Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.
Healthy Snacks for Kids
In today's fast-paced, instant gratification society, eating healthy can seem like a big challenge. We are constantly being bombarded by advertising messages about convenience foods to make our lives easier, and temptation seems to lurk around every corner. However, these convenience foods are typically heavily processed and often nutritionally void. With the rising incidences of health concerns like diabetes, heart disease and obesity, it is more important than ever for parents to teach their kids healthy eating habits.
While getting your kids to eat healthy snacks may seem to be difficult, it doesn't have to be. It does take some effort, but the health benefits will definitely pay off in the long run.
Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
Here are some quick and easy healthy snack ideas for kids:
- Fruit - apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, pears, berries, melon, pineapple
- Raw vegetables - cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, avocado, cherry tomatoes
- Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Air-popped popcorn
- Healthy homemade muffins
- Fruit smoothies
- Hummus - serve with crackers, pita bread and/or raw vegetables
- Fruit parfait with yogurt, fruit and oatmeal
- Homemade trail mix
- PB & B Roll-Up (peanut butter and banana rolled-up in whole wheat tortilla)
- Whole grain crackers with nut butter or cheese
- Hard-boiled egg
- Low sugar cereal, either dry or with milk
Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy Snacks
- Be sure to have healthy snack choices readily available at all times. When kids are hungry, they're hungry. If there are healthy snacks such as homemade muffins, yogurt, cut-up veggies and washed fruit ready to eat, they are much less likely to reach for a cookie or junk food.
- Presentation can be key! If you offer your child a piece of fruit, they may or may not be interested. But, if you present them with some fruit kebobs or a veggie platter with some dip, they will be much more likely to eat it up. Wouldn't you be too?
- Be a good role model. Make healthy snack choices for yourself, and be sure your child sees you enjoying them.
- Make healthy eating fun. There are some great nutrition resources available to help kids learn about healthy eating in a fun way. For example, with Crunch-A-Color, The Healthy Eating Game for Kids, kids earn points for eating a balanced and colourful meal, and get bonus points for trying new foods.
- Experiment with new healthy recipes that seem more like treats to kids. Some ideas include fruit smoothies, zucchini muffins, brownies made with hidden vegetables like spinach or black beans and kale chips.
- Try to limit the amount of low-nutrition, highly processed snack foods that you buy. If they're not available to eat on a regular basis, there will be less temptation for both you and your kids.
- When you're out, bring along some healthy snacks so you're less likely to purchase junk food if hunger strikes.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Please comment and share your favourite healthy snack ideas!
Melanie Casey from Indiana on October 29, 2013:
Great list! I have a 4 and a 6 year old and they will eat fruits and vegetables as snacks a lot more willingly than when they are in a meal. I will have to try some of these!
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 25, 2012:
Thanks Sonimanjari! I don't know how we can expect our kids to eat healhy if they see us making unhealthy choices for ourselves all of the time. I think everyone appreciates food that looks good - many of these tips can also help adults eat more healthy foods too. Thanks for commenting.
Manjari Soni from India on November 24, 2012:
Being a role model and presentation really matter, good for taking that point in your article
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Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 30, 2012:
Broccoli trees is a cute idea - sounds fun for kids. Glad to hear your kids liked their veggies - do they still?
Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on April 30, 2012:
You are so right, presentation is the key. I got my kids to eat broccoli after calling them "trees". They thought it was fun to dip trees into the sauce. Luckily, both my kids loved their veggies. Wow, that was 27 years ago.
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 24, 2012:
Thanks girltalksshop. I'm not saying my kids only ever eat healthy snacks, but I try to have lots of healthy choices available and try to set a good example. It's a work in progress!
girltalksshop on April 22, 2012:
This hub reminds me of my niece. She only lets her boys eat veggie's for a snack, or fruit. Interesting hub. Voted up!
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 13, 2012:
That's great Laura! Having healthy snacks ready to eat seems to be key in getting kids to make healthy choices.
Denise, I'll whip you up a raspberry smoothie right now ;)
LauraGT from MA on April 11, 2012:
Great tips! I always have a snack trap filled with fresh fruit - my kids eat several cups a day.
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on April 10, 2012:
Great hub-I want a raspberry smoothie! LOL Thanks for sharing. Wonderful tips for healthy eating in these fast paced days.
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 05, 2012:
Thanks jenubouka. I hope you have success with some of them. Good luck!
jenubouka on April 05, 2012:
Awesome ideas! I think presentation is very important for kids, especially my little one. I swear if it's healthy he knows and runs the opposite direction. I will definitely give these a try. Thanks.
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 04, 2012:
You're welcome katieababy. Thanks for inspiring me to write this hub with your question :)
katieababy74 from Auckland on April 03, 2012:
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 03, 2012:
Thanks for reading and commenting, amberld. I'm so happy to hear that you found some new healthy snack ideas here!
Amber White from New Glarus, WI on April 03, 2012:
I babysit and have two children of my own. I am always looking for new ideas for snacks, thank you for some new ones I haven't thought of before. voted up!
Kathy Sima (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 03, 2012:
Thanks ThePracticalMommy! That's so funny about the kids wanting the same healthy snack as you're eating. That happens to me all of the time, when 9 times out of 10 they would have turned the idea down if they had not seen me eating it myself!
Marissa from United States on April 03, 2012:
These are useful tips for parents! We try keep unhealthy snack foods in our house, like chips, candy, cookies, etc., so that the kids don't constantly ask for them. I also find that if my husband and I walk out of the kitchen eating a healthy snack, the kids immediately want the same snack. I find that it works better that way then to ask the kids what they want first and hear a series of rejections.
Voted up and useful! :)