Children are constantly growing, meaning that they are often hungry in between meals. It is easy to give in to the processed snacks with added sugars and artificial ingredients, but it isn’t what is best. Growing kids need proper nutrients and vitamins, so it is essential to choose only the healthiest snacks.
Since processed snacks are easy to keep on hand and kids love them, they tend to eat them all too often. These are not the healthiest snacks, though. However, many healthy snacks are easy to keep around, too, and they are perfect for on the go.
20 Healthiest Snacks for the Kids, According to Nutritionists
Once you know the healthiest snacks for kids, according to nutritionists, you can swap the unhealthy ones out. It is the perfect opportunity to sneak in some nutrients that they miss otherwise, such as the vitamins found in fruits and vegetables.
Tortilla chips have fiber which will fill your child up until their next meal. Pair them with a healthy dip, and you have the perfect, well-rounded snack. Some dip options include black bean dip, salsa, guacamole, or hummus.
Leave off unhealthy toppings, and popcorn is a nutritional, whole grain snack that is perfect for the entire family. It has plenty of fiber, and you can switch it up by adding healthy toppings and seasonings. Add some cheese, cinnamon, or a little bit of butter to air-popped popcorn, and it is sure to be a hit.
Keep in mind that popcorn is a choking hazard for toddlers and babies, though. Experts say that children shouldn’t eat popcorn until they are four years old.
3. Vegetables and Hummus
Hummus is a healthy dip that comes in many flavors and goes perfectly with vegetables. Let your child choose from carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers, or any other vegetable they want. Kids love to dip their food, and this will help them get nutrition in the process.
Kids love smoothies, and you can pack them full of healthy foods. Add fruit, vegetables, or protein powder, depending on your child’s needs. There are many options to choose from when it comes to smoothies, but some common ingredients include:
- frozen fruit
Kids love cheese, and it’s easy to understand the reason. It is delicious, filling, and quick. Cheese contains protein and calcium, both of which are essential for growing children. Plus, it contains healthy fat and magnesium.
Cheese can help keep kids feel full in between meals, and it contributes to fewer cavities. Pair the cheese with fruit or vegetables to round out the snack.
6. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are full of nutrition, including protein and other vitamins and minerals. They help with brain development, eye health, and other things a growing child needs for proper growth.
Hard-boiled eggs are best because you can keep a dozen on hand in the refrigerator for a quick and easy snack. Plus, when they aren’t fried in oil or scrambled in butter, eggs are among the healthiest snacks.
7. Whole-Wheat English Muffin
Full of fiber and other nutrients, this snack will fill your kids up for a while. You can toast them and put a spread such as a dab of peanut butter on top.
To make it more kid-friendly, let your child sprinkle some cinnamon on, too. Cinnamon is a natural sweetener, and it will add a little extra flavor for your child to enjoy. Plus, they will be happy to help with the seasoning, making them want to eat this healthy treat even more.
Pickles are a source of vitamin K. Some pickles contain probiotics too, which contribute to digestive health. Make sure to choose unsweetened pickles, as the sweet ones have lots of added sugar.
This delicious snack is perfect for kids because it tastes good and contains protein and calcium. Some yogurt contains probiotics, too, helping the digestive system. Avoid yogurt that is marketed for kids, though, because it normally contains lots of sugar.
Choose plain yogurt, and use honey or cinnamon to sweeten it up. You can also add fruit or granola. If you need a dairy-free option, there are many available, and you can still get probiotics from it.
10. Bell Peppers
It is a common misconception that all peppers are spicy. This isn’t the case, though, as bell peppers are sweet. They are also full of nutrients such as fiber, Vitamin C, and carotenoids.
If your child likes to dip their vegetables, bell peppers are a good option for dipping. They go great with guacamole, which is packed full of nutrients, too.
You can find avocado crisps in many flavors, so you are sure to find a flavor your child likes. They are crunchy, tasty, and healthy. They contain healthy fat along with other nutrients.
12. Whole-Grain Crackers
Not all crackers are healthy for kids because many of them contain refined ingredients and added sugar. Choose the whole-grain option for your children to give them the healthy fat and carb intake they need. Let your child spread peanut butter or other nut butter on the crackers for protein.
13. Sour Raisins
Raisins are healthy, but kids don’t always love the taste. There are now sour raisins in the grocery stores, though. These seem like more of a treat than regular raisins, and the flavor doesn’t contain any sugar.
A piece of fruit is an easy snack, and it is nutritious, too. Fruit contains fiber, potassium, and vitamins, among other essential nutrients and minerals. The best part is that it is the perfect snack to take when you are on the go.
Fruit can be paired with other foods, too, to round out the snack a little more. You can use peanut butter as a dip for apples, or eat cottage cheese with peaches or pears. Peanut butter and cottage cheese both contain protein, making them the perfect addition.
15. Trail Mix
You can make healthy trail mix for your kids to munch on or take with them on the go. Use nuts (if your child isn’t allergic), dried fruit, and whole-grain cereal to create a healthy mix. Avoid trail mixes bought at the store because most of them contain candy and sugar.
16. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has been mentioned as a dip or spread paired with other snacks, but it is great on its own, too. It is high in protein, so it gives your child a healthy, filling option.
For a quick treat, let your child eat a big scoop of peanut butter off of a spoon. You don’t have to do anything special for this to be a healthy snack.
As mentioned before, though, you can use peanut butter as a vegetable dip or as a spread. Kids might enjoy mixing in raisins, too.
17. Pretzel Crisps
With many flavors available, pretzel crisps are a good option for kids. They are crunchy and can replace unhealthy chips in your child’s diet. You can also get gluten-free pretzel crisps if your child has gluten sensitivity.
18. Fruit Popsicles
Kids love popsicles, so it is the perfect snack to sneak some fruit into. Stop buying popsicles from the store that are full of added sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, and other unhealthy ingredients.
You can easily make your own by blending or puréeing fresh fruit and a little bit of water. Pour the mixture into small plastic cups or popsicle molds and put foil overtop. Then, put a popsicle stick through the foil and into the puréed fruit.
Let the mixture freeze completely, and then pop them out and let your kids enjoy them. They will be consuming plenty of fruit, all while thinking it is an unhealthy treat.
19. Brownie Brittle
This treat is a mix between brownies and peanut brittle. It is crunchy but tastes like a brownie. This snack is perfect for kids because they will love it, and it has no added sugar.
20. Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is often considered the main course of a meal, such as lunch. You don’t have to limit it to lunch, though, as it is quick and easy to make. Use whole-grain bread for the sandwich to make sure it is healthy, and pair it with fruit.
If you have more than one child, you can cut the sandwich in half for snack time. With grilled cheese as a snack, your child is sure to feel full until dinner time.
Since snacks are such a big part of your child’s diet, it is essential to choose the healthiest snacks for them. If you keep healthy options on hand, they will have more to choose from, so it doesn’t seem like they are missing out.
Once you begin implementing some of these snack ideas, your child will find a few favorites. Before you know it, they will be excited about the healthy choices you have for them. This way, you can make sure that they are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients they need without excess sugar and additives.