Take a look at some fresh ideas with the following recipes. Get out of your old habits and FEED your family right!
25 Healthy Snacks for Kids
1. Hummus & Vegetables
Use store-bought hummus or make you own. Serve hummus with a variety of raw colorful vegetables such as broccoli, bell pepper strips, jicama spears, celery, green beans or carrots.
2. Kale Chips
Kale is a dark leafy green packed with nutrients that can quickly be transformed into a delicious, crunchy, kid-friendly snack!
1 bunch organic kale, torn off stems and into 1/2 pieces
1-2 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss kale pieces in the olive oil until thoroughly coated. Arrange kale in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake for 15 minutes or so, until crispy.
3. Butterfly Sandwiches
Spread a piece of 100% whole wheat bread, or your favorite gluten-free bread with a nut butter and slice the bread diagonally. Turn the triangles around so that they meet at a point, resembling butterfly wings. Decorate your butterfly wings using raisins, dried cranberries, currants, nuts, or banana slices. Instead of peanut butter, try using cream cheese and decorate with colorful vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, carrot, or peas. Use strips of red bell pepper to make antennas.
4. Apple Cheese Melts
Slice apples and layer onto open toasted English muffin halves. Sprinkle low-fat shredded cheese on top and broil to melt.
5. Rice Cakes
A wheat-free crunchy snack that can be used as an open-faced sandwich. Spread the rice cake with peanut butter, jam, or low-fat cottage cheese.
6. Yogurt Pumpkin Parfait
Layer vanilla yogurt with scoops of pumpkin puree and top with chopped almonds and a dash of cinnamon for a quick treat.
7. Trail Mix “Re-constructed”
1 cup peanut butter, or other nut butter such as almond
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup dried fruit such as: dried cranberries, raisins, or dates
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)
Mix the peanut butter and honey until well combined. Stir in the dried fruit and 2 tablespoons of the coconut. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Place the remaining coconut, sesame seeds and nuts into 3 separate bowls. Using a spoon, scoop small heaps of the peanut mixture from the bowl; roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Rolling is easier if you form a rough ball, roll in the coconut, and then continue rolling into a more perfect shape. Roll each finished ball in more coconut, sesame seeds and chopped nuts. Arrange the balls on a plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
8. Blueberry Pineapple Smoothie
Blend ½ cup frozen berries, ¼ cup pineapple chunks, 1 cup yogurt, ¼ milk, and ¼ cup crushed ice.
9. Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast
Pop your own popcorn, spray lightly with oil mister, and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast adds a nutty cheesy flavor to the popcorn and is a rich source of nutrients such as protein and B vitamins. The popcorn provides an excellent serving of fiber and is a fun snack for kids. Look for nutritional yeast in your local health food store.
10. Fresh Fruit Kebabs
Make fruit kebabs using wooden skewers and a variety of fruit pieces such as strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, apple chunks, blackberries, honeydew, or kiwi. Serve with a vanilla yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon to use as a dipping sauce.
11. Roasted Chickpeas
Dry roasted chickpeas plus the seasoning of your choice equals a tasty and healthy snack for kids. To roast, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas and spread them onto a cookie sheet. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 350°F. Remove from oven, and while still hot, toss chickpeas in a little olive oil and spices. Some good combinations are: garlic salt and rosemary, chili powder and cumin, honey and cinnamon, or soy sauce and sesame oil.
12. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil greased with cooking spray.
Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears. For the crispiest taters, soak in cold water for 20-30 minutes. Drain well and pat dry. Place the potato spears on the sheet pan and toss with olive oil. Spread them in a single layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn with a spatula or tongs. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and serve hot. Enjoy!
13. Toasted Pita Chips with Avocado Dip
Scoop avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add 1 TBSP lime juice, ¼ tsp salt, and a dash of cumin and stir to combine. Make your own toasted pita chips by slicing pita bread into wedges, brushing them with olive oil, and baking in 350°F oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Buy a bag of frozen edamame pods to keep on handy for a quick and healthy snack. Just pop in the microwave to thaw and let kids squeeze the pods to get the beans out.
