Feeding little ones can be a moving target– when food is available, they won’t sit still long enough to eat, and when the meal is over, they’re starving! It can be tempting to serve quick snacks like cereal and candy with the hope it will tide your kids over until the next meal. But, let’s be honest, they probably won’t be hungry when that meal comes anyway. And you’re not doing yourself or your kids any favors by feeding them processed sugar on an empty stomach. Treating snacks like little meals instead of something to tide a hungry kid over will not only help you create a delicious snack menu, but will also bring peace of mind when your kid passes up a healthy meal later on.
Listed below are 10 healthy snack ideas to get you started with creating a snack menu that will satiate your child’s hunger and provide the nutrition necessary for healthy development. Feel free to adjust the ideas to fit your child’s dietary needs!
Homemade Fruit Leather
These Easy Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather treats by bakedbyrachel.com are a sweet treat. Regular fruit leather or fruit roll ups can be full of processed sugars, artificial flavorings, and dyes. But homemade fruit leather omits the bad stuff and is super easy to make!
Baked Apple Chips
The Viet Vegan suggests these yummy Baked Apple Chips that are easy-breezy to make and delicious to munch on. They’re also a tactile snack that your child won’t be able to help but play with–stacking, rolling, or wearing the chips as rings. Thinly slice apples with a mandolin and bake on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet at 200º F for an hour, then flip and bake for another hour. Remove from the oven and cool completely so they crisp up. It can also be fun to flavor these with a little cinnamon sugar, or make a dipping sauce out of strawberry yogurt!
If your child is a cheese and bread sort of child (we get it), then see how they feel about these Pepperoni Rolls by dancingthroughtherain.com. These take grilled cheese to a whole new level. Swap out the American cheese and pepperoni for your favorite meat and cheese combinations to customize the taste for your child.
These yummy Banana Boats by thrivinghomeblog.com pack in protein, as well as some fiber and plenty of vitamins B6, C, and Manganese. Top the boats with little chocolate or raisin “sailors” for some extra fun.
Crunchy Roasted Green Peas
If your kids already love little green peas, then they’ll love these fun pop-able Crunchy Roasted Green Peas by superhealthykids.com. If they have a so-so relationship with peas, these yummy snack might help them change their mind! Mom’s tip: if your kids aren’t fans of peas, try offering them frozen peas… Sometimes eating a frozen vegetable is just fun enough to open up your child’s mind.
Peanut Butter Fruit Dip
This yummy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip by Cooking Classy is a fun and yummy afternoon treat. Between the sneaky protein in the peanut butter and greek yogurt in this recipe, your child will feel full and happy until dinnertime.
Frozen Pineapple Ice Pops
Yes, this Frozen Pineapple Ice Pops recipe by Eats Amazing UK is as simple as it sounds (and is bound to become a new go-to summer snack for you and your child). Pop a pineapple ring (fresh or jarred) onto a stick and freeze away. Fresh fruit popsicles have never been easier.
Apple Pie Snack Cups
These Apple Pie Snack Cups by Five Heart Home sound indulgent, but are actually a quick and healthy treat! (And you might already have the ingredients at home). A crunched up graham cracker “crust,” some diced apples, a few spoonfuls of applesauce, a dollop of whipped cream, and voila!
Tuna Salad With Crackers
Tuna Salad with Crackers by Natalie on Super Healthy Kids. You can swap out the crackers for gluten free options like red apples and bell peppers or with rice crackers as pictured below. Swap the tuna for chicken if your child is fish-averse.
Oatmeal (basic recipe by on CookingLight). Oatmeal is incredibly versatile. You can sweeten it with coconut sugar, molasses, honey, or maple syrup. Toppings include nuts, seeds, fruits, nut butters, actual butter, and, of course, milk.
What are your child’s favorite snacks? Let us know in the comments below!