Be it packing a school snack before 8am in the morning, or trying to fix a quick after-school meal, thinking up healthy snacks that kids will actually eat can be a stressful.
It doesn’t have to be like trying to disguise oatmeal raisin cookies as chocolate chip, or hiding veggies in the dip.
Healthy snacks can be tasty too, as long as they are fun! But don’t worry if you’re drawing a blank on what to make, it only takes some experimenting and creativity to master the art of snack time.
To get you started, here are a few tried and tested nutritious snacks that are tasty enough to tempt your picky eaters.
With a few customizations to these recipes, you’ll be making your own healthy snack ideas for your kids, in no time at all.
Image source: The Worktop
The classic combination of Apples and Peanut Butter is even more delicious in a slurpy smoothie form.
Blend together 2 cored apples, 2 sliced bananas, and a half cup of oat milk (substitute with any other type of milk as needed) with some crushed ice, and - of course - a lumped tablespoon of your favorite brand of peanut butter, and your kid-friendly healthy snack is ready.
Peanut Butter is everywhere in kids’ snack recipes, but aside from providing the essential tasty fibers and fats, it is also rich in trace minerals like magnesium, and vitamin E antioxidants.
When combined with the nutrients in low-calorie apples, this smoothie provides a healthy and energizing alternative to other sugar-heavy fruit smoothie options for kids.
And if you want to switch it up a little, here’s a little formula for the perfect kid-friendly healthy snack smoothie:
- a creamy base (peanut butter, for example, or greek yogurt)
- something fruity (frozen berries, or more low-calorie fruits like apples and pears)
- a protein (nuts are your best bet here! Almonds and chia are our favorites)
- and a mixer (non-dairy milks add a tasty touch here) to finish.
And if you still need healthy smoothie ideas for your kids’ snack time, here’s a nifty list with 10 more recipes to get you started.
Image source: The Bump
Nothing beats the satisfying crunch of nacho chips. If you find that a good crunch is an especial favorite during your after-school snack time, you can try roasted or raw foods to get that same texture.
Try this quick recipe for roasted chickpeas, by tossing a can of chickpeas with ¼ cup of olive oil, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, salt to taste, and some turmeric, and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
You’ll have a healthy and homemade snack that goes down with just as much crunch as a bag of chips - your kids are sure to appreciate the texture choice.
Image source: The Bump
Another healthy choice for your kids to crunch on is cereal clusters.
Warm and combine ¼ cup of a nut butter with the same amount of maple syrup, mix with ¾ cup of a cereal of your kids’ choice (Our favorites are Honey-Nut Cheerios), and set aside to harden for about 10 minutes.
These are perfect as sides on packed school lunches, and for snacking on the go.
Image source: The Creative Bite
Fruit Salad tastes even better when it’s loaded onto - again, crunchy - tortilla chips (homemade or not), because it has a satisfying crunch.
Fold together some diced berries, apples, bananas (and seasonal fruits as available) with 1 cup of honey greek yogurt, and serve immediately.
This refueling snack is perfect for lethargic afternoons when the energy is running low. Protein, calcium, and potassium of greek yogurt, with the vitamins in the fruits, atop the crunchy carbs in the chips - it’s a mini meal to refuel your picky eaters.
Dips and other snacks that are DIY of sorts, and need to be constructed, do have the potential to make a mess, but they are the easiest way to make a healthy snack fun and interactive.
Sometimes the trick is to get kids to make the snacks themselves. And if you’re picking the ingredients, then you’ve got nutritious, tasty and fun, all in one!
Image source: I Heart Name Time
One classic “DIY kid snack” is the recipe for Ants in A Log, celery sticks with a creamy filling, and the “ants” - berries, raisins, craisins etc. - sprinkled on top.
There might be something unappetizing about naming a children’s snacks after insects, but it’s an unforgettable visual and it’s sure to get your kids giggling.
Cut up some celery stalks in half, and you have your logs, ready for your kids to fill them up with a tasty filling, and dot over with ‘ants’ or jewels or elephants or goats on monkeys - of their choice!
While the original recipe calls for the nutritious combo of peanut butter and raisins, you can try a number of variations on this - top the peanut butter with honey, before you add the raisins, and you’ll have ‘Ants on a Slip ‘n Slide’!
And you can always substitute the peanut butter filling with another nut butter or cream cheese, something healthier like protein-rich hummus, goat cheese, or even tuna salad (it’s good we promise!).
Here are some combinations that we really enjoy:
- Hummus and Cherry Tomatoes (Hearts on a Sleeve)
- Peanut Butter and Dried Cranberries (Fire Ants on A Log)
- Honey and Miniature Pretzels (Bears in a Honey Bath)
- Herbed Goat Cheese and Salami (Elves in a Snowstorm)
Part of the fun of making Ants in A Log variations is about getting your kids to help.
Get them busy constructing their own snacks, decorating their fibrous celery with nutrient-rich berries and raisins. And of course, they’re sure to have fun picking some zany names - Bunnies on the Prairie, Crows on the Road - you can even make a game of it!
Here is a whole list of possibilities for your DIY version of Ants in A Log.
And when all else fails: popcorn!
The easiest and most versatile of children’s snacks (and definitely an all-star of many healthy snacks for kids listicles on the internet), popcorn is also nutritious.
Not only is it a low-calorie whole-grain, but it’s also loaded with polyphenol antioxidants, and a surprising amount of vitamin A.
Doubling as an after-school snack, and a healthy side for a packed school lunch, popcorn is another DIY snack for kids that is both healthy and fun.
And what’s great is that you can give it a makeover any which way with your child- sweet-tooth? Drizzle honey and cinnamon over popped popcorn, salt to taste~
For something more savory, you can sprinkle in a combination of herbs (customized, of course, for your kids’ taste buds) with just a dab of butter - try a combination of oregano, basil, garlic salt, and grated parmesan cheese, for a pizza flavored popcorn.
And of course, there is always classic salted (we like to drizzle in some olive oil to get in those healthy fats, as well)
The tips and tricks are endless, as are the possibilities, but the key to mastering a healthy snack time is all about making your kids’ eats fun and interactive. Tell us your DIY ideas for traditional kids’ snacks recipes in the comments below!
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