Healthy snacks for your kids will keep their energy level up, mood stabilized, and give them more ability to pay attention. Finding healthy snacks can be a challenge. Prepackaged snacks are readily available and easy for kids to help themselves to. Also, when in a rush, it’s much easier for us parents to grab and go. But those prepackaged foods come with a price of added fat, calories, salt, and sugar. It’s important for parents to take a little extra time and prepare and plan for healthy snacks between meals.
Most kids come home from school hungry. It’s important for growing bodies to have satisfying, healthy snacks between meals. Keeping healthy snacks interesting, playful, and ever-changing can help you get your kids to try different healthy snack foods. Our 30 healthy snack ideas for kids can give your child’s body the nutritious boost it’s looking for.
When planning healthy snacks try to look at your child’s nutritional intake for the whole day. If your child has already had 2 servings of fruit (one at breakfast & one for lunch), then another fruit after school may not be what your child needs. Use the healthy snacks to balance out the total intake for the day. Our healthy snack list gives a variety from all the food groups. And, you’ll notice that more than one food group is always represented in our snack ideas. There’s a reason for this — when you combine more than one food group, they compliment each other, sometimes one nutritional quality from one food helps absorption of a vitamin or mineral from another food. Your child’s brain will register more satiety (fullness and satisfaction) from the snack when you combine food groups, different textures, and different flavors.
Healthy snack ideas for kids
#1 Fruit Smoothies Not only are fruit smoothies great for healthy snacks, they make a wonderful breakfast too! Smoothies can be so much fun to create — only your imagination is your limit. Here’s some ideas for ingredients…
*Low fat yogurt, frozen blueberries, low-fat milk, a banana
*Milk, scoop of low sugar orange sherbert, frozen strawberries
*Cantaloupe slices, a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream or low fat vanilla yogurt, carrot juice
*Milk, 1 tbsp peanut butter, banana
For kids with milk allergies or for a change in flavor you can substitute almond milk, rice milk, soy milk and yogurt products.
A serving would be 1 cup of smoothie paired with something to crunch & munch like 2 fresh strawberries or a small handful of almonds or peanuts.
#2 Popcorn Use an air popper or a low-fat microwaved bag to prepare the popcorn. Popcorn is a good source of fiber and is fun to eat. Add something sweet to pair with the crunchiness of the popcorn. You can mix popcorn with raisins or dried cranberries. This also makes a great add in for your child’s lunchbox.
#3 Hard Boiled Egg Eggs provide a good amount of protein (about 6 grams per egg) and when paired with a high fiber food, can be a part of a healthy snack for your kids. Try one (or for younger children 1/2 of an egg) with sweet, crunchy carrot sticks or salty, crunchy celery sticks for a healthy, satisfying healthy snack.
#4 Turkey roll Take a slice of low-fat deli meat turkey, smear a little mustard on the meat, grate raw zucchini and radish onto the mustard and then roll up the turkey into a log. Place a toothpick in the middle if your child’s age allows this! It’s only a healthy snack idea if your child doesn’t try to eat the toothpick too!
#5 Avocado dip Take a fresh, ripe avocado, mash it in a bowl. Immediately add about 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa from a jar, mix and serve with baked tortilla chips. Avocados have Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are a healthy fat for a healthy snack.
#6 Hummus Hummus can be made from scratch or purchased at the store. Of course if you make it from scratch, you control the ingredients and don’t add preservatives. It’s easy to prepare in your food processor. Serve with baked chips or as a dip with vegetable slices for a healthy snack.
#7 Apple slices and low-fat cheese slices You can slice up difference colors of apples and crumble feta or blue cheese on top. Or serve apple slice sandwiches — slices of cheese between the apple slices for a healthy snack.
#8 Tortilla Peanut Butter Wrap This makes a great on-the-go healthy snack.
#9 Nachos Baked tortilla chips sprinkled with low-fat grated cheese and finely shredded onions, cubed tomatoes, and green chilies.
#10 Oatmeal Cookies Who doesn’t like a cookie after school? If you bake your own cookies you can control the ingredients. Don’t add as much sugar as the typical recipe calls for and add dried cranberries or raisins instead. You can use 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour to make them more healthy too. Serve the warm cookies with a glass of low-fat milk for an after school healthy snack treat .
