Finding healthy snacks for kids they’ll love might feel like a daunting task, but doing so is crucial to optimize their health, growth, and development.
Having healthy snacks on hand also helps your child maintain high energy, a healthy weight, and a better overall quality of life.
So take a break and have a snack with one of these 25 recipes for healthy snacks for kids!
You'll enjoy them too!
Attributes of Healthy Snacks for Kids
When choosing healthy snacks for kids, pick those with one or more of these characteristics:
- High in fiber
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
- High in protein
- Contains healthy fats
- Low in added sugar
- Free from refined grains
- No sugary drinks
- Contains whole foods
Snacks for children should complement a healthy meal plan. Offer healthy snacks for kids several times a day.
Examples of Healthy Snacks for Kids
Some nutritious snack ideas for kids of all ages include:
1. Fruit with Nut Butter
While eating fruit by itself is an excellent healthy snack for kids, encourage your child to eat fruit with nut butter to boost the protein and healthy fat content of their snack.
Try apple, banana, or pear slices with peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter, or cashew butter.
Top this snack with raisins if you’d like!
2. Dried Fruits
Choose dried fruit to take with you on trips, when you're on-the-go, or during times you’re stuck at home for long periods.
Choose dried fruit without added sugar or dehydrate fruit yourself!
Try dehydrated bananas, apples, pineapples, grapes, mangoes, peaches, or pears.
3. Greek Yogurt with Toppings
Greek yogurt is naturally high in protein and often lower in sugar than regular yogurt.
It’s loaded with calcium, potassium, and other essential nutrients your kids need.
Try plain Greek yogurt topped with berries, banana slices, kiwi fruit, raisins, any other favorite fruit, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, or even dark chocolate-covered nuts!
4. Hummus with Veggies or Pita Chips
Hummus is a healthy, satiating snack many kids enjoy.
It’s made of chickpeas and olive oil, so it is loaded with protein and heart-healthy fat.
Try dipping carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomato slices, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, or other veggie slices in hummus to increase your child’s daily veggie intake.
Or, pair pita chips with hummus instead!
5. Protein Smoothies
To create your own protein smoothie for kids, combine milk, plant milk, or water with Greek yogurt, whey protein, bananas, nut butter, and a small amount of cocoa powder or cinnamon.
Or, mix strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries in the smoothie instead.
Blend it with ice if you’d like!
A sample protein smoothie recipe for kids might look like this:
- 1 cup of milk or unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder
- 1 small frozen banana or 1/2 cup of your favorite fruit
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or cocoa powder
Optional add-ins include walnuts, chia seeds, or sliced almonds.
6. Dried Veggie Chips
What better way to get in an extra serving of nutrient-dense vegetables than with dehydrated veggie chips!
Slice cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, green beans, or any other favorite veggie and dehydrate them at home.
Add salt or seasonings of your choice for flavor.
You can choose store-bought veggie chips instead if you prefer!
7. Peanut Butter Protein Balls
To make your own no-bake oatmeal peanut butter protein balls:
- 1/4 cup of almond milk, milk, or water
- 1/3 cup of chocolate chips, raisins, or other add-ins
- 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of vanilla or chocolate protein powder
- 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter or other nut butter
- 3 tablespoons of natural honey
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Simply combine all ingredients according to the recipe instructions, form the mixture into balls, place them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and enjoy!
8. Cottage Cheese
Low-fat cottage cheese is loaded with protein and calcium, which optimizes muscle and bone development in children.
Protein also helps boost satiety between meals.
Top cottage cheese with berries, banana or apple slices, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, other nuts, cinnamon, or nutmeg to increase the nutritional content or boost the flavor of this already-nutritious snack!
9. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs make an excellent protein-rich snack for kids of all ages.
Slice each egg in half and add salt or other seasonings of your choice.
Pair it with fresh or dried fruit if you'd like.
10. Homemade Trail Mix
Try store-bought trail mix or make your own at-home recipe by combining together the following ingredients:
- Raisins or other dried fruit
- Your favorite low-sugar, fiber-rich serial or pretzels
- Coconut flakes or dark chocolate chips (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy this healthy snack for kids!
11. Whole Food Bars
Whole food bars have a long shelf life and are easy to take with you and your family when you’re on the go, packing a lunch for school, or stuck at home.
These bars are often rich in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and numerous vitamins and minerals.
Look for whole food bars free from fillers and added sugar.
12. Reduced-Fat Cheese
Consider reduced-fat cheese for your child’s next snack or lunch at school, or quick nourishment when you’re on the go.
This snack is loaded with protein and calcium, but it's lower in calories than full-fat cheese.
Reduced-fat cheese often contains just 40-50 calories per serving.
13. Vegetable Juice
One way to increase your child’s vegetable intake is by offering them vegetable juice between or with meals.
This snack is very low in calories but rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Many kids love the taste of it too!
One cup of vegetable juice is a serving from the vegetable group.
14. Homemade No-Bake Protein Bars
Your children will love peanut butter chocolate homemade protein bars, loaded with protein and healthy fats.
Ingredients in the recipes are:
- 1/2 cup of peanut butter
- 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 1/4 cups of vanilla brown rice protein powder
- 3/4 cup of peanut flour
- 36 pretzel rods
- 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
Simple combine all ingredients according to the recipe instructions, refrigerate the mixture overnight, and enjoy!
