As children experience a growth spurt, so does their appetite. Snacks are a part of your child’s diet routine, and not all are bad. Regular healthy snacking can help children fulfill their nutritional requirements to support their growth and development. However, most packaged snacks are highly processed and rich in sugar, refined flour, and artificial preservatives. UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children (SOWC) report shows that 62 percent of adolescents attending school in high-income countries consume carbonated sugary soft drinks on a daily basis. Additionally, 49 percent of these adolescents indulge in fast food at least once a week. Consequentially, it becomes crucial to offer your child nutritious snack options.
Here, we bring you a list of healthy, delicious, and easy-to-make healthy snacks for kids.
30+ Healthy Snacks For Kids
1. Chia seed bites
Chia seeds are considered a superfood for adults or children. These protein-rich little bites of chia seeds, walnuts, coconut, almond or peanut butter, oats, and honey could make a super delicious and healthy snack. They can easily be refrigerated and grabbed after or before your kid’s play session. The chia seed bites contain no gluten, egg, dairy, or corn.
2. Celery with peanut butter and raisins
If you find it difficult to make your child eat vegetables, you can try a fun way with an “ants on a log” snack. You need a cut stalk of celery, loads of nutritious peanut butter (homemade or pre-packaged), and raisins for this snack. The peanut butter should be free from added sugar and vegetable oil. Top the stalks with butter and raisins, and the snack is ready, with a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
3. Pears with ricotta cheese
Who doesn’t love sweet juicy pears? A sweet treat for your kid that is high in fiber. Take a few slices of pears and spread them with ricotta cheese for an extra protein and calcium punch. Since ricotta cheese is soft and creamy, you can give it to younger kids. You can also try this cheese on whole-wheat toasted bread. You could also try this combination with cottage cheese or another low-fat cheese if ricotta cheese is unavailable, but make sure to season it properly.
4. Whole-grain crackers and nut butter
Whole-grain crackers, such as whole wheat crackers and brown rice cakes, are always a healthier alternative to chips. You can easily make sandwich crackers at home. Spread some nut butter (peanut or almond) on a whole-grain and seeds cracker. This snack is super-easy to make and contains a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fat. Avoid crackers made of refined flour and hydrogenated oils.
5. Ham, olive, and goat cheese mini frittatas
Easy to make, these mini frittatas are tasty light snacks after lunch. Mix spinach, ham, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, and eggs and bake it. This snack is rich in protein and calcium. All you need is a muffin pan and some baking skills for this snack and you can enjoy it with a crunchy slice of multigrain toast.
Low Sugar Snacks For Kids
6. Snow or snap peas with slivered almonds
The healthy, quick, and yummy snack is made with fresh, green snap or sugar peas. It is sauteed in little butter or oil, with kosher or Himalayan salt, and garnished with roasted almonds or cashews if almonds are unavailable. You can add a punch of flavors by adding lemon, parmesan, garlic, and other nuts.
7. Tomato avocado cups
For this snack, you will need either cherry or grape tomatoes and avocado for making guacamole. Tomato avocado cups are a great snack after school or play sessions. You can either make or buy it from the market. Apart from snacks, they also work as great appetizers for a party. They require no baking and only a knife and piping bag is enough.
8. Cucumber flowers with yogurt cheese
Strained yogurt is a protein-rich dip that goes well with several veggies. For yogurt cheese, strain the yogurt through a strainer. This recipe needs diced bell peppers (red or orange), yogurt cheese, and cucumber slices. You can put this cheesy yogurt mix on cucumber slices or make little flowers and fill them with the dip.
9. Cheesy broccoli bites
Broccoli is rich in fiber and vitamins. For this recipe, you need steamed broccoli blended with salt, pepper, dough, and cheese of your choice. Pan-fry the little dough balls of the paste until crispy and serve your kids as a healthy, delicious snack.
10. Cheesy zucchini sticks
A fan of mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce? This snack for kids is a twist on this classic recipe. Oozing with cheese and the goodness of zucchini, the snack could be a great way to make your kid try new veggies. All you need is a mozzarella stick, zucchini slices, and breadcrumbs shallow-fried for a crispy delight.
11. Sweet potato chips
Sweet potato is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. For this snack, the thumb rule is “ the crispier, the better.” Your kid can grab some of this sweet and salty snack, fulfill their appetite, and get the required nutrients. The recipe only needs baking and little preparation. Slice potatoes thinly or with a mandolin, sprinkle with vegetable oil, and bake until crispy.
