If your family is anything like my family, we love to snack! We eat three main meals a day and three snacks. So, with snacking that many times a day I need lots of healthy snack ideas for kids that are also quick and easy. It’s important to choose snacks that have lots of nutrients in them. Thankfully there are lots of different kinds of healthy kids snacks available.
In my post, Heart Healthy Snack Ideas, I give several examples of different kinds of snacks. Some of the ones in this post will be the same because they’re kid-friendly, but others won’t be mentioned because they’re not things I think kids would like. By the way, when I say “kids,” I mean elementary school age and up. Some of the snacks mentioned might be appropriate for younger, but because my youngest is 10 years old, I don’t have to worry about choking hazards anymore.
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Vegetable and Fruit Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Summer is my favorite season for fruits. There are so many great choices and the best thing is, there is some kind of summer fruit on sale at the grocery store every week! Our favorite summer fruits are watermelon and cantaloupe. They’re very quick and easy to prepare too, just wash the outside (I scrub it with a vegetable brush), and then cut it up. We eat the watermelon in slices and the cantaloupe cubed. I store the leftover watermelon in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap, and the cut cantaloupe in a reusable container. Honeydew is another good melon too.
We also like eating blueberries and strawberries. All we do with those is just rinse them and eat, easy! I will admit, however, that we like to dip our strawberries in whipped cream, but it is the “light” version of whipped cream. Raspberries and blackberries are also good choices. Cherries are too, just remind your kids to not swallow the pit, and spit it out instead.
During the rest of the year, we like eating apples, bananas, and oranges (especially cuties). There are tons more choices, just look around the produce section the next time you’re at the store and try something new! Who knows, it may become a family favorite!
Most kids like carrots and celery sticks. They are very easy to make. The picture shows baby carrots, which are fine, but it’s cheaper to just buy the 2 pound bag of carrots and peel and cut them yourself (of course you don’t have to use the whole bag, you can save the rest for vegetables to go with your dinner). I also peel the celery before slicing because the kids don’t like the strings. We like to dip the carrots and celery in low fat ranch dressing. Another of my kids’ favorites is to put peanut butter in the celery stick. It’s really easy to do with a regular table knife. Some kids may also like zucchini sticks (when I was a kid, I liked to eat them raw, even though I didn’t like cooked zucchini). Some of my daughter’s friends love cherry tomatoes for a healthy snack. If your kids like any other kinds of vegetables, if you can eat them raw, try it. Anything tastes great dipped in low fat ranch dressing!
Dairy Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Cheese is a great snack idea for kids. There is low fat string cheese, and even low fat cheddar cheese sticks. They’ve come up with so many different varieties of low fat cheese sticks nowadays; it seems like there’s a new kind every week I go to the store! Another idea is cheese and crackers. I just buy low fat sliced cheese and quarter it by hand (by folding it in half, and then half again). Then, put a slice in between 2 crackers. We like to use Ritz crackers, either the whole wheat or roasted vegetable. We also like to put shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese on low sodium tortilla chips, heat them on a paper plate in the microwave for 30 seconds, and you have a great snack!
Yogurt is another great snack choice. My kids like to have it with their lunch, but lots of people have yogurt as a snack. There are lots of great low fat, fat free, and light versions available; along with tons of different flavor varieties.
Ready Made Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Not everyone has time to make their own granola bars and other things. I wish I did, but I already make so many of the things we eat, I just don’t have time for it all. So, thankfully, I’ve found some snacks that meet the nutrition recommendation I’ve found, which I talk about in this post, How to Read and Understand Food Nutrition Labels.
In the morning, we usually have some kind of granola bar. We like variety in our family so we have lots of different types of granola bars to choose from. Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, Kirkland granola bars, Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars, Nature Valley Peanut granola bars, and Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bars. There’s enough to have a different one every day of the school week.
If they don’t feel like a granola bar, my kids will have some kind of cracker. Their favorite crackers are Reduced fat Cheezits, Wheat Thins (original, Big, ranch), Reduced fat Vanilla Wafers, Goldfish (most are fine, just check the label), Animal Crackers, and Teddy Grahams.
In the afternoon, they might have those same crackers mentioned above, if they don’t want what else I offer. Otherwise, they’ll have waffle fries from Sprouts, which only take 30 minutes to heat up. They also like the chicken potstickers and sesame chicken spring rolls from Sprouts too. Reduced sodium tortilla chips with salsa is a good choice too, or Skinny Cow ice cream novelties.
I also have a post about How to Shop for Heart Healthy Meat and Nuts that mentions the kind of nuts we like to eat once in awhile when we’re really hungry and just need a handful of nuts to tide us over.
Make it Yourself Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
There are lots of different quick kids snacks that you can make yourself too! One of our favorite snacks that we have every Saturday afternoon is a smoothie. I have several different recipes that we rotate through, like this Orange Smoothie recipe from Betty Crocker. Some other snacks that I like to make are pita chips, hummus, vegetable dip, popsicles, chex mix, skinny brownies and cakes. You can also do something as easy as toast whole wheat bread and spread peanut butter on top, or spread fat free cream cheese on a bagel.
I found recipes for True Love Chocolate Cake, Banana Chip Cake, Parmesan Popcorn, Orange Cream Pops, Cookie Jar Snickerdoodles, and Fudgy Buttermilk Brownies in these Heart Healthy Cookbooks That I Love.
I also have a recipe for Healthy Pepperoni Roll-Ups. We have them for lunch, but the original recipe said it was for an appetizer, so you could also prepare these for an after school snack.
I’ve also found lots of great healthy snack ideas for kids on Pinterest, and have saved them all on my Healthy Snack Ideas Pinterest Board.
A List of Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
2. Other fruits – apples, bananas, oranges, cuties.
3. Carrots and celery sticks – peeled and with low fat/fat free ranch dressing.
4. Celery sticks with peanut butter – peel the celery first.
5. Zucchini sticks dipped in low fat/fat free ranch dressing.
6. Cherry tomatoes.
7. Low fat string cheese.
8. Low fat cheddar cheese sticks.
9. Cheese and Ritz crackers, either the whole wheat or roasted vegetable.
10. Nachos – reduced fat cheddar cheese on low sodium tortilla chips, heat them on a paper plate in the microwave for 30 seconds; or chips and salsa.
12. Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
13. Kirkland granola bars
14. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars
15. Nature Valley Peanut granola bars
16. Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bars
17. Reduced fat Cheezits
18. Wheat Thins (original, Big, ranch)
19. Reduced fat Vanilla Wafers
20. Goldfish (most are fine, just check the label)
21. Animal Crackers
22. Teddy Grahams
23. Waffle fries
24. Chicken Potstickers
25. Chicken Sesame Spring Rolls
26. Skinny Cow ice cream novelties
28. Quaker Rice Cakes
29. Trader Joe’s Corn Puffs
31. Pita chips with hummus
32. Homemade vegetable dip
33. Homemade popsicles
34. Homemade chex mix or store bought Chex Mix
35. Homemade skinny brownies and cakes
36. Toast whole wheat bread and spread peanut butter on top
37. Spread fat free cream cheese on a bagel
So, as you can see, there are lots of great healthy snack ideas for kids. They are all quick and easy to grab from your cupboard or to prepare. As your kids get older, they can even prepare most of these themselves which will give you some extra free time! As I discover more kids snacks, I will keep adding to the post.
What are some of your favorite healthy snack ideas for kids?
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