It’s hard to find healthy snacks for kids. You’re not going to find them on the shelves of most grocery stores, that’s for sure!
But if you’ve got a few extra minutes, it’s easy to make sure that your children get the calories their growing bodies need in a way that’s both nutritious and delicious. Not every child will appreciate all of the following ideas, but there should be a few that yours will appreciate.
You might wonder why most of the snacks are on the sweet side. The reason: children tend to prefer sweets because they need the carbohydrates, and they are instinctively wary of bitter foods (such as greens) because way back when, they didn’t know if they might be toxic. There’s nothing wrong with satisfying a craving for sweets, as long as the sweet taste comes in the form of something that you can pick off a tree or from the ground!
Note also that most of the snacks are ones which most children over the age of seven can be taught to prepare themselves. Ah, the bliss of being a mother with self-sufficient children!
Now, onto the ten healthy snack ideas for kids.
#1: Bugs On A Log.
Fill the cavity of a celery stalk with nut butter and stick raisins into the butter.
#2: Stuffed dates.
This snack works best with Medjool dates, because of their size. However, other dates will do as well.
Cut a slit into the top of each date, or rip it open with your finger, and pull out the pit. Replace the pit with either a whole almond (for older children) or a teaspoon or so of nut butter.
#3: Einkorn crackers.
I don’t mean to promote brands here, but I don’t know of any other company that sells crackers made with einkorn flour except Jovial. They may be available at your local health food store; you can also find them online.
Einkorn is the ancestor of all wheat, and because it has therefore not been hybridized, it is extremely low in gluten. Because einkorn growers are rare, the flour and the products made from them are pricier than those made from modern wheat. If you’re on a budget, you might want to either skip this one or offer it only occasionally.
Top with nut butter or fruit spread as desired.
#4: Carrot sticks with ketchup
If you can find or make a dairy-free dip that isn’t full of junk ingredients, we can call that healthy, as well. (Check out this recipe for cashew dipLOOKFOR.)
Your child may be fine with plain carrots. Those who don’t gravitate toward veggies in general will probably appreciate some sort of dip. Also, late spring through early fall the carrots available in grocery stores are bitter because they’ve been in storage for so long. Adding the ketchup therefore makes them more palatable.
Buy ketchup that doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup, by the way. 😉
This one’s too easy. Peel a banana, mash it up with a fork, stick it into ice cube trays or empty yogurt cups, and insert popsicle sticks. Freeze until frozen solid.
If you have a blender, you can make fruitsicles of any kind.
#6: Apple Pinwheels
If you have a picky eater, peel the apple. Otherwise, leave the peel on because it’s the most nutritious part of the fruit!
Slice it into quarters and cut out the seeds, then cut the quarters even more thinly. Arrange on a plate in the shape of a pinwheel. In the center, put a blob of nut butter or a stack ofl banana slices.
I feel like I’m cheating just to mention this. Everyone knows about smoothies. Still, blender-owning parents are letting their kids munch on processed sweets instead of providing them with nutrient-dense sweets. So I feel that it’s worth a mention.
If you have even an inexpensive, run-of-the-mill blender you can make a smoothie with fresh fruit and a bit of water or non-dairy milk in just a couple of minutes. If the snacker wants it cold, put it in the freezer for about half an hour.
Of course, if you have a high-power blender, you can put in frozen solid fruit pieces and have a cold smoothie in just a couple of minutes.
#8: Coconut milk yogurt.
There are several brands out there. Find one with the least amount of added sugar/the most natural sugar. Better yet, buy plain yogurt and add honey, date sugar, and/or mashed up fruit to it.
#9: Sprouted grain bread with all-fruit spread or vegan cheese
Yes, the sprouted grain breads contain gluten. And a child with a highly sensitive digestive system may not do well with whole grains. But if not, many adults who don’t do well with regular whole-wheat bread can digest the sprouted grain breads just find.
Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas, by the way, don’t contain added gluten like that brand of bread does.
#10: Oven potato chips/fries
Regarding the peel, note what I said about apples above.
Slice potatoes as thinly as you can manage, or cut them into French fry shapes. Lightly coat a silicone (Teflon is toxic!!) baking sheet with coconut oil or olive oil.
Place the potato pieces on the sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush a light coating of olive oil over them. Then sprinkle the pieces with salt.
Put in an oven that’s been pre-heated to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown on top.
I’m not going to give you a time, because that depends on how thickly you cut the potatoes. Check them at the five-minute mark, and every two minutes after.
If your child likes dark chocolate, a square or two of it a day is a luxurious snack that brings with it several potential health benefits as well as a smattering of nutrients.
I mentioned einkorn crackers above. If you enjoy baking, why not find a source of einkorn flour and replace that with your usual bleached, modern-wheat flour when you make cookies and such?
To reduce the risk of cavity development, have your children thoroughly rinse their mouths out with water every time they eat, whether snack or meal.
And because flour-based products and dried fruit tend to stick to the molars, you may want to limit how much they eat these kinds of snacks…unless they’re willing to brush their teeth a few minutes after finishing eating them.
Why not you, too?
These healthy snacks for kids are just as healthy for adults! If you’re in the habit of grabbing processed snacks between meals, replace them with some of these instead. You might be pleasantly surprised with how easily you can transition into a healthier way of eating.