12. Baked onion rings
Simple to make, it is a low-sugar and low-carb crispy snack. Your kids can even help you make this delicious dish that needs cut onion rings, egg white, and breadcrumbs. Once ready, slip into the oven and bake until crispier. You can use homemade cheesy dips for more flavor.
13. Guacamole ice cream cones
You will need whole wheat tortillas wrapped and baked as cones for this snack. You can make fresh guacamole with avocado, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and lemon or buy readymade from the market. Once the cones are crispy and ready, add guacamole and serve as nutrition-packed ice cream cones.
Fruit Snacks For Kids
14. Fruit smoothie
It is a great way to pack flavors and nutrition in one snack. For this recipe, use fresh, whole fruits and milk or Greek yogurt. With the natural sweetness of fruits, you can try different combinations with bananas, berries, apples, grapes, dried fruit, and even veggies.
15. Breakfast banana splits
For this nutritious and colorful snack, you would need a medium banana, yogurt, granola, and fruits of your kid’s choice. You can also use low-sugar cereal and nuts to make different versions of this simple dish. This snack could be a good option for even a formal brunch.
16. Yogurt And Fruit Cups
Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and a good source of fiber. Naturally sweet, this combination of fresh fruits and orange-flavored yogurt could be a healthy snack after a hot summer day at school or even at the breakfast table.
17. Lime-Honey Fruit Salad
A bowl of seasonal fruits with honey and lemon dressing is refreshing and adds punchy flavors. Cut various nutritious fruits and dress in lemon and honey for this simple and quick snack. You will realize that this snack is as quick to disappear from the table as much as it is easy to make.
18. Lemon-apricot fruit pops
The low-calorie sweet snack could be an excellent combo of flavors and nutrients. You will need orange juice, lemon zest, fresh apricots, and mint. You can use molds with a wooden stick or freezer pop pouches. Blend them all and fill in handy pop pouches for your kids to enjoy this fruity snack.
19. Frozen fruit popsicles
On a summer day, popsicles are a child’s favorite, packed with the goodness and nutrients of fresh fruits. Store-bought popsicles are rich in artificial flavors and sugar. Hence, making them at home could be a great alternative. All you need is ice cream molds, fruit puree, and some honey (optional). You can also use a small amount of fresh fruit juice, such fortified orange juice, for extra flavor.
Nutritious snacks for kids
20. Apple nachos with peanut butter
One of the perfect snacks for kids and a great breakfast snack too. The combination of apples with peanut butter is easy-to-make, and the filling is nutritious. Rich in fiber, protein, and vitamins, you can dress it with several nuts for crunchiness.
21. Garlic mushrooms
Mushrooms are a rich source of vitamins and are a good alternative to meat. For this snack, you will need lemon juice, chili flakes, mushrooms, garlic, and parsley. You can either saute or bake this savory snack. This is a good way to introduce your kids to more flavors and different vegetables.
22. Chicken stir-fry
The delicious dish is packed with protein and loaded with veggies. All you need is boneless chicken, teriyaki sauce, carrots, cornstarch, sugar peas, broccoli, and onions. This mouth-watering dish is packed with oriental flavors and is equally loved by adults.
23. Golden shrimps
Low in calories and rich in nutrients, this crispy snack is a favorite amongst kids. For this, you will need shrimp, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs; all shallow-fried for crispiness. You can serve it with a cheesy dip or a sweet chili sauce.
24. Funny fox toast
For this snack, you will need bananas (for the eyes), dark chocolate chips, almond (for the eyebrows), blueberry (for the nose), strawberries (for a pair of ears), peanut butter, and toast. You can even get your kid to make this toast as a fun activity that they will enjoy making and eating.
25. Turkey and apricot wraps
You will need reduced-fat cream cheese, baby spinach, whole wheat tortillas, and apricot preserves for these savory turkey and apricot wraps. Kids will surely love this filling snack.
26. Muffin-tin scrambled eggs
You would need ham, onion, cheese, chilies, mushrooms, peppers, and eggs for these mini scrambled eggs. Mix and place in a mini muffin tin to bake. After baking, you can store the muffins in an air-tight container and refrigerate them.
