Finding Healthy Snacks for Kids in 2020

BANNER_Healthy-Snacks-for-Kids

Kids need healthy fuel for their bodies to function, grow, and stay healthy. Finding healthy snacks for kids is a great way to make sure your kids are getting the special nutrients they need each day.

Explore this Guide:

 

Kids and teenagers are growing every day. This means parents need to take extra care to make sure their bodies are getting the fuel and nutrients they need.

 

But finding healthy snacks for kids that even picky kids will eat can be a struggle.

 

Many of the ideas kids have about food are things we subconsciously teach them. Sometimes we give them subtle messages that the healthy food we want them to eat isn’t something they should want to eat.

 

We do this when we set a plate of vegetables in front of them and say, “you have to eat the whole plate” or “you have to take at least 2 bites of everything”

 

This makes kids assume there’s something wrong with the food if you’re trying to coerce them into eating it.

 

Instead just give them healthy options and they’ll eat what they eat without getting conditioned from an early age to take on our own negative thoughts around healthy foods.

 

There are also different healthy snacking goals parents need to be aware of for their kids.

 

Infants

baby-smiling-and-laying-down

 

For the first year of life babies need milk.

 

Around the half-year mark they can usually start eating some baby-approved solid foods too.

 

But for the most part, milk is all small infants need nutritionally speaking.

 

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

toddler-smelling-a-flower

 

Toddlers are going through growth spurts and teething.

 

They might go through periods of time when they want to eat or sleep more or less than normal.

 

Toddlers need lots of calcium and fiber for their rapidly growing bodies.

 

Milk is a great source of calcium and fruits and veggies are a great source of fiber for toddlers.

 

Young Children

young-child-outside

 

When your kids start getting older and more opinionated it can be difficult to keep them from eating too much sugar, fat, and sodium.

 

Something to focus on with young kids is getting them lots of proteins.

 

Proteins will give them the energy, strength, and hunger satisfaction they need to not binge on unhealthy snacks.

 

Rice, beans, eggs, milk, peanut butter, and nuts are all great protein options for young children.

 

Healthy Snacks for Teens

three-teenage-girls-sitting-together-and-smiling

 

As your kids approach teenagerhood, they’re going to need higher calorie intake for their rapidly developing bodies.

 

The key is to make sure these calories are good calories.

 

Good calories will come from complex carbs rather than simple carbs.

 

Complex Carbohydrates are carbs that are less processed, contain less sugar, and take longer to digest so you’re left feeling full for longer.

 

Simple Carbohydrates are more processed, have more sugars, and take less time to digest so you’re left feeling hungry again sooner.

 

The best carbohydrates come from whole grains like bread, rice, oatmeal, pasta, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn.

 

Other fruits, vegetables, and dairy products can also be a great way to intake healthy carbohydrates.

 

Read more about eating healthy carbs in our article, “How to Gain Weight on a Budget.”

 

Recommended Calorie In-Take by Age:

Age Calorie In-Take Recommendation
2-3 years old 1,000 calories
4-8 years old 1,200-1,400 calories
9-13 years old 1,400-2,000 calories
14-18 years old 1,800-2,400 calories

 

Healthy Snacks for College Students

college-student-girl-reading-in-a-library

 

College students aren’t kids anymore but that doesn’t mean parents stop worrying.

 

College can be a stressful time for your grown-up children. They are possibly working, taking classes, and keeping up with a social life and family all at the same time.

 

The long hours and the many deadlines can really take a toll on a college students physical and mental health.

 

By eating healthy snacks, college students can help reduce stress and be energized for all the work they have to do in college.

 

College students want to make sure they’re getting plenty of vitamins and proteins in their diet.

 

Incorporate these nutrients by packing healthy snacks for your college children like fruits, veggies, prepackaged smoothie blends divided into bags, cheeses, and yogurts.

 

Healthy Snack Tips for Kids

 

Snack time is a great time to make fruits and vegetables the main element of your kid’s plate.

 

It might be hard to get your child to eat vegetables during a larger meal, but when presented as a snack veggies can be the focus of the plate.

