Looking for healthy snacks for kids? Look no further! This collection of easy snack recipes features kid-approved snacks that are easy to make and will help to fuel your growing child with the nutrients they need!
If your kids are like mine, they are always hungry! And you may be asking yourself, do my children really need to snack throughout the entire day?!
The answer is yes!
∗ THE IMPORTANCE OF SNACK TIME ∗
According to physicians, snacking is considered a crucial role in a healthy diet. Because children have smaller stomachs and burn through energy really quickly, healthy snacks allow more opportunities for kids to meet their dietary needs for their growing bodies.
What Makes a Healthy Snack?
While I believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in a candy bar, chips, or bowl of vanilla ice cream now and then, if snacking is meant to be an opportunity for growing children to get in nutrients they need to grow, it is important to help guide our children to choose wholesome snacks.
When looking for a healthy snack, I recommend the following:
- Aim for snacks to contain complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. All things both adults and children need in their diet.
- Complex carbohydrates are found in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables.
- Healthy fats can be found in nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
- Healthy sources of protein are found in whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, yogurt, milk, eggs, and lean meat.
- Ask yourself, What is missing from my child's diet today?
- Need some calcium? Serve yogurt topped with fresh fruit or nut butter. Or enjoy a Blueberry Smoothie.
This means that a healthy snack can and should look different based on your child. So don't let anyone judge you😉
Easy & Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Now for the fun part! The inspiration! From smoothies to muffins to granola bars to savory snacks, these wholesome, nutritious snack recipes are favorites with the kids and easy to make.
Smoothies are an all-time favorite with kids! These wholesome smoothie recipes are pumped full of nutrients and naturally sweetened, yet they taste like a decadent dessert. No wonder kids (and parents) love smoothies as a snack!
- Sweet Potato Smoothie: Packed full of warming spices, this sweet potato smoothie delivers a hefty dose of vitamin A and a bit of fiber.
- Tropical Kale Smoothie: The tropical flavors in this green smoothie make kale go down easily.
- Pina Colada Smoothie: Instead of being made with tons of added sugars or artificially flavored syrups, this smoothie is made with simple, wholesome ingredients and no added sugars, yet it tastes like a classic pina colada.
- Blueberry Smoothie: Made with kale, blueberries, and avocado, this smoothie is creamy and full of healthy fats, nutrients, and antioxidants.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie: This smoothie is chock full of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and calcium, yet it tastes like a rich peanut butter cup!
- Berry Smoothie: Vibrant in purple and red hues, this Berry Smoothie is naturally sweet and full of antioxidants with some hidden greens.
- Mango Smoothie: Made with mango, orange juice, and banana this simple dairy-free smoothie makes a healthy snack loaded with vitamin C and potassium.
Most store-bought granola bars or snack bars are high in sugar. Sometimes more than a candy bar! Not to mention, they are extremely expensive. Instead of relying on these overly-processed or high-priced snack bars, you can easily make your own with only minutes of prep!
- No-Bake Granola Bars: Not only are these granola bars super simple to make, but they are also naturally sweetened, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free, making them a healthy snack option, that both big and small kids enjoy!
- Peanut Butter Oat Bars: These delicious no-bake snack bars are naturally sweetened, packed with whole grains, and feature both healthy fats and protein from the peanut butter.
- Copycat Larabars: Dried fruit and nuts are all you need to make snack bars that are high in healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients.
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars: Made with whole grains and naturally sweetened, these healthy oatmeal bars are filling, chewy, and packed with chocolate, which makes them a favorite snack with the kids!
These muffin recipes are all made with whole grains and without added refined sugars and are perfectly balanced for snack time.
- Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins: Packed with whole grains and juicy berries, these muffins are light and fluffy.
- Carrot Cake Muffins: These whole grain muffins taste like a decadent cake, yet are made with wholesome ingredients.
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins: Your kids will never guess that these decadent Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are loaded with whole grains, calcium, and veggies.
- Pumpkin Muffins: These muffins are super fluffy and tender, and loaded with vitamin A and fiber.
- Applesauce Muffins: Made with whole wheat flour, sweetened with honey, and less oil than most muffins, Applesauce Muffins make a perfect kid-friendly snack.
- Chocolate Chip Muffins: These muffins feature whole wheat flour and rolled oats to create a muffin that is loaded with fiber and nutrients and 100% whole grain.
- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins: These Peanut Butter Banana Muffins feature fruit, healthy fats, and whole grains. And they are simply delicious!
While flavored yogurt is often really high in added sugars and can even contain artificial food coloring or sweeteners, plain yogurt is a healthy snack that is full of calcium, and protein. However, most kids won't eat plain yogurt. Serve it in a creative way and watch your kids devour it.
- Homemade Yogurt Parfait: Top store-bought or homemade plain yogurt with chopped nuts, homemade granola, and or berries for a snack kids love.
- Healthy Banana Spilt: A favorite snack with kids is to split open a banana, top it with scoops of plain yogurt, and then top it with diced strawberries, pineapple, and a few chocolate chips or nuts for good measure.
- Yogurt Dip: Serve apple slices with Creamy Apple Dip that is made with yogurt. Or carrot sticks with Tzatziki sauce, which also starts off with a base of yogurt.
- Homemade Gogurts: If your kids love flavored yogurt tubes, they will love this healthy homemade version. You need fruit and plain yogurt to recreate a store-bought favorite into a healthy snack.
It can be hard enough to get your kids to eat their vegetables with dinner, so you may think that vegetables for snacks are out of the question. However, these simple ideas will help to ensure your kids gobble up their veggies with pleasure.
- Ants on a Log: Fill the cavity of celery sticks with nut butter or cream cheese and then top with raisins to make it look like ants on a log.
- Veggie Wrap: Made with fresh, crisp vegetables, a thick, homemade ranch spread, and sharp shredded cheese, these Veggie Wraps are not only a wholesome lunch, but they also make a great hearty snack.
- Veggies and Dip: Serve raw carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, and/or cherry tomatoes with ranch dressing, dill dip, or hummus, and watch your kids dip away.
Miscellaneous Kid-Friendly Snacks
The following healthy snack options are some of my kid's favorites and all of them make a great choice for an after-school snack.
- Peanut Butter Rice Cake: Spread peanut butter or nut butter on a whole-grain rice cake. Feel free to add sliced bananas or raisins to the top as well.
- Avocado Toast: Mash a ripe avocado with a bit of lemon juice and kosher salt until smooth. Spread on toasted whole-grain bread and finish with sliced tomatoes or everything bagel seasoning.
- Butterfly Snack Bag: These snack bags, made with fresh fruit and cheese sticks are shaped to look like an adorable butterfly. These are always a hit with young kids.
- English Muffin Pizza: Toast whole wheat English Muffins and then top with pizza sauce and cheese for a quick savory snack kids love.
- Popcorn: Popcorn can get a bad rap due to microwave-bagged popcorn or movie theater popcorn, as they are often high in fat and sodium. However using my recipe for stovetop popcorn or microwave popcorn, popcorn makes a delicious, healthy option for a snack. It is whole grain, gluten-free, and has no added sugars.
- Whole Grain Crackers: Serve whole grain crackers (like Triscuit) with sliced cheese, hummus, or slices of turkey for a simple balanced, snack. And if your kids love cheese crackers, they will love Homemade Cheese Crackers.
- Banana Cookies: Yes cookies can be healthy! These Banana Oat Cookies are made with bananas, dates, applesauce, and oats. They are naturally sweet, full of whole grains and fiber.
I hope these healthy snack ideas for kids helped to give you inspiration! And that you find several wholesome treats here to share with kids you love.