15. Tuna and Pita Chips
Adding flavored, canned light tuna to pita chips (or whole-grain pita bread) makes an excellent protein-rich healthy snack for kids that’s loaded with omega-3 fats.
Add hummus to pita chips or bread if you'd like!
Or, top the tuna with cherry tomato slices, avocados, or feta cheese!
16. Roasted Chickpeas
Roast your own chickpeas for a tasty, nutritious treat your entire family will love.
Chickpeas are loaded with protein and fiber, making roasted chickpeas a satiating snack.
- 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Paprika or other spices
Follow the roasted chickpea recipe instructions, bake the mixture for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, let it cool, and enjoy!
17. Cereal with Milk
Encourage your child to choose whole-grain, low-sugar (less than 5 grams of sugar per serving) cold cereal and add low-fat cow’s milk, high-protein milk, or plant milk to it.
This snack combination is loaded with protein, calcium, fiber, and numerous essential vitamins and minerals.
18. Peanut Butter Banana Roll-Ups
Get out the rolling pin to create peanut butter banana roll-ups!
- Cut off the crusts of whole-grain bread.
- Flatten it with a rolling pin.
- Top the bread with peanut butter.
- Add a small (peeled) banana.
- Wrap the bread around your banana, and enjoy this delicious, nutritious snack!
19. Oatmeal with Toppings
Prepare nutrient-dense cooked oatmeal by combining rolled oats with milk or plant milk.
Add protein powder if you’d like!
Microwave the mixture and top it with walnuts, pumpkin seeds, banana slices, and cinnamon with nutmeg.
20. Homemade Fruit Popsicles
Make your own popsicles at home using fresh or frozen fruit!
- Blend strawberries or another favorite fruit with almond milk or water.
- Add a tiny bit of honey or cinnamon if you’d like.
- Place the mixture into small paper cups, ice cube trays, or popsicle molds.
- Add popsicle sticks to each before placing them in the freezer.
21. Veggie Hummus Wraps
Add your child’s favorite sliced vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, or bell peppers, to a whole-grain tortilla or pita bread filled with hummus and your favorite seasonings.
Sprinkle reduced-fat cheese on top if you'd like!
22. Rotisserie Chicken Kabobs
Cut cooked, cold rotisserie chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Place the chicken with fresh veggies of your choice on kabobs and let your child dip them into hummus, guacamole, plain Greek yogurt, or ranch or Italian salad dressing.
23. Kefir Smoothies
Plain kefir is loaded with protein, calcium, and probiotics, which studies show is beneficial for your child's gut and brain health.
Make a kefir smoothie as a healthy snack for kids by blending plain kefir with ice and your favorite fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, peaches, raspberries, or blueberries.
24. Lentil Soup
A quick, easy, protein- and fiber-rich snack is none other than lentil and vegetable soup!
Add fresh mozzarella or avocado slices to create a delicious snack or small meal your entire family can enjoy.
Purchase lentil soup cans from your local grocery store or try this homemade lentil soup recipe.
25. Banana Protein Muffins
Consider homemade protein-rich muffins as a nutritious snack or breakfast for your kids by adding protein powder to the following muffin recipe:
- 2 large bananas, mashed
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cups of oat flour
- 1/2 cup of protein powder
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips (optional)
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
Combine the ingredients according to the recipe instructions, and bake your muffins at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they're golden brown.
Additional Healthy Tips for Kids and Parents
To optimize your child's health and wellness, consider the following lifestyle tips for kids:
Create Healthy Meal Plans
Plan healthy meals in addition to offering healthy snacks for kids!
Encourage your children to eat at least:
- 3 serving of vegetables
- 2 servings of fruit
- 3 servings of dairy foods or plant-based equivalents
- 3 or more servings of fiber-rich whole grains
- 3 or more servings of protein-rich foods
Offer your children nutritious fats, which are essential for brain and overall health and developments, including:
- Plant-based oils
- Salmon and other fatty fish
Ask your child to help you prepare meals and snacks, to establish healthy habits and get them excited about nutritious foods.
Consider Dietary Supplements
Ask your child’s pediatrician about taking dietary supplements, such as a multivitamin supplements, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, or probiotics.
Add protein powder or powdered milk to smoothies when necessary, especially for picky eaters.
Encourage Physical Activity
Encourage children to maintain a healthy weight by staying active, participating in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
Go for walks or exercise with your children, play sports with them outdoors, recruit them to help you with yard work, or encourage your kids to participate in organized sports to stay active.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for a child's growth and development.
It also helps them maintain a healthy weight.
Children need at least:
- 3-5 years: 10-13 hours of sleep
- 6-13 years old: 9-11 hours of sleep
- 14-17 years old: 8-10 hours of sleep
- 18 and older: 7-9 hours of sleep
Encourage your child to sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room and set a regular bedtime to prevent daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and obesity.
Limit Screen Time
Too much screen time means your child may not be as active as they should be.
Studies show that increasing screen time is a risk factor for overweight and obesity in children and teens.
Set limits on screen time, or balance out screen time with physical activity to keep your children active all throughout the day.
Make Healthy Snacks for Kids a Priority
Healthy snacks for kids, healthy meals, regular exercise, and quality sleep are key components of optimizing your child's overall health and development.
If you’re ready to make lifestyle changes yourself to set a good example for your family, consider the Fit Mother Project health programs for women.
Upon doing so you receive motivational support for weight loss, nutritious eating, and exercise to help you stay healthy for a lifetime.
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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on healthy snacks for kids.