#11 Baked Apple On a cold winter afternoon, a baked apple is the perfect after-school snack. They are easy to make, just need some time before the kids come home to get them in the oven. You can use a little honey, brown sugar, raisins, and walnuts to add inside the apple before baking.
#12 Zucchini Bread Use finely shredded zucchini and maybe add some walnuts in the recipe. A slice of this bread can be a great after school snack or a lunchbox addition.
#13 Cold Sweet Potato Bake a sweet potato until soft. Put into the refrigerator. Once cold, peel and slice — it’s ready to eat. Add a few animal cookies or a small slice of left over cold chicken to balance this healthy snack out.
#14 Nuts & fruit A handful of almonds and slices of in-season fruit (peaches, grapes, oranges).
#15 Fruit & Veggie Kabobs Slide blueberries, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices on a kabob stick. Serve with plain yogurt for dipping.
#16 Fruit & Nut Popsicle In the food processor blend fresh blackberries and strawberries with water and a little splash of 100% apple juice. In preformed popsicle containers place chopped peanuts or almond slices in the bottom of the container. Pour the liquid from the food processor to fill and freeze and wallah — a healthy snack.
#17 Cold pasta & veggie salad Prepare whole wheat penne pasta and chill. Shred carrots and zucchini and cube tomatoes. Mix vegetables with pasta and toss with olive or canola oil & vinegar. Sprinkle with dried oregano, basil, and garlic powder.
#18 Ants on a log Spread low fat cream cheese or peanut butter into celery stalk. Place raisins in a row on the spread.
#19 Mini bagel with low fat cream cheese and strawberry slices
#20 French toast sticks with fresh blueberry dipping sauce Prepare french toast with whole grain bread strips. Mix fresh or frozen blueberries with enough water to make a syrup. Use this for dipping. Be sure to prepare the french toast strips yourself — you control the ingredients — the egg and whole grains in the toast will provide protein and the home made dipping sauce provides a healthy source of vitamin C and antioxidant health benefits.
#22 Tuna fish on whole wheat crackers You can add shredded carrots, celery, and onions to the tuna and serve on crackers for a healthy snack.
#23 Frozen banana pop Peel a banana, press the sides of the banana onto a plate filled with the following mixture: crushed peanuts, granola or other whole grain cereal drizzled with a small amount of honey. Place on a plate and freeze.
#24 Rice cake with almond butter Plain rice cake smeared with almond butter makes a satisfying, crunchy snack.
#25 Fruit roll with dry whole grain cereal/granola Select a fruit roll that is all fruit (no corn syrup or other sugar additives) and serve with a small bowl of dry cereal to munch on.
#27 Rice pudding Mix brown rice, low fat milk, raisins or dried cranberries. Heat on the stove or in the microwave for a warm, cozy, fiber-filled snack.
#28 High Fiber Fruit Pancakes Make pancakes substituting 1/4 of the flour with a 10-grain hot cereal (like Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain hot cereal) and adding a little more milk to make thin pancakes. While cooking the pancakes drop fresh blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries into the pancake. Flip to cook the other side and serve rolled up for little fingers to hold & munch. No dipping sauce required because the fruit provides the sweetness. Serve with a glass of milk.
#29 Mini veggie pizza Toast a whole wheat English muffin slice. If your child doesn’t care for vegetables then I suggest that you blend a green pepper slice, onion slice, and a mushroom in the food processor and add this mixture to tomato sauce. If your child is ok with veggies, then put the sauce on the toasted muffin and top with slices of green peppers, onion and mushrooms. Then, top with low fat mozzarella cheese. Put this back into the toaster oven or warm up in the microwave for a few seconds to heat.
#30 Southwest cornbread with a glass of milk This makes a great side dish for dinner and leftovers can be an after school snack. Make cornbread following a traditional recipe. Before baking add the following mixture from the food processor: pickled jalapenos, green and red bell peppers, and onions. The peppers & onions provide a great “kick” to the cornbread flavor.
Use your imagination and offer your child healthy snacks to grow on!