Tuesday, January 17, 2012

10 Healthy Kid-friendly Snacks

I don't know about your families, but mine is all about snacks. Basically, if I allowed it, all three children would happily snack themselves through the day and skip meals entirely. Okay, and yes, you got me, so would I. The kids sometimes behave this way though they've never (ahem, okay, only occasionally) been actually allowed to behave this way.
We do have three meals at the table together on most days. But still, when 10am and 3:30pm roll around the kids are eager for a snack. I'm not a complete snack nazi; I do allow the occasional candy bar or cookie--but we try to differentiate between those and snacks by calling anything super sweet (and with little or no nutritional value) a "treat." When my son says he is hungry and then asks for a twizzler, I (hopefully gently) correct him by saying, "Bud, that's a treat, not a snack. It won't help your tummy feel full at all." I hope to be able to help them establish good habits without becoming stressed about always eating healthy.
All of that being said, keeping healthy snacks on hand is quite a challenge. Here's a list of snacks we try to have available for the 10 and 3:30 munchies.
from Costco
1. Dried edamame is a snack we just recently discovered. Since the kids were super hungry when I first offered it, they all took it and enjoyed it. Edamame is soybeans boiled with salt. The dried version is a lot like nuts. They have tons of protein and are sufficiently snacky for the younger set.
2. Whenever possible, I like to have homemade options on hand, and these Easy Granola Bars are still a favorite around here. (seen here and here as well)
3. Muffins, muffins, and muffins! You can do so much with that one little bread. This list includes a fruit/veggie muffin that is very versatile and healthy and applesauce oatmeal muffins that would be great for breakfast or snack. There's another fruit muffin recipe here.

also from Costco
4. Dried fruit and nuts: There are tons of trail mix options out there, from the very, very healthy to the not-so-much. Even with chocolate chips or M&Ms, it's going to be more filling and (at least slightly) more healthy than another sweet snack.
5. Pretzels are our go-to salty, starchy snack. There are so many different kinds of pretzels out there with an amazing range of price. We try different ones in different months. My fave is the honey wheat pretzel sticks. I never thought I liked mixing sweet and salty all that much, but the slight sweetness to these is yummy!

one last Costco find
6. I have to admit that fruit rollups are a favorite of mine, and the more like fruit leather, the better. I highly recommend these homemade fruit leather snacks or these homemade gummies. But if you're cheap and lazy like me, you could also go for the healthified fruit rollup.
7. Do your kids enjoy playing with their food? Make it possible with this Edible Play Dough!
8. Sometimes the kids come and ask for a second snack. If it's far enough away from meal time, I usually give the free reign with the fruits and vegetables drawer in the refrigerator. Baby carrots, chopped sweet peppers, apples, oranges, and pears are usually (And by usually I mean for up to a week after we take a big shopping trip) ready for extra hungry kiddos.
9. And of course there is the wonderful, magic, amazing cheese! My kids are picky about their cheese. They will only eat the mozzarella cheese sticks, but they'll eat cheddar melted on anything (grilled cheese, rollups, etc). When I know that dinner is going to be late or on those rare occasions when we're snacking our way through lunch time, cheese sticks come in quite handy!
10. And to finish off, here's a great list of 22 Healthy Snacks for Kids. Some of them are admittedly only healthyish, but there are some great ideas!
Happy snacking!


  1. Great ideas, Olivia! I can tell you are a Costco shopper :) Their stuff is always so good. I gotta try that edamame. I might like it even more than the kids!

  2. LOL! So NOW I know! Ari has been asking for "treats" for months on end and I couldn't figure out where in the world she discovered that term. I knew she didn't get it from me because "treats" are what we used to give our golden retrievers when they sat, or rolled over or something like that. ;) So now the mystery is solved and I'm SO glad she calls treats "treats" because it has helped us distinguish between "filling up" snacks and superfluous snacks. :)

    One of my "we-have-30-seconds-and-here's-a-quick-snack" go-to's is a spoonful of peanut butter. For some reason, it's more fun on a spoon, plus it's filling and yummy, so it works for us!