What are Some Different Types of Healthy Snacks for Children?

Margo Upson
Margo Upson

Kids are almost always hungry. Because they are constantly moving, they burn the calories from meals in just a couple hours. Having healthy snacks on hand to offer them can keep them from reaching for chips and soda when they need a quick bite.

A bowl of oatmeal.
A bowl of oatmeal.

There are hundreds of healthy snack options for kids. The best snacks are the ones that are easy to prepare, and edible on the go. Some ideas that require no preparation are yogurt cups or tubes, raisin boxes, fruit snacks, and granola bars. Applesauce cups are another great snack. These healthy snacks are fairly inexpensive and great for kids with a bit of a sweet tooth. Many of these options have low-fat or low-sugar varieties, as well.

Applesauce can be a good, healthy snack for children.
Applesauce can be a good, healthy snack for children.

Most healthy snacks are easy to make. One classic idea is ants on a log. This is made by spreading peanut butter on celery sticks, then sprinkling on raisins. Cream cheese can also be used. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches are full of important nutrients, and taste great. Sliced vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and celery, served with low fat dip are another healthy idea. Fresh fruits, either sliced or whole, are a delicious snack idea.

Raisins can make a sweet, healthy snack for kids.
Raisins can make a sweet, healthy snack for kids.

Homemade snacks are great for special treats on days when there is more free time. For those who love to bake, there are some healthy snacks that are easy to make, and very popular with kids. One is soft pretzels. Another idea is muffins, like zucchini, carrot, or pumpkin, with oatmeal mixed into the batter. For non-bakers, mix up some juice, and make popsicles. Smoothies are also easy to make, and are great for hot summer days.

Cauliflower is a healthy snack.
Cauliflower is a healthy snack.

Snack platters, filled with a little of everything, are great for when the kids have friends over. Just set the platter out, and let the kids help themselves to their own healthy snacks, with something for everyone. One idea for the platter is crackers and cheese, possibly served with a little pepperoni. Graham crackers topped with peanut butter could also go on the platter. This is another great place for the sliced fruits and vegetables, too.

Granola bars are healthy snacks for children.
Granola bars are healthy snacks for children.

Snack mixes are healthy snacks perfect for kids who are reluctant to give up snacking on chips. Trail mix is a great option. Mix dry cereal with nuts, pretzels, and cheese crackers. Some chocolate chips, mini-marshmallows, and raisins also go well. Serve them in individual portions, great for on the go. Popcorn, popped in a popcorn maker, is a healthy alternative to bagged popcorn. Although it is easy to season the popcorn with store-bought mixes, it’s tasty plain, too.

Fruit or vegetables and dip are a healthy snack for kids.
Fruit or vegetables and dip are a healthy snack for kids.

It is important to have healthy snacks available for kids that are not always made up of empty calories. Teaching kids the benefits of making smart eating choices when they are young can lead to a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Snacks are an easy way to round off nutritional requirements for the day.

Yogurt, which has protein and calcium, is a healthy snack for children.
Yogurt, which has protein and calcium, is a healthy snack for children.

Healthy snacks should be kept in an area that is easy for children to reach, with unhealthy choices kept in less accessible areas. This will encourages children to reach for the healthy options first. By encouraging healthy snacking, parents can give their children the nutrients and know-how needed for healthy living.

Cheese offers both calcium and protein and is a healthy snack.
Cheese offers both calcium and protein and is a healthy snack.
A homemade bread made with canola oil, wheat flour, and fresh berries is a wholesome snack for children.
A homemade bread made with canola oil, wheat flour, and fresh berries is a wholesome snack for children.
Popcorn makers provide a healthy snack for kids when oil is not used.
Popcorn makers provide a healthy snack for kids when oil is not used.
Stock your refrigerator with oranges and other fruit that appeal to kids.
Stock your refrigerator with oranges and other fruit that appeal to kids.
Popsicles made from fresh fruit juice is a healthy snack for kids.
Popsicles made from fresh fruit juice is a healthy snack for kids.
Celery sticks with peanut butter is a popular healthy snack.
Celery sticks with peanut butter is a popular healthy snack.
Crackers are a low fat alternative to chips.
Crackers are a low fat alternative to chips.
Fruit is a healthy snack option.
Fruit is a healthy snack option.
Fruit salad works as a healthy snack option.
Fruit salad works as a healthy snack option.
Peanut butter in a sandwich or as a spread is usually a healthy snack for children.
Peanut butter in a sandwich or as a spread is usually a healthy snack for children.
Made with fresh fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a healthy snack for children of all ages.
Made with fresh fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a healthy snack for children of all ages.
Bananas are a healthy snack option.
Bananas are a healthy snack option.
A banana-orange smoothie made with Greek yogurt, which is high in protein and low in fat.
A banana-orange smoothie made with Greek yogurt, which is high in protein and low in fat.
Children should be encouraged to drink water instead of soda.
Children should be encouraged to drink water instead of soda.
Margo Upson
Margo Upson

Margo has a varied academic background, which has involved everything from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education. These wide-ranging interests make her an ideal wiseGEEK writer, as she always enjoys becoming an expert on new and unfamiliar topics.

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Discussion Comments

GlassAxe

Yogurt and fruit dippers are always a good kids snack. You can even add a little food coloring to the yogurt to make it more interesting. I cut up an assortment of fruits like apples, pears, mango, strawberries, and pineapple, depending on what I have. It appeals to children because they love to dip their food. The snack is great for parents because it is much healthier than processed foods.

GiraffeEars

One of my daughter’s favorite easy healthy snacks is pita pockets. I usually lay out a warm half a pita with a plate full of her favorite meats, cheeses, and veggies. I let her build her own pita just how she likes it. She is only two, so she loves the fact that I let her choose, and it is an easy way to get her to eat healthy.

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