One of the most challenging things for Moms is getting our kids to eat healthy. Snacks can be very tricky since so many of them that are advertised are UNhealthy! Because of this, I have complied a list of 40 healthy snack ideas to get your creative juices going, and get your kids eating healthier!
Before we get started, keep in mind that kids are just like us! They eat with their eyes first. So, always make sure that when you are presenting healthy alternatives that you are making them visually appealing!
40 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
1. Cheese. Wedges, strips, chunks and blocks. Create fun shapes and designs. Cheese is a fun and healthy snack that is packed with many flavor variations.
2. Fresh Fruit. Fresh fruit should be far more prevalent in a person’s diet than sugar. Teaching our children to love fresh fruit will benefit them throughout life. Make it fun. Combine it with cheeses, or other healthy pairings. You can also get creative with presentation and make fun shapes, cute animals, funny faces, and more.
3. Raw Veggies with Dips. Raw veggies are very high in nutrition. One way to get kids to actually consume raw vegetables is to offer a dip with them. A few ideas; yogurt, spinach dip, cream cheese, salad dressing, and even peanut butter for carrots and celery will work! We do a fun variation of ants on a log in our home… instead of only putting peanut butter and raisins in the celery, Ialso use cream cheese and cranberries. I call it red ants on a log in the snow! The kids love it!
4. Peanut Butter. Any nut butter really. They are all nutritious. I would recommend ones with no sugar or at least a limited amount. You can use it as a dip, in a sandwich, in a recipe or as a spread. A fun way to get kids to eat more nut butters is to let them create their own. Let them combine nuts and different flavors for a fun twist.
5. Banana Nut Cupcakes. Yum. :) (see recipe link)
6. Use Natural Sweeteners… Other than Sugar! Honey, peanut butter, agave nectar, 100% maple syrup, natural (no sugar added) apple sauce, and/or mashed bananas instead of sugar in recipes. I use apple sauce a LOT to help flavor recipes in a healthy way.
7. Dry Cereal Trail Mix. Combine some high fiber, low sugar cereal with nuts, dried fruit and healthy goodies for a very nutritious — and tasty snack. Serve it with coconut, almond, or cow’s milk for even more nutritious benefits!
8. Yogurt Pops. Combine fresh fruit and/or berries with plain or vanilla flavored yogurt, place in a popsicle mold (cleaned out used yogurt cups with popsicle sticks placed in center work great!), freeze. Bam, you have a yummy and healthy snack for the kids!
9. Quesadillas. This is a great low fat snack kids will love. Simply add shredded chicken (or other meat), and a favorite shredded cheese, maybe a tomato to one tortilla, then cover with another tortilla, heat in oven or in pan. Serve with sour cream or guacamole. Yum. You can do many things with this idea. Even roll ups, other meats, or a sweet snack with cooked apples and cinnamon. This is a healthy shack idea that has so many fabulous options! Get creative.
10. Sweet Potato Tater Tots. I found these in my grocery store freezer section. They are yummy and healthy, Add cinnamon for a sweet twist. They also come in steak and waffle fry forms. If you want to go the more natural approach, buy your own sweet potatoes and make “sweet” potato pancakes. All you need to do is take 3 large sweet potatoes and shred them, add 2 large eggs, 1/4 cup of flour, salt and pepper to taste. Heat up some oil on medium heat. Then, with a large tablespoon, scoop spoonfuls into the hot oil and press them down a little to make them have a “pancake” appearance. Cook until each side is golden brown. Serve with natural apple sauce, plain, or with mascarpone cheese. YUM. You will become very popular with this healthy snack!
11. Cucumber Sandwiches with Cream Cheese. SO simple. All you need is thinly sliced cucumbers, bread, cream cheese and maybe salt and pepper. If you want to have fun with it, use cookie cutters to make them into mini shapes. Feel free to get creative and add extras!
12. Smoothies. What kid doesn’t like smoothies? There are many options with this one… yogurt, almond milk, fresh/frozen fruit, wheat germ, berries, milk, coconut milk, honey, juices, spinach, melons, etc. Creativity, fresh ingredients and limited sugar are the keys to a healthy smoothie! Try these recipes: Melon Smoothie with Mint and Hawaiian Smoothie. Sky is the limit!
13. Kabobs. You can go sweet or savory with this one. Savory: chicken and carrots cut into chunks, grilled and served with a yummy dip. Sweet: Fresh fruit and cheese cut into chunks served with or without a dip. Kids love food on a stick.
14. Popcorn. Easy, yummy and fun. You can also flavor it with cinnamon, spices, honey, salt, cheese, etc. You can have them string it and eat it after they play with it. You can let them get creative with flavorings. Have fun with this healthy snack!
15. PB & J Sandwiches. Most kids love PB&J’s. Use all fruit jam/jelly with NO sugar added, and different types of nut butter. Even mashed bananas work with this. Nut butter and jam toast triangles are yummy too.
