidemic, and that is not limited to the United States. This is largely due to the excessive amounts of high-fructose corn syrup in many snack foods, as well as the parallel between inexpensive food and unhealthy food. If you want the best for your child, it is important to remember that you can provide healthy snacks without breaking the bank.
List of Healthy Snacks for Kids
When it comes to healthy snacks for kids, try out these classic options that include:
Grilled Cheese: While grilled cheese may seem like a fattening or greasy, unhealthy snack, it is easy to make it a much healthier option. Use whole-wheat bread and more flavorful cheese, such as bleu cheese, which means you will use less, but still deliver that delicious flavor. Furthermore, put the butter in the pan, and try a healthier spread inside the sandwich, such as mustard or a light sprinkling of lemon juice.
Kale Chips: If you want something better than potato chips, why not spread some kale leaves on a cookie sheet, sprinkle it with some olive oil, and then bake for 15-20 minutes. The leaves will crisp up, while retaining all of their nutritional value and the small amount of olive oil is much better than all of the saturated fats in most potato chip recipes.
Rice Cake Pizzas: Rice cakes are excellent sources of fiber and minerals but they are a bit boring. Try making rice cake pizzas with hummus or yogurt, long with a range of colorful toppings, such as chopped fruit or vegetables, seeds or nuts. This can be a fun and healthy snack for kids that they actually enjoy eating!
Whole-Wheat Graham Crackers: High-sugar foods snacks like graham crackers are simple, but there are also healthier base options, such as eliminating the excessive empty carbohydrates of cookies. Using whole-grain graham crackers gives the same sweetness, but also boosts fiber intake and doesn’t cause as much blood sugar fluctuation.
Applesauce: A store-bought jar of applesauce will often contain far more sugar than what you want to give your child and making your own apple sauce at home will let you control what goes into the applesauce. This way you can give your kids a nutrient-dense snack with no excess amount of added sugar.
Snack Bowls: Combining snacks like popcorn, nuts, seeds, pretzels and corn chips, along with a sweet treat like M&Ms, can be an excellent way to get your children eating better snacks. This “trail mix for kids” will definitely be a favorite for your children.
Healthy Snack Recipes for Kids
Coming up with simple and reliable recipes for healthy snacks for kids isn’t always easy, but some of the best options include celery and peanut butter, sliced vegetables and dip, fruit salads and cheese plates.
- 1/4 ounce of feta cheese
- 1/4 ounce of goat cheese
- 1/4 ounce of fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 ounce of blue cheese
- 10-15 whole wheat crackers
Instead of letting your children eat high-sodium and overly processed cheese, give them some of the healthiest options with high levels of protein and low levels of fat. Pairing this with fruit or vegetables on the side can be an excellent meal replacement that delivers healthy fats, vitamins and minerals – along with a great taste!
Ants on a Log
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1/2 cup of raisins
This classic recipe involves spreading peanut butter into chopped celery stalks and then topping with raisins. This is one of the best healthy snacks for kids, as it delivers a solid burst of protein, along with dietary fiber and a number of minerals from the raisins.
Vegetables and Dip
- 1/2 cup of chopped celery
- 1/2 cup of chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup of chopped red pepper
- 1 cup of hummus
This recipe is a colorful and simple way to increase vegetable intake and promote healthy snacking habits, as this snack provides plenty of dietary fiber and nutrients, helping keep your kids full between meals and avoiding unhealthy saturated fat-laden snack foods.
- 1/2 cup of grapes
- 1/2 cup of chopped pineapple
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1/2 sliced apple
- 1/2 sliced pear
- 1 cup of strawberry yogurt
Having your kids participate in preparing this snack will be a fun way to teach them about proper fruit intake, while still delivering a sweet treat. The dietary fiber, high vitamin C levels and countless antioxidants in this snack, as well as the probiotics of the yogurt, will help sate your child’s appetite and improve their digestion!
Best Healthy Snacks for Kids
Providing healthy snacks for kids may seem difficult, but there are plenty of creative and delicious options, such as frozen smoothies, cucumber rolls, specialty pizzas, exotic salsas and banana rolls.
Specialty Pizza: Children love pizza, so instead of forbidding the snack, fill your pizzas with a range of vegetables and spices. By adding green peppers, mushrooms, onions and olives to a pizza, rather than pepperoni or sausage, you will give your kids their favorite food instead of unhealthy cheese and processed meat.
Frozen Smoothies: Fruit and vegetable smoothies are popular for adults, but they aren’t that exciting for kids. Try blending pineapples, cantaloupes, strawberries, spinach and blueberries into a smoothie and then filling up popsicle containers. A few hours later, your children will have sweet and delicious popsicles without much sugar in it.
Cucumber Rolls: Sushi is popular among adults, but it’s hard to convince a child to enjoy the same for its benefits. Instead, make your own cucumber rolls by slicing long strips of red pepper, celery, cucumber and yellow pepper. Then, spread cream cheese on the inside of the cucumber strips, place the other ingredients, and roll them up. These are fun, colorful and delicious snacks that provide a large amount of dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins your growing children need.
Banana Rolls: Start by slicing a banana, dunking them in Greek yogurt and then rolling them in oatmeal or a bran mix. Once this is done, freeze the banana rolls on a cookie sheet for 1-2 hours. When you take them out, they are one of the best healthy snacks for kids, delivering dietary fiber, potassium, probiotics and whole grains in each bite.
Exotic Salsa: Salsa is one of the easiest dips to make, and if you want something that isn’t packed with excess sodium, choose your fresh vegetables carefully. Slice tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, mango and pineapple and put it in a food processor. Once your salsa is properly sliced and diced, serve it with a side of whole-wheat or corn tortilla chips. This healthy snack is colorful, uniquely flavored and packed with fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, all of which your needed for the growth of your child.