Growing kids typically get hungry between meals. However, numerous packaged children’s snacks are exceedingly unhealthy. They frequently contain refined flour, added sugars, and synthetic additives.
Your child’s snack time is a great time to sneak in some extra nutrients. Instead of excessively processed snack foods, fill your child’s stomach with wholesome, nutrient-rich whole foods.
Here is a collection of nutritious and delicious kid-friendly snacks.
Due to its high protein and calcium content, yogurt is an ideal snack for children. Calcium is particularly necessary for children’s developing bones. Some yogurts also contain beneficial living bacteria for the digestive system. However, the majority of yogurts sold to children are heavy in sugar. Instead, use plain, full-fat yogurt and add fresh fruit or honey to sweeten it.
However, avoid giving honey to infants younger than 12 months, as they are more susceptible to a deadly sickness called botulism.
2. Peanut butter with raisins on celery
The combination of celery, peanut butter, and raisins, also known as “ants on a log,” is a creative method to encourage your youngster to consume vegetables.
Cut a stalk of celery into three or four pieces, pour peanut butter inside each piece, then sprinkle raisins on top.
These three foods provide a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Make careful to purchase peanut butter that does not contain added sugar or vegetable oils.
3. Pears layered with ricotta cheese
When cut into slices, pears are a tasty snack that is simple for a child to consume. Pears are rich in fiber and healthy plant chemicals. Spread ricotta cheese on each slice to provide your youngster with protein and calcium.
4. Veggie pita pocket
Some parents believe it is difficult to convince their children to consume veggies. However, if you make it interesting, they are more inclined to try the vegetables.
Slice raw vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, and bell peppers and spread hummus in a whole-wheat pita pocket. Permit your child to choose a few vegetables and stuff the pita.
Vegetables are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, yet many children do not get enough of them.
5. Hard-boiled eggs
Keep eggs that have been hard-boiled in the refrigerator for a quick, high-protein snack.
Eggs are a healthy and delicious food for children. They include high-quality protein as well as several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, and selenium.
In addition, they contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two important carotenoids for eye health.
Moreover, they are one of the best nutritional sources of choline, an essential vitamin for brain growth.
6. Cabbage sticks with hummus
Providing a nutritious dip to children is a terrific approach to encourage them to consume their vegetables.
Hummus is an alternative. This thick, creamy spread is created from chickpeas, which are rich in fiber, folate, and antioxidants.
Served with carrot sticks or other raw veggies, hummus is delicious.
7. A portion of fruit
A piece of fruit is an easy and nutritious snack for children.
The majority of fruits are rich in fiber and vital nutrients, such as potassium and vitamins A and C.
Fruits that can be utilized as on-the-go snacks include bananas, apples, pears, grapes, peaches, and plums.
Cut fruits such as pineapple, cantaloupe, and mango into bite-sized pieces and store in tiny containers for snacking convenience.
8. Tomato and Cheese Sandwich
Simply refer to them as pizza nibbles, and your child will likely accept them. Pair grape or cherry tomatoes (or large tomatoes chopped into slices or chunks) with part-skim string cheese. Poppable tomatoes and string cheese are both traditional kid favourites. Cheese has 5 to 8 grams of protein, which helps keep kids nourished and stimulated better than high-carb snacks that induce blood sugar spikes and then crashes.
There is no reason why children shouldn’t also enjoy brunch toasts. In fact, it makes an excellent healthful snack. Toast a slice of whole grain bread and experiment with healthy toppings, such as hummus and cucumber slices, cream cheese and tomato, nut butter and blueberries, etc.
10. Tuna and Crisps
If your child like tuna, give yourself a pat on the back and provide it as a healthy snack. When not prepared with mayonnaise, it is a low-fat, protein-rich snack. To reduce saturated fat, use a combination of mayonnaise and low-fat Greek yogurt (or all Greek yogurt, if you can!), and add minced vegetables such as celery, bell pepper, or even carrots. Let them pile it on whole grain crackers or triangles of whole wheat pita.
Waffles are the ubiquitous child (and adult) food to which they nearly never say “no” when in doubt. Choose a whole grain alternative with little or no added sugar, then spread it with nut butter and your child’s favourite berries or fruit slices.
12. Sweet Potato
This is the ideal snack if your child requires more substantial food between meals. Older children can microwave a potato with ease (scrub the potato, pokes several holes in it with a fork, place on a paper towel and cook for about 8 minutes on HIGH). Or bake a couple on the weekend and reheat them during the week. Slice and top with grated cheese, canned beans, salsa, steamed broccoli, sour cream, or butter. More than half of the potato’s fiber is actually in the flesh, so don’t worry if they don’t eat the skin.
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. Children need fat in their diets to help them grow.
But nuts can be hard to swallow, so make sure your child can handle the texture before giving them as a snack. Also many children have nut allergies.
14. Tuna melts on Crackers and Rice Cakes
Tuna in a can is an excellent protein source. And according to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, children should routinely consume fish for its omega-3 fatty acid content. Spread tuna over crackers or rice cakes, sprinkle with cheese, and melt in the microwave or under the broiler.
15. Carrot Shred Salad
Buying a large bag of whole carrots is frequently less expensive than purchasing small carrots. Additionally, they are superior for preparing carrot salad, which is simply shredded carrots mixed with your child’s preferred dressing. You may also add dried cranberries or raisins for additional sweetness (or sunflower seeds for crunch). Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, an immune-supporting mineral.
16. Healthy Vanilla Shake
This is an easy-to-make, delicious, potassium- and calcium-rich snack that contains no ice cream (and much less added sugar than a traditional milkshake). Combine 1 cup of milk, 1/2 of a frozen banana, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey, and two drops of pure vanilla essence. Don’t do dairy products? Replace the almond milk with unsweetened almond milk.
17. Frozen Grapes
They are the perfect one-ingredient frozen treat: Simply rinse, de-stem, place in a freezer-safe bag, and freeze flat. They taste like tiny sorbet bites! Adding a couple to a smoothie is also an excellent way to add sweetness. (Note: Whole grapes pose a choking hazard to children under the age of 4, so cut them into half or halves before freezing and defrost them slightly before serving.)
One of children’s favourite snacks, a bag of popcorn kernels is inexpensive (and makes a ton!). Popcorn is also a whole grain snack that is naturally high in fiber. In one study, children and adults who drank popcorn frequently absorbed 250% more whole grains and 25% more fiber than those who did not. Here is a stovetop popcorn recipe. Sprinkle with salt and parmesan cheese. Popcorn is a choking hazard to children under the age of four.
19. Cheese-topped pretzel sticks
Use pretzel sticks as cheese “toothpicks” Cube cheddar (or similar hard cheese) into bite-size pieces. Each cube is pierced with a pretzel stick. To make this a nutritious snack for toddlers, grate the cheese and substitute whole wheat bread or tortilla strips for the pretzels.
20. Skewered melon balls
Utilize a melon baller to remove melon and watermelon seeds. Melon balls strung onto toothpicks for easier consumption. When preparing a healthy snack for toddlers, the melon must be soft enough for them to devour. Then, instead of forming the melon into a ball, chop it into little pieces (with the rind removed).
While providing children with nutritious snacks should be a top concern, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to prepare wholesome, good-for-the-body snacks. But guess what? Making nutritious snacks and convincing your children to consume them is possible. You only need a little inspiration and planning.