15. Fresh fruit
You can’t go wrong with a juicy piece of fresh fruit for a tasty snack filled with powerful nutrients to keep your kids healthy. Serve with a yogurt dip for a sweet treat.
16. Frozen Banana Popsicles
Peel a banana and cut in half, width-wise to make two popsicles. Insert a popsicle stick into each piece of banana. Spread peanut butter on the bananas, and then roll them in a topping such as chopped nuts, sunflower seeds, or unsweetened shredded coconut. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and freeze popsicles for 3 hours.
16. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats and minerals such as zinc and phosphorous. To make a quick snack, spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes at 300°F, shaking the baking sheet from time to time to prevent burning. Eat seeds by themselves or sprinkle in yogurt, onto salads, or mix with dried fruits and nuts.
17. Easy Pizza
Using a whole wheat English muffin or pita bread (or your favorite gluten free bread), let your child spread a bit of tomato sauce on it and add vegetables such as tomato chunks, chopped spinach, green peppers, olives, or pineapple chunks. Top with shredded mozzarella and bake at 350° F for 5-10 minutes in oven or toaster oven.
18. Apple Smiles with Apple Wedges, Peanut Butter and Raisins.
Cut an apple into wedges and pat them dry with a paper towel. Lay a wedge on its side, spread peanut butter on it and add a row of raisin “teeth” along the front. Spread another wedge with peanut butter and place on top to complete with apple smile.
19. Homemade applesauce
Making your own applesauce lets you control the amount of sugar that goes into it. It’s simple to do and tastes great!
Peel (if desired), core and cut the apples into chunks. Place them in a large, heavy pan with 1/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1 TBSP lemon juice and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until soft. Use an immersion blender if you want smoother applesauce, or leave it chunky.
20. Avocado, Cheese and Crackers
Avocado is an excellent source of protein, vitamin E, and heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Choose a low sodium cracker made from whole wheat flour or a gluten-free cracker or crisp bread. Layer avocado slices with cheese slices on the crackers for a filling and nutritious snack.
21. Homemade Granola
Makes 8 cups
3 cups rolled oats (not instant) 2 cups chopped almonds or other nuts or seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit such as blueberries or cranberries
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a large rimmed baking tray with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Combine the oats, nuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Mix the canola oil and honey and pour onto oat mixture. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. After it cools, add the dried fruit.
22. Ants on a Log
The combination of celery and peanut butter and raisins is a classic kids snack. Depending on the age of your child, let them help spread the peanut butter or place the ants. For variations, try using dried cranberries or currants instead of raisins, and cream cheese or almond butter instead of peanut butter.
23. Hard Boiled Egg and Egg Salad
Make several hard boiled eggs and keep them in the refrigerator up to a week (in the shell) for easy snacks. With a little extra time you can create a healthy egg salad by chopping the hard boiled egg and mixing it with plain yogurt. For added richness, use Greek yogurt instead of traditional yogurt. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier and will hold the egg salad together better. Add a pinch of salt or pepper and serve with toasted bread or crackers.
24. 100% whole corn tortilla chips with salsa
You can make your own salsa if you have time, or buy salsa at the store. For a twist, try these refreshing ingredients for a homemade salsa: mango, avocado, tomato, garlic, and chopped cilantro. Dice and chop ingredients, combine in a bowl and stir in lime juice, salt, and minced red onion to taste. Let the flavors blend for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. Serve with whole corn tortilla chips for a delicious, whole grain snack.
25. Homemade Fruit Leathers
By making your own fruit leathers at home you can be sure that it’s an all natural snack with no extra sugar or other additives. First make a fruit puree from fresh fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, or apricots. Dice fruit, steam in a steamer basket on the stovetop until tender, and puree in food processor. Next, spread 2 cups of the fruit puree onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper (puree should be about ¼” thick). With oven on it’s lowest setting (120-140° F), place tray on middle rack and leave door slightly ajar. Bake for 6-8 hours, or until leather is dry when you touch it.