Children may sometimes overeat even the healthiest of snacks. It is, hence, essential to manage portion sizes while still letting them make some choices. Mari-Ann, a mom of two, explains how she sets up a snack area for her son using specific spots in a drawer and the fridge, “Now, when it comes time for a snack, I tell James (the son) he may choose a beverage and one of anything in either his refrigerator drawer or in his pantry drawer. This helps to eliminate the grazing-at-the-buffet effect that’s catapulting so many of our children (and us adults!) into obesity. It also provides James with an opportunity to have control over this aspect of his life and for him to know that I trust and respect his choice. All very important things (i).”
27. Hummus and veggie wrap-up
This tasty hummus and veggie wrap is a healthy snack your child would love. To make this nutritious treat, you’ll need whole-wheat tortilla wraps, shredded mixed veggies (like cucumbers, carrots, and sweet onions), alfalfa sprouts, and hummus. It’s a great snack to satisfy your child’s appetite after a fun outdoor play session. You can also pair hummus with veggie sticks and banana chips for a healthy dip.
28. Vinegar and sea salt crackers
The vegan recipe is flavorful and super easy to make. For making these crackers, you need almond or whole wheat flour, white vinegar, salt, and aquafaba. Mix together, then, using a pinwheel, you can cut them into the shapes your kid likes and make them thin and crispy before baking. You can also use a fork to make old-time holes in the crackers.
29. Smoked vegetable sushi rolls
If there is leftover rice, you can use it for this vegan sushi snack that kids will simply love. You would need smoked tofu, peppers, toasted nori, and sliced avocado, rice vinegar combined with sushi rice, and your low-calorie snack is ready. Equally loved by adults, you can have it in brunch or evenings.
30. Avocado crackers
The healthy snack will bring instant satisfaction and a smile to your kid’s face. For this zesty, salty snack, you need freshly made guacamole from avocado and crispbread. You can top it with salsa and cilantro to add a refreshing flavor. You will see in no time the snack will disappear from the table.
31. Citrus infused strawberries
The beverage snack is super healthy and hydrating. With fresh flavors of strawberries, lemon juice, orange juice, and some honey, you can create this refreshing beverage for hot summer days. Your children will love this cool and colorful snack.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often should I offer snacks to my children?
You should give your children something to eat every two to three hours. So, you should offer them three meals and two or three snacks daily (1). Some quick and easy snacks children can eat include cheese sticks, oatmeal, popcorn, hard-boiled eggs, pretzels, and trail mix containing various dried fruit, nuts, and seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
2. Should I limit giving snacks to my children?
No, you should not limit giving snacks to your children, as regular snacks will manage their hunger and keep them energetic. Moreover, giving snacks is a good way to add more nutrients to the diet of picky eaters. However, remember to offer healthy and nutrient-dense snacks to your children rather than foods that provide empty calories (2).
3. Why is it important for kids to eat healthy snacks?
Healthy snacks are important for the overall growth of children. They also boost energy and prevent children from being overly hungry between meals. Furthermore, healthy snacks promote healthy weight gain besides providing ample nourishment (3).
4. Are there any store-bought snack options that are healthy for kids?
Granola bars, whole-grain crackers, cheese crisps, rice cakes, roasted (unsalted) nuts and chickpeas, unsweetened yogurt, and fruit smoothies are some healthy store-bought snack options for kids. However, ensure to check the food labels for fat and sugar content and serving size of the product before serving them to kids.
Snacking doesn’t need to be associated with unhealthy eating habits. If you give healthy, homemade nutrition-packed snacks to your kids, this can fulfill their appetite and help them develop a taste for different fruits and vegetables. Try these snacks and encourage your child to make healthier choices.
Infographic: Infographic: Nutritious And Tasty Snacks For Children
Children love snacking, but finding nutritious snacks for children likable to their taste buds can be challenging. This infographic presents a selection of wholesome and tasty snack ideas that are perfect for children. All these snack ideas require simple ingredients and are easy to make, so you can also include your children in the preparation.
- Children love snacking frequently, and you may make their snack time nutritious and interesting by adding healthy snack recipes.
- Try mouthwatering recipes such as sweet potato chips, baked onion rings, whole-grain crackers, and nut butter.
- Add a healthy twist by including low-sugar snacks like veggie wraps, zucchini sticks, or broccoli bites.
- Give them a fruit treat with banana splits, fruit smoothies, and frozen fruit popsicles.
Check out this video for eight delicious and healthy after-school snacks that will keep your kids energized and happy!
Personal Experience: Source
i. Our snack break-food & setup.
- How Much and How Often To Feed.
- Snack attack: Healthy snacking for kids.