10 Healthy Snacks for Kids: Good Food Habits Start Here
Looking for healthy snacks for your kids? Or maybe looking for something new to liven up healthy lunches for kids, so they’ll actually eat them? Here are 10 healthy snacks that are sure to be crowd pleasers – and a good way to start building good food habits.
Stock Up on These Healthy Snacks for Kids
Kids love it, and it is cheap and easy. Skip the microwave popcorn and either invest in a popper or try making it in a pan on the stove. You can get creative with toppings too: olive oil, parmesan cheese, and honey are all kid favorites.
Popsicles from the store tend to be loaded with sugar and preservatives. Make your own by blending up some fruit and fruit juice, then freezing it. (You can also freeze the fruit ahead of time and blend it–the fruit will last longer!) Kids love that they are getting a treat, and you can rest knowing that they are getting natural sugars and needed vitamins.
Peanut butter is the food of choice for many kids, and it’s packed full of protein and healthy oils. Spread it on bread, crackers, rice cakes, apples, celery… anything that will hold it! Or just give your child a spoon and let them savor pure PB bliss. Please check with your child’s school or play group before sending them with peanut butter as a snack. Some places have strict policies due to allergies.
Guess what? Kids love cheese too – just think of how much kids love pizza, grilled cheese, and mac & cheese. Cheese sticks and block cheese can easily be found in most supermarkets. Try to avoid dips and processed cheese, though.
Pita Chips and Dip
There’s something playful and fun about dipping. Sub out potato chips for pita bread or pita chips for a healthier alternative. For dip, try hummus, salsa, or black bean dip. Kids won’t even suspect that they are eating healthy.
Trail mix is a good way to blend healthy items like granola and seeds with tastier bits like coconut, nuts, m&ms, and chocolate chips. What’s more, kids love making their own trail mix – they get a kick out of finding out what they like and then mixing it all together. It’s easy to make ahead of time, too.
Rice Cake Pizzas
OK, so the rice cake is easily the least inspiring food out there. But many kids go for the fun texture and bland taste. You can make them more exciting (and more healthy) by topping them like pizzas. Use peanut butter or hummus as a base “sauce” then add banana, nuts, seeds, olives, apple slices, or whatever other snacks your kids enjoy.
Feeling More DIY?
Here are a few recipes to try:
Homemade Fig Newtons
Fig newtons are a great idea for getting more fruit into your kids, in snack form. But store-bought ones are teeming with sugar and preservatives. Try these homemade newtons made with natural sweeteners.
A great take-off from the fruit pop idea above. Get some fresh fruit, cut it up, and let it freeze. Then throw it in a blender with fruit juice or 2% milk. Yogurt is a nice addition, too. Experiment with flavors to find what your kids will like. While a smoothy blender can certainly help the process, any high-power blender will do.
What kid doesn’t love a fudgicle? You can get the consistency of this treat with healthier ingredients such as avocados, honey, and maple syrup. You can even make them vegan by using non-dairy milk, as this recipe does.
Sobering Stats for Health-Conscious Parents
The U.S. has some of the highest rates of “food inequality” in the world. About 17% of children in the U.S. – over 12.7 million – are obese. At the same time, roughly 13 million children suffer from food scarcity each year and are unable to get the nutritious food they need. In both extremes, we have a child nutrition problem.
Needless to say, getting healthy snacks into kids’ hands helps everybody. If you would like to learn more about food scarcity in the U.S. and how you can help us fight it, learn more about our mission and check out our article on “How You Can Help Fight Hunger.”
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