16. Rice Cakes. Plain, flavored or with a nut butter spread, cream cheese, etc. You can create many topping variations.
17. Apple Sauce. My kids love apple sauce. I go for the natural, no sugar added kind. However, they do have low sugar and colored types as well. It is a quick and easy healthy snack option when you have no time or energy to be creative!
18. Berries. Another favorite for my kiddos are fresh berries. Any and all kinds! I serve them up plain and sometimes when I am feeling really generous with some Reddi-Wip. Throw some in yogurt, smoothies, part of toppings, etc.
19. String Cheese. This is a really easy snack. String cheese by itself or with some grapes are super healthy–and have a major yum factor! This is another great option when you busy or too tired to be creative!
20. Fresh Guacamole and Baked Tortilla Chips. Fresh is key here. Avocados, a little lime juice, cilantro and whatever veggies your kids like (tomato, onions, etc) — mix, refrigerate for an hour and serve with baked tortilla chips. I started my kids young on healthy snacks, so they are not turned off by green colors. If your kids are, try having them HELP make it. They
21. Baked Apples. There are many recipes Online for this one. Filling with oatmeal and cinnamon is one of our favs. Variation: Baked Apricots with Almonds.
22. Honey Nut Apple Toast. Yum. (see recipe link)
23. Go mini. Kids love small things…including snacks! Make smaller versions of some healthy snacks for a fun approach. Plus, it encourages portion control.
24. Popsicles. No sugar added real fruit versions are the best. You can even make your own with fresh fruits and berries in fruit juice. Let the kids help create fun flavor combos!
25. Pretzels. Simple, low-fat and fun. I poke the stick pretzels in grapes or olives to make “balloons.” It’s quick, easy, and the kids like them!
26. Banana or Plantain Chips. A great alternative to potato chips. Baked varieties are even better! Make your own for an even healthier option.
27. Dried Fruit. This can be tricky–but well worth the nutritional value and tastiness. You will need to either make your own, or find non sugar added varieties. Not all stores have them. However, a lot of health food grocers do.
28. English Muffin Pizzas. Basically you are using the English muffin as your crust. The rest is up to you. I also use bagels for this.
29. Parfaits. Yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, repeat. Top with a fresh whole strawberry. Major YUM factor here! You can also let the kids get creative with the mixings.
30. Lunch Meat and Cheese Roll Ups. Your kid’s favorite meat as the outside and cheese rolled in the middle… or flip it. You can even throw in a cucumber stick if you want. Think outside the box.
31. Easy Peasy Cubans. My kids adore this one. I take a tortilla and spread a tiny bit of mustard on it, then add a piece or two of thinly sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and a thin pickle slice. Roll up. Wrap in plastic and microwave for 15-30 seconds. If you do not have a microwave (and I do not at this time), wrap in foil and bake for a few minutes until warm.
32. Frozen Banana Treats. Take a banana and dip it in yogurt, then roll in finely chopped nuts. Very healthy snack that is very yummy. Variation: dip strawberries in plain or vanilla yogurt and freeze for another great frozen treat.
33. Apple Slices with a twist. My oldest LOVES this one. Slice an apple into eighths or quarters, spread with peanut butter, place 2-3 chocolate (or other flavor) teddy grahams onto peanut butter. (I do not go over board with sugar, but I also do not forbid it. It is OK for them to have a little.) You can use a different nut butter and other toppings as well. Again, tailor make it to your kid’s liking.
34. High Energy Crunchy Balls. Yum. (see recipe link)
35. Healthy Banana Split. Cut a banana into strips and put scoops of frozen yogurt instead of ice cream. Top with berries and honey. You can make a cool sundae bar for this with many healthy topping ideas. It is fun and tasty for the kids.
36. Fruity S’mores. Instead of marshmallow and chocolate in the middle of the graham crackers, try frozen yogurt and fresh fruit. Mashed bananas are a great combo with the yogurt. Go with what works for your kids.
37. Make it Fun. Smiley faces, wagon wheels, shapes and more. Use your imagination and make the food you give your kids appealing to them. Fun will always win! Also, like I have mentioned several times, get them involved. They will want to eat their creations… at least my kids do!
38. Cottage Cheese and Peaches. A small curd cottage cheese with peaches is a tasty, healthy snack option. You can variate the fruit to your child’s liking. A few ideas: pineapples, pears, mangoes, etc.
39. Pop Chips. They come in many flavors and are low fat and never fried. Yummy snack for Mom too! This is yet another quick idea for busy moms!
40. Frozen Grapes. Just freeze them and serve. You may need to let them sit for a few minutes so they are not too hard, but they are like a yummy grape sorbet! They are SO good, it is hard to believe it’s healthy!
I really hope these healthy snack ideas get your creative juices flowing. There are so many recipe ideas that you can come up with from this list of 40. Use your imagination, limit refined sugar and flour, add in fresh fruits and veggies, and you will train your children to not only choose healthy snacks, but enjoy them!
Do you have some great ideas for a healthy snack not listed above? Share them in a comment below!
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