Are you in a ‘snack rut’ for your kids, perhaps offering the same thing day after day? Are you wanting some healthy snack ideas? Or just some new ideas to add into your rotation? Well you are in luck because I’ve compiled a list of 14 healthy snack ideas for kids! And not only are they healthy, they are EASY too!
For most of the snacks, I’ve included links to nutrition information. Also keep in mind the age of your children when serving these snacks; some might not be appropriate for the very young due to choking concerns. Please exercise caution when serving certain foods. For more information on anti-choking guidelines for kids, check out this Anti Choking Cheat Sheet.
1. Fresh Cut Fruit
Our son loves slices of apples, orange sections, and grapes. Other great options are slices of mango, kiwi, blackberries. blueberries, and raspberries. Remember to be careful with grapes, though, due to choking hazards. For young children, the grapes should be cut into quarters.
2. Dried Fruit
Besides the common raisin, other dried fruit our son loves are apricots, prunes, dates, and figs.
There are also dried cherries and even bags with mixed tropical fruit such as pineapple and mango. Again, be aware of choking risks for very young children.
3. Fresh Cut Vegetables
Carrots (sliced thin or shredded), cucumber slices, peppers, celery, broccoli florets, or tomato slices all make very healthy snacks. If your child is not yet willing to eat plain vegetables, consider dipping them in dressing, hummus, or almond butter (see below). You can even add shredded cheese to sliced zucchini and broil for a few minutes!
Hummus is a hit in our family. Basic hummus is made from chickpeas (garbanzo beans), olive oil, and garlic so it’s filled with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and many vitamins and minerals. Buy organic hummus or make your own; that way you can make sure it contains the best ingredients.
You can eat hummus with pita bread, crackers, or vegetables. We use organic round crackers or rice crackers, which are a good option if you want to avoid gluten. Good vegetables to use for dipping in hummus are snap peas, sliced peppers, celery, or sliced carrots.
5. Nuts and Seeds
If your child is old enough (some guidelines say 4 or 5 years old, due to choking risks) nuts can be a great snack. They are a great source of healthy fats and protein as well as various vitamins and minerals. We personally avoid eating peanuts, but cashews, pecans, almonds, and walnuts are good nut options. Sunflower and pumpkin are good seeds for a snack. We usually have a small handful of nuts or seeds after eating fruit.
6. Almond Butter (or other Nut Butter)
Another way to get some great protein and healthy fats is from nut butters. Again, we avoid peanuts and therefore peanut butter (peanuts are high in mold) but there are many healthy nut butters to choose from; our favorite is almond butter.
It works great to spread almond butter thin on crackers. We use organic round crackers or rice crackers, which are a good option if you want to avoid gluten.
You can also combine almond butter with fruit or vegetables. Did anyone eat “ants on a log” growing up? Just spread some almond butter on the inside curve of a piece of celery and place several raisins on top! I have also heard of dipping sliced apples in almond butter.
Cheese is a great source of protein, calcium, Vitamin A, and Riboflavin (as well as many other minerals). I recommend buying only organic cheese, or as natural as you can get it (at least cheese made from cows not treated with hormones or antibiotics). You can cut it in cubes, slice it thin for a cracker topping, or shred it.
8. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is another option for a high-protein snack. I like to put cottage cheese on crackers and then sprinkle with Organic All Season Salt; my three year old son loves this, too! (Again, we use organic round crackers or rice crackers, which are a good option if you want to avoid gluten.)
I know some people who like to combine cottage cheese and fruit. I’ve never tried it; it sounds like an, um, interesting combination. Has anyone else tried it?
9. Frozen Shelled Edamame (Soybeans)
Frozen shelled edamame is also a great snack that provides protein, fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, and many other vitamins and minerals. Be sure that you only buy ORGANIC edamame to ensure a non-GMO product. (I think 90% of soybeans grown in the USA are genetically modified.) Genetically Modified Organisms create many risks for the planet and for our health.
An excellent source of healthy fats and vitamins and minerals (like Vitamins C, K, Folate, and Potassium), avocados make a great snack. You can slice them and eat them plain, or you can also make a simple guacamole dip for tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetables.
11. Homemade Muffin
When you make muffins yourself, you can not only control the ingredients and make sure they only contain good stuff, but you can also add many other healthy ingredients that your kids might not normally eat. I recently received a copy of a great muffin recipe book (750 Best Muffin Recipes) which I will be reviewing here shortly. Many of its recipes call for nutritious ingredients such as fruit, quinoa, carrots, avocado, sweet potato, squash, flax seeds, Goji berries, and millet. For example, we have tried apricot quinoa muffins, Georgia peach muffins, vegan carrot cake muffins, and blackberry oat muffins.
12. Plain Yogurt with Berries or Granola
Something that I love to eat for breakfast would make a great snack also: plain yogurt with berries or granola.
13. Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta
A plate of cherry tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese sounds great to me – and it would be a great snack for kids, too. Again, be sure they are old enough to handle the tomatoes and olives.
14. Fresh Bread Dipped in Olive Oil with Feta Cubes
Another great snack idea to me would be fresh bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil, with some feta cheese cubes. It’s a great way to get the healthy fats in olive oil that are so good for us.
I hope you are now filled with lots of ideas for healthy snacks for your entire family! If you have any other ideas for healthy snacks, please leave a comment and share. I love to hear from my readers!
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Wendy – ParentingTips365.com
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