 

Take these healthy snack tips for kids under consideration when trying to get your children to eat healthier foods:

  • Keep prepped healthy snack options ready and accessible.
  • Avoid getting processed snacks. These will give your kids too much sugar and sodium in one sitting.
  • Make rainbows on their plate.
  • Make their food fun and cute. Cut out hearts and flowers out of their fruit slices or make a funny face in their bowl of oatmeal.
  • Hide the healthy foods. Make a wrap, sandwich, or a smoothie that has healthy foods in it but your kid would never know!
  • Get fun bowls and containers for their snacks. This way you can even prep their snacks ahead of time.
  • Let them help you meal prep their own snacks. They might really enjoy making a face on their toast with berries and bananas on peanut butter.
  • Swap sugar for healthier sweets. Some kids have a real sweet tooth. Nurse their sweet tooth without giving them tons of pure sugar by giving them healthy but equally sweet alternatives, like fruits and honey.

 

Healthy Snack Ideas For Kids

 

The best snack idea for kids is to make a snack combination with variety and color.

 

To make a healthy snack combo you want to include grains, fruits, veggies, and proteins.

 

Here are some great examples of healthy grains, fruits, veggies, and proteins that you can add to your kid’s snack combo:

Grains Fruits Veggies Proteins
bread berries cucumber milk
oatmeal grapes celery cheese
popcorn apples carrots yogurt
crackers pears mini tomatoes nut butters

 

All you have to do is give them a plate full of small portions in these four food categories.

 

But there are countless other great healthy snack ideas for kids too.

  • Yogurt parfait
  • Smoothie full of fruits and veggies
  • Fruit cups
  • Veggie sticks and dip
  • Decorated toast
  • Decorated rice cakes
  • Trail mix
  • Snack mix
  • Flavored popcorn
  • Roll ups
  • Kabobs
  • Energy balls
  • Mini pizzas
  • Bars
  • Muffins
  • Popsicles
  • Homemade fries
  • Mini sandwiches
  • Cracker sandwiches

 

Read more about healthy snack ideas in our master, “Healthy Snacks” article.

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids to Buy

 

Making your own snacks at home is great but you also want Healthy Packaged Snacks For Kids.

 

It’s ok to buy packaged snacks for your kids, you just have to take a look at the Nutrition Facts and Ingredients List on the back before you buy.

 

It helps if you know what to look for in the Ingredients List and Nutrition Facts.

 

Under the Nutrition Facts you want snacks with no trans fats.

 

You also want low or nonexistent sugar levels. What you really want to avoid though is any Added Sugars.

 

Next under Nutrition Facts you want snacks that have at least a 5% Daily Value of essential vitamins and minerals.

 

Under the Ingredients List, you should know that the amounts of each ingredient are in descending order. So the first ingredient on the list has the highest amount and the last ingredient on the list has the lowest amount.

 

You want real, healthy ingredients to be first on the list. If sugar is the second item on the list, then odds are this snack is mostly sugar.

 

Here are some examples of highly recommended packaged snacks for kids:

  • Wholly Rollies Cinnamon-Oatmeal Frozen Protein Balls
  • Bobo’s Stuff’d Oat Bites | Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Goldfish Colors Baked with Whole Grain
  • From the Ground Up Butternut Squash Pretzels
  • Rhythm Superfoods Organic Carrot Sticks
  • Mamma Chia Chia Squeeze
  • Somersaults Crunchy Bites
  • Chia Pod Dark Cacao
  • Sun Maid Sour Raisin Snacks
  • Larabars
  • Kind Kids bars
  • Kids RX Bars
  • Fruit leather

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids Lunch Boxes

 

A kid’s lunch needs to be fortifying and diverse. You can make your kids lunch diverse by adding a healthy and fun snack or two to their lunch box.

 

Adding a snack to their lunch box can also help you get more of your kid’s daily nutrients into their day.

 

For example, you might pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as the main course for a typical lunch box, but add some sliced up fruits and veggies to add some color and produce to their lunch.

 

Assuming that the main part of a lunch box is going to be a grain, like a sandwich or a wrap, the snack portion of your lunch box should include a protein and/or produce.

