Kids never seem to stop eating! Unfortunately, many of the foods marketed for children are loaded with refined sugars and artificial ingredients. Thankfully, serving your kids healthy snacks that they will actually eat isn’t as hard as it might sound. With a little creativity, kids will eat healthy, too!
If you feel like your kids’ snack habits have gone haywire, you can improve their eating habits with these 20 Easy Snack Recipes for Kids:
1. Steamed edamame. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your kids will fall in love with this green vegetable, which they love popping out of its shell. And, you’ll love that it’s full of goodness like protein, fiber, folate, vitamins C and A, calcium and iron. Edamame can be eaten at room temperature, but it’s especially yummy when it’s been steamed in the microwave (frozen edamame takes about 5 minutes to steam). Top it with some sea salt or a little soy sauce and start popping away!
2. Flavored yogurt. Give your kids a project and snack at the same time by having them create their own flavored yogurt. Take a look at this recipe for Skinny Strawberry Yogurt for inspiration. You can substitute the strawberry preserves for whatever flavor your kids prefer.
3. Frozen fruit pops. Another great snack project is frozen fruit bars. They’re so easy to make, and so much more healthy than most of the ones found in stores, since they won’t have any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or added sweeteners. Check out 5 Frozen Popsicle Recipes for Hot Summer Fun, or experiment with your own combinations.
4. Granola. Having your own homemade granola on-hand is always a good idea when there are kids around, since it can be used for both breakfast and snacks. Most recipes include oats, nuts, and honey or pure maple syrup, but you can also add in dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, coconut) and seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin). Sprinkle it on yogurt, make homemade granola bars, pour milk over it, or simply grab a handful.
5. Smoothies. It’s no secret that kids love smoothies – and you can love all of the vitamins, protein and fiber that they get from them. Try letting the kids get in on the blending action – while you supervise, of course! Try one of our Drink and Smoothie recipes.
6. Fruit leather. Using a food dehydrator or your oven, making all-natural fruit leather is a cinch. For first-timers, try following this strawberry fruit leather recipe, which uses honey instead of refined sugar.
7. Turkey roll-ups. Just layer a tablespoon of cream cheese, a couple slices of turkey, and a slice of tomato on a whole-wheat tortilla. This is another one that kids may enjoy putting together themselves.
8. Veggies and hummus. Kids love the mild, creamy flavor of hummus (for a little something different, try out Zucchini Hummus or Sweet Potato Hummus). Combine it with crisp veggies like carrots, raw broccoli, and strips of bell peppers. This is a great snack to set out when you’re cooking dinner and hungry kids are hovering.
9. Chips and salsa. Tortilla chips are super easy to make by cutting tortillas into triangles, spraying them with cooking spray, lightly seasoning them with sea salt, and baking them at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes per side. We like to make our own cooking spray by refilling reusable spray bottles with canola oil or olive oil (not Extra-Virgin olive oil). Most jarred salsa is already all-natural (and cheap!), but fresh homemade salsa is easy to make as well.
10. Cinnamon chips. For a sweet treat, try making these Whole Grain Cinnamon Pita Chips, which are also sweetened with honey instead of refined sugar.
11. Dried fruit. When it comes to dried fruit, it is important to watch out for added sugars and fats. However, there are dried fruit options that are quite healthy, especially if you make them yourself in a food dehydrator.
12. Turkey jerky. More than just fun to say, turkey jerky is a good, chewy snack with loads of protein. You can make your own at home using a food dehydrator or an oven. Check out this tutorial for an easy way to make your own turkey jerky.
13. Chia seeds. Your kids could be skeptics on this one, but the good news is that it is way easy to sneak this nutrient-packed food into their favorite snacks. Try sprinkling chia seeds in smoothies, yogurt, or granola. You can also give kiddos yummy chocolate chia seed pudding, which tastes like chocolate milk and has the consistency of tapioca pudding. If your kids are sensitive to food textures, grind up the chia seeds in a blender, food processor, or coffee bean grinder before adding them in. For more information on chia seeds, take a look at this post.
14. Roasted soy nuts. Soy nuts are another good source of protein and fiber that your kids will enjoy crunching. To make, take 1 cup soy beans and soak them in water for 8 to 10 hours. Rinse them and lightly pat them dry, then sprinkle in your desired seasoning. Roast them at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until they are lightly browned and crisp.
15. Sweet potato “fries.” Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins B6, C, and D, and they also contain iron and magnesium – all of which do a body good. Try this simple, delicious Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries recipe, which you can serve with honey or Dijon mustard for dipping.
16. Fruit salad. Fruit salad makes a great snack when kids are craving something sweet. Try our recipe for Skinny Fruit & Yogurt Salad, which includes the fiber, vitamins and anti-oxidants found in fruit combined with the protein of yogurt.
17. Frozen fruit cup “muffins.” For a different spin on fruit salad, combine chopped fruit with fruit juice and freeze in a muffin tin to make individual frozen fruit cups. Check out this recipe for inspiration.
18. Kale chips. Although many of us shirk away from it, kale is very worthy of being a part of a healthy diet. This superfood packs lots of important nutrients, including beta-carotene, fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. For snacking, serve them up as baked chips a la this kale chip recipe.
19. Zucchini chips. Zucchini is another good alternative for baked snack chips. Try our Oven Baked Zucchini Chips recipe and put them in your kids’ hands the next time they reach for greasy, processed potato chips.
20. Frozen banana pops. It’s amazing how freezing fruit can make a whole new food experience, but that’s definitely the case with banana pops. Simply halve bananas and insert popsicle sticks into the flat end, then lay them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and flash freeze them by sticking them in the freezer for about an hour. Then, stick them in a freezer bag for longer-term storage. Banana pops turn into dessert when you coat them in melted dark chocolate before freezing them.
Want more options for healthy foods your kids will love? Take a look at Healthy School Lunches You Can Pack for Your Kids (Pssst! They Aren’t Sandwiches!). You can also look at Gluten Free Ideas Your Kids Will Actually Eat.
Have you tried any of our snack options with your kids? We’d love to hear about it. Leave us a message in the comment area below.