Great Snack Ideas for Kids
Active kids are hungry kids. Healthy snacks are a great way to keep them going through the day. Healthy snacks also help kids to get all the nutrition