 

Some great protein and produce sources that can easily be packed into a school lunch are:

  • String cheese or cheese cubes
  • Sliced apple
  • Veggie sticks and dip
  • Box of raisins
  • Trail mix
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Berries and yogurt
  • Hardboiled egg

 

The great thing about packing lunches is that you don’t even have to go to school for packed lunches to be useful.

 

If you’re home schooling or your kids come home from school before lunch, you can still pack them a fun lunch that is ready and waiting for them.

 

You can also still pack them a midmorning snack to bring to school, even if they don’t eat lunch at school.

 

The middle of the day can be a busy time. Too busy sometimes to stop and make a healthy lunch for everyone.

 

Keep you and your kid’s lunches healthy by packing healthy lunch boxes the night before.

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids At School

 

School is a crucial time for healthy lunches and healthy snacks because kids are learning and doing lots of activities throughout the school day.

 

They need proper fuel to help them learn and have the energy to get through the school day.

 

Get some fun snack containers for kids that your kids will love to eat from and fill them up with a variety snack pack of your own making.

 

Healthy snacks for kids at school include:

  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars
  • Popcorn
  • Sliced fruits
  • Fruit cups
  • Box of raisins
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts

 

Read more about how to pack a healthy lunch box for kids in our article, “5 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids.”

Fun Healthy Snacks For Kids

 

The best way to get your kids to eat healthy snacks is to find ways to make healthy snacks fun for kids.

 

Make healthy snacks fun by making healthy snacks together.

 

Your kids will be more invested in enjoying the healthy snacks if they helped make them in the first place.

 

You can also make healthy snacks fun by hiding healthy foods.

 

You can hide healthy foods from your kids by putting them in yummy smoothies, yogurt parfaits, wraps, and sandwiches.

 

Make fun healthy snacks for kids by making healthy snacks fancy.

 

Don’t just make them toast, get them to eat avocados and fruits on their toast by making the face of an owl or a fox with healthy toppings.

 

Don’t just give them slices of fruits, cut up the fruits into fun shapes.

 

Don’t just hand them a plate of chopped up vegetables, give them fun dipping options or make creative things like ants on a log with celery sticks, peanut butter, and raisins.

 

Inspire your kids imagination with their foods and they’ll love eating fun healthy snacks.

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids To Make

 

Involving your kids in the kitchen is a great idea for many reasons.

 

Letting your kids help make snacks in the kitchen can help them,

  • learn to feed themselves
  • learn how to make food on their own for the future
  • split the job of preparing food so you don’t have to do it all
  • get invested in food and eating healthy things with the pride of knowing they made it themselves.

 

Healthy snacks are really easy and safe to let your kids help make too.

 

Many healthy snacks are no-bake recipes and ideas so you don’t have to deal with the dangers of the stove.

 

Here are some homemade healthy snacks for kids to make:

  • Granola
  • Granola bars
  • Pinwheels
  • Wraps
  • Mini pizzas
  • Fancy toast
  • Trial mix
  • Snack mix
  • Roll ups
  • Energy balls
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Oatmeal muffins
  • Breakfast muffins
  • Ants on a log
  • Fruit cups

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids On The Go

 

Snacks that are easy to pack and go are anything you can easily pack into a snack container or baggie.

 

But also something that your kid can easily eat on the go, like in the car, without making a huge mess. They need to be able to eat it with their hands.

 

This is what makes chopped up veggies and fruits great on-the-go snacks.

 

Trail mixes and other snack mixes are also great for on-the-go snacks.

 

Handheld baked goods are also great for kids on the go, like muffins and cookies they can hold and eat by themselves.

 

Valentines Day Healthy Snacks For Kids

 

When the holidays come around it can be fun to make healthy snacks with holiday themes.

 

Making valentines day healthy snacks together with your kids can also be a great way to create fun holiday traditions and spend time bonding together.

 

Holiday themed snacks and treats can be difficult to make healthy though. Many of the ideas you’ll find online are full of sugars, candies, and icings.

