Nutrition, Recipes & DIY

Dr. Pingel’s 10 Best Healthy Snacks for Kids

Let’s face it, kids eat a lot. But they don’t have to eat junk! With two boys in the house, I know how challenging it can be sometimes to come up with fresh snack ideas. There are actually quite a few healthy snacks for kids that are both easy to prepare and tasty. Below I’ve shared seven ideas for homemade snacks, plus three of my favorite healthier packaged snacks for kids. I hope your kids enjoy them as much as mine do!

 

The 7 Best Homemade Healthy Snacks for Kids

Having some healthy snacks for kids available is the best way to make sure your kids avoid eating processed or junk foods with no nutritional value. Simple ingredients like fruit, nuts, and dairy-free yogurt can provide a great base for some of the best snacks for kids. Here are seven ideas to help you get started.

 

1. Fruit

Fresh fruit—especially apples and bananas—makes a basic, easy, naturally sweet and healthy snack. Cut into slices for small hands. Apples and bananas are yummy sources of fiber and vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and B6. Bananas are also great sources of magnesium and potassium.  [1, 2]

You can also spread some almond butter on the apple slices for some extra healthy flavor and protein. [3]

Dried fruit like raisins, banana chips, or apricots can be another option to consider, especially when blended with granola or mixed into a dairy-free yogurt. Keep in mind that it’s important to check the sugar content on yogurt. One way to get around this is to purchase “plain” yogurt and then add just a touch of maple syrup, honey, or agave if you would like it a bit sweeter.

 

2. Homemade almond nut butter

Believe it or not, nut butter cups are easy to make! Check out my Nut Butter Cups recipe for easy, step-by-step instructions. You only need six ingredients—and they’re all healthy!

 

3. Chia pudding with berries

Try my Simple Chia Seed Pudding with Strawberry Kiwi Compote for a quick, fruity and flavorful snack your kids will devour! It’s made with fresh ingredients, plus it’s naturally sweet with no added sugars. Are your kids picky? Mine are not fans of kiwi, and that’s OK! This pudding is totally customizable—just use the fruits that your kids like!

 

4. Popcorn

Sprinkle popcorn with nutritional yeast instead of butter and salt for a healthy snack your kids can enjoy during their favorite movie or for after-school snack time. [4] You can also play with adding other spices and flavors to popcorn, such as pumpkin spice, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, rosemary, and coconut oil. For kids (and adults!) with more adventurous palates, try ginger and even chili powder!

 

5. Gluten-free toast or bagels

My kids love to slather almond butter on to gluten-free bagels or toast. You could also top with sliced banana or apple.

 

6. Homemade granola bars

Try my Breakfast Cookie Recipe for a delicious, gluten-free, kid-friendly version of granola bars. They’re like a happy fusion between granola bars and oatmeal cookies! Plus, you have the option to include vegan chocolate chips—which are pretty much always a favorite with kids. And you can eat them at any time, not just breakfast.

 

7. Smoothies

A smoothie is one of the quickest healthy snacks for kids you can make. It can also be a quick, healthy breakfast alternative. For an easy smoothie recipe with just five ingredients, check out my Basic Smoothie Recipe with Strawberries and Bananas. You can always change up the fruit or try a different dairy-free milk to personalize it. If your kids love smoothies, you may also want to check out my cookbook for more yummy smoothie recipes  (and more!).

 

Healthier snacks - Dr. Pingel 

What About Packaged Healthy Treats for Kids?

When you’re on-the-go, sometimes it can be helpful to have some healthy packaged snacks for kids on-hand—although keep in mind that processed foods are never as healthy as whole foods.

In general, I recommend looking for gluten- and dairy-free options, plus check the label for added sugars and preservatives. You can’t always avoid everything with a busy lifestyle, but, there are better options out there than many of the standard “go-to” snacks at your grocery store. Below I’ve listed three of my favorites—my kids love these!

 

1. Laura’s Gourmet Gluten-Free Granola 

We love this granola at my house. It’s vegan, gluten-free and available in several different flavors. You can also buy it online. Sometimes my kids eat it straight out of the bag. Other times they might blend it with some dairy-free yogurt, or we might use it to make some homemade granola bars.

 

2. Coyo Yogurt

My kids love this tasty, dairy-free, coconut-based yogurt for a snack or for a quick breakfast. Mix in some berries or granola for some extra flavor and texture.

I have to admit that oftentimes, my kids find it missing from the fridge—and I just smile with a full belly full of Coyo. “Mom ate our yogurt again!” followed by some rolling eyes.

 

3. Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips

These chips are gluten-free and made with cassava flour. You can eat them just straight out of the bag or enjoy them with some fresh salsa or guacamole. Siete also makes a great dairy-free cashew-based queso dip. My youngest son loves the Fuego flavor—he is quite fond of spice! My oldest prefers the lime and plain flavors.

 

Key Takeaways

  • Whether you are looking for homemade or pre-packaged healthy snacks for kids, there are plenty of options.
  • Fruit, popcorn, and smoothies are just a few quick and easy ideas.
  • Look for pre-packaged products that are dairy-free, gluten-free, and naturally sweet or low in sugar.

 

You might also enjoy:  Kitchen Fun! Top 5 Benefits of Cooking with Kids

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