50 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids plus Fun Serving Suggestions

January 22nd, 2011 by Dionna | 15 Comments
Posted in Children, Eclectic Learning, Feed with Love and Respect, Healthy Living, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Toddlers

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Margo eats a carrot, fresh from the garden.

Snacks are essential for toddlers’ and preschoolers’ bodies – their body chemistry works better when they can graze throughout the day, eating small portions to keep their blood sugar stable. And because we offer so many snacks, it’s easy to get into periodic snack ruts.

This list is meant to help parents be mindful of healthy snack options and fun presentation ideas. Most of these snacks are quick to fix and portable, so you can pack them to send with your child on play dates, at preschool, or to just have handy in the refrigerator for when your child wants to grab a bite to eat “all by himself.”

If you have snack ideas that are not on this list, please leave them in the comments – I will add to the list as you leave ideas.

Snacks are loosely grouped according to the food pyramid, but there are many crossovers. And my disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, so please let me know if I need to switch something to a different category.

Toddler siblings enjoy apples together.

Vegetables

  1. Fresh veggies (our favorites are edamame, carrots, and broccoli, but also think about things like snap peas, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.)
  2. Steamed veggies (we love broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans)1
  3. Pico de Gallo or salsa and chips
  4. Dehydrated veggie chips
  5. Baba ghanoush dip with raw veggies
  6. Veggie kabobs (serve them on a skewer!)
  7. Veggie pizza: slice tomato or eggplant, top with mushrooms, cheese, cooked/sliced carrots, spinach, and cheese, bake
  8. Spinach and artichoke dip with veggies and chips
  9. Stuffed mushrooms (stuff with tomatoes, cheese, spinach – whatever strikes your fancy!)

Fruits

  1. Dried berries (blueberries, cherries, cranberries)
  2. Dried fruit (apricots, prunes, figs)
  3. Fruit leather
  4. Homemade Larabars
  5. Cubed melon (our favorites are watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and Crenshaw)
  6. Deciduous fruits (our favorites are apples, pears, and plums)
  7. Vine fruits (grapes, kiwi, etc.)
  8. Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
  9. Citrus fruits (oranges, clementines, grapefruits)
  10. Frozen fruits (blueberries, chocolate covered bananas, halved grapes)
  11. Whole wheat tortilla with cream cheese or peanut butter, topped with fruit, rolled up and cut into slices
  12. Roll bananas in yogurt, then oats; freeze
  13. Fruit kabobs (serve them on a skewer!)

Apples dipped in whole yogurt sweetened with cinnamon and local honey.

Protein

  1. Hummus
  2. Peanut butter and apples or celery (we use organic/no sugar added PB, it’s delicious! Add raisins for ants on a log.)
  3. Almond butter on toast
  4. Chickpeas
  5. Hard boiled eggs
  6. A whole wheat tortilla spread with peanut butter, topped with slices of banana, rolled up & cut into slices
  7. Whole wheat tortilla with salsa or cream cheese, topped with slices of ham, turkey, etc., rolled and cut into slices
  8. From “Pretend Soup,” mix peanut butter, applesauce, and cinnamon to desired consistency, then use as a dip.
  9. Scrambled egg with spinach and mozzarella cheese

Milk

  1. Individually wrapped string cheese
  2. Block cheese cut up in bites
  3. Cold grilled cheese sandwich
  4. Yogurt (try plain yogurt mixed with sugar free fruit preserves)
  5. Yogurt smoothies
  6. Yogurt popsicles
  7. Whole wheat tortilla sprinkled with cheese and your choice of toppings (pepperoni, turkey, mushrooms, etc.)
  8. Cucumber yogurt (tzatziki) dip with pita squares
  9. Cottage cheese with peaches or melon on top

Finn enjoying his yogurt.

Grains

  1. Energy Balls
  2. Dry cereal (no sugar/HCFS added)
  3. Rice cakes
  4. Whole grain muffins (use bananas, applesauce, etc.)
  5. Granola with yogurt

Fats

  1. Avocado slices
  2. Guacamole with pita chips
  3. Nuts (cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, mixed nuts)
  4. Trail mix: nuts, dried berries, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, etc.
  5. Nut Butter Balls: 1 tbsp. almond or peanut butter, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 1 tbsp. flaxseed meal, 1 tbsp. coconut flakes, 1 tsp. honey, dash salt, and oatmeal added to desired consistency (you can play with this recipe for your desired taste, here’s a good one at Be Present Mama)

Yum! Dexter enjoys carrot sticks dipped in almond butter mixed with applesauce.

Presentation Ideas

To help entice picky eaters, try one of these fun serving suggestions:

  1. Use swizzle sticks
  2. Let kids practice with chop sticks
  3. Try a fun Bento box
  4. Serve several snacks in a muffin tin (Muffin Tin Mom has some great ideas for muffin tin snacks, and a weekly link-up where you can share your own ideas every Monday!)
  5. Give your toddler lots of little treats in an ice cube tray
  6. Let the spin their snacks on a Lazy Susan
  7. Try cutting sandwiches, pancakes, or tortilla snacks using cookie cutters
  8. Kabob it: serve healthy snacks on a skewer
  9. Let them play with it: have kids build sculptures out of their veggies, make mountains out of fruits, etc.
  10. Let them help! Kids are more likely to take interest and ownership of something they’ve helped make
  1. Fresh Vegetables at Vegan Coach has recipes at the bottom of the page for steaming, braising, roasting, etc. many different types of veggies.

15 Responses to:
"50 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids plus Fun Serving Suggestions"

  1. melia

    check out the facebook group “funky lunch” if you for some reason have hours of free time on hand, and are particularly crafty :)

  2. Jess   sweetlikemaple

    love this! I am always trying to come up with new ideas for healthy snacks.
    one of our favorites lately – smoothie out of a banana, frozen mixed berries, frozen spinach, ground flaxseed, whole milk yogurt, and some almond milk.

  3. Violetsouffle   Rainbowsouffle

    Fabulous post! I would say, though, skewers aren’t safe for very little kids. Popsicle sticks are a wonderful alternative& safe.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Good point mama – they’d definitely be something that parents would need to determine age-appropriateness. Kieran could use them with supervision, but I wouldn’t have given them to him a year ago.

      • SJ

        Or pierce the food with a skewer then use a piece of dried spaghetti for little ones :)

  4. Alicia   aliciafagan

    YUM! I often make a trail mix loaded with all kinds of the items you listed above. Thanks for the great ideas.

  5. Now I’m hungry! The PB, applesauce and cinnamon dip sounds delish.

  6. I just made up something new for myself as a healthy dessert: applesauce, banana mashed with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk, flax seeds, sliced almonds, nutmeg. Kinda like a “pudding” but without any added sugar or fats. My 3 year old wouldn’t touch it, but my 7 month old loves it sans nuts and seeds.

  7. I sometimes make little crustless quiche muffins with frozen spinach and a bit of cheddar mixed in, then freeze the extras.

  8. Great list! I am going try the Lara Bar recipe, and also the energy bars and nut butter balls…

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