 

Here are some healthy valentines day snack ideas to make instead:

  • Use a healthy cookie recipe and decorate them with a healthy frosting recipe
  • Decorate healthy foods with strawberry hearts
  • Slice fruits, like watermelon, into heart shapes
  • Write valentine quotes on oranges with food safe marker
  • Cut a heart in the middle of toast and fill it with an egg
  • Make a healthy cheeseboard with all the crackers, fruits, and cheeses cut into hearts
  • Make kebabs with just red fruits like strawberries and watermelons
  • Make a healthy trailmix but add pink, red, and white valentines M&Ms instead of regular M&Ms
  • Make fruit salad with fruits that are cut up into hearts

 

Healthy St Patricks Day Snacks For Kids

 

St Patrick’s day is another fun time to make healthy St Patricks day themed snacks.

 

SuperHealthyKids.com has tons of great ideas you could do for a fun but healthy St Patricks day.

 

Some of those ideas include making a leprechaun rainbow out of fruits or veggies or using natural ingredients, like spinach, to dye your foods green.

 

Healthy Halloween Snacks For Kids

 

Halloween is a fun time of year full of hayrides, spooky ghosts, and haunted houses.

 

For kids, Halloween also means trick-or-treating, and trick-or-treating means basket-loads of candy.

 

To help counterbalance your kids sugar intake, try getting them to sell back some of their candy for something else they might want. Or try getting them to schedule out their candy intake so they don’t eat the whole basket in one night.

 

You can also counterbalance the effects of all that trick-or-treat candy by offering them even healthier Halloween snacks.

 

Living for the Sunshine is a site that has loads of healthy Halloween snack ideas for your kids.

 

You can cut healthy snacks into Halloween shapes, make little jack-o-lanterns out of oranges with food safe markers, or turn your classic ants on a log into spiders on a log.

 

Healthy Christmas Snacks For Kids

 

So many of our holidays are full of sugary traditions that involve lots of candy and desserts.

 

Christmas is one of the biggest culprits at all.

 

But who says you can’t turn those traditions around to include equally fun, healthier holiday treat options.

 

The Healthy Mummy is a great site for finding healthy Christmas snacks to give your kids this holiday season.

 

You can make them delicious watermelon slushies, no bake energy balls instead of sugary cookies, and use strawberries and coconut to decorate their snacks with little Santas.

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids Birthday Party

 

Your kids birthday party only comes once a year but that doesn’t mean you can’t find healthy birthday party food options to help you celebrate this special day.

  • Smoothies
  • No-bake balls
  • Popcorn
  • Cheese squares
  • Yogurt or smoothie popsicles
  • Fruits, veggies, and dip

 

Healthy birthday treats can also give you ideas for healthy snacks for kids party.

 

It’s nice to have healthy options available to kids at any party, so they can be healthy and happy without the crash and burn of sugar highs and sugar drops.

 

Healthy Snacks For Picky Kids

 

What do you do when your kids are super picky eaters?

 

Picky kids might turn their noses up at most healthy snacks.

 

But you want them to get their daily nutrients. So what do you do?

 

Well, one thing you could do is hide the healthy food inside their snacks.

 

Make them a smoothie, smoothie bowl, or healthy smoothie ice cream. You can hide all kinds of superfoods, leafy greens, and vegetables in smoothies, and your picky kids will never even know they’re eating kale.

 

You can also hide healthy foods in their favorite baked goods.

 

There are recipes for yummy muffins that include whole grains, or brownies that hide black beans.

 

Healthy Peanut Free Snacks For Kids

 

When your kid has a peanut allergy, it’s important to find healthy peanut free snack ideas and recipes.

 

You can find a treasure trove of peanut free snack ideas for kids at All Recipes.

 

But there are also tons of healthy snack options out there that don’t include nuts at all.

 

These include things like fruit kebabs, jello, yogurt dips, and yogurt parfaits, just to name a few.

 

Healthy Morning Snacks For Kids

 

Breakfast is an important start to the day for adults and kids. Breakfast can set the mood for the rest of your kids day.

 

Help them start the day off right by providing healthy morning snacks for kids.

  • Breakfast muffins
  • Breakfast cups
  • Fruit cup
  • Yogurt parfait
  • Oatmeal
  • Smoothie
  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Cookie bites
  • Fancy toast
  • Fancy rice cakes with toppings
  • English muffins
  • Breakfast bars
  • Corn muffins and butter
  • Breakfast loaves

 

Healthy Snacks For Diabetic Kids

 

Always talk to your child’s dietician and doctor when planning the foods your diabetic child should and shouldn’t eat.

 

For diabetic kids you want the snacks to help manage their blood glucose levels.

 

You want any snacks they eat to keep their blood glucose levels from diving up or down too much throughout the day.

 

Just like any other snack it’s important to keep snacks to around 200 calories or less. This way the snack won’t ruin your kids appetite for the next meal.

 

Avoid snacks that are high in calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.

 

It’s also a good idea to keep snacks between 15 and 30 grams of carbohydrates, with at least 3 grams of fiber, and about 4 grams of protein.

 

Healthy Snacks For Kids Teeth

 

Did you know you can use healthy snacks to strengthen your kids teeth?

 

Apples can clean your teeth as you eat them because they have a fibrous texture.

 

Cucumbers can also scrub teeth as you eat them like apples do because they are also high in fiber. Cucumber juice can also balance and maintain the proper acid levels inside the mouth.

 

Nuts have lots of protein which helps your kids teeth be strong.

 

Hummus dip also has lots of protein for strengthening teeth.

 

Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, which is good for proper mouth saliva and mucus balance to coat and protect the inside of your mouth.

 

Grapes have vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and iron, making them a superfood for teeth. These nutrients in grapes can help strengthen the insides of teeth too.

 

Cheese has lots of calcium and the protein called casein, which also helps with strong teeth and strong teeth enamel.

 

Lots of healthy foods have some kind of health benefit for teeth. But healthy foods that contain a lot of sugars and acid, like oranges, can be bad for tooth health when consumed in excess.

 

You should also avoid giving your kids too many drinks that are high in sugars and citric acid because this erodes teeth enamel.

 

Drinking lots of water is an important and often overlooked part of mouth health.

 

Be careful not to only give your kids sugary drinks and juices. They need water to keep their salivary glands healthy and wash away bacteria.

 

Snack Containers For Kids

 

bento-box-for-kids

Bento Box for Kids

 

divided-snack-container

Sistema Lunch Food Storage Containers

 

divided-snack-containers

4-Compartment Lunch Box Food Containers

 

snack-cups

Munchkin Snack Catcher Cup

 

reusable-snack-bags

Leakproof Reusable Sandwich Bags

 

smoothie-cups-with-straws

4 Kids Mason Jar Cups with Straws

 

In Conclusion,

 

You can find a bunch of healthy snack recipes and more information about nutrition for kids at HealthyChildren.org.

 

It doesn’t take a lot to read about nutrition for children and to incorporate some better eating habits to get your kids the nutrients they need.

 

Eating healthy snacks doesn’t have to just be a practice for kids either.

 

Get the whole household involved in eating healthier meals and snacks together and you’ll all reap the rewards.


Sources


Psychology Today. “How to Talk to Your Children About Food in a Healthy Manner,” by Kristen Fuller.

Children’s Choice Dental Care. “4 Fun and Healthy Snacks That Are Good for Teeth.”

Pediatric Specialists: Dentistry for Children. “Five Fun Snacks for Healthy Teeth.”

Kids Healthy Teeth. “Handy Snacks for Healthy Teeth.”

Very Well Health. “Diabetes-Friendly Snacks With 200 Calories or Less,” by Barbie Cervoni.

The Diabetic Friend: For people with diabetes and their friends. “HEALTHY SNACKS FOR KIDS WITH DIABETES,” by Frances Towner Giedt.

Taste of Home. “40 Healthy Snacks for Kids,” by Ellie Martin Cliffe.

Eating Well. “The Best Healthy Packaged Snacks for Kids,” by Joyce Hendley.

SITE. “3 EASY KID FRIENDLY SNACKS,” by Katya.

KidsHealth.org. “Snacks,” by Mary L. Gavin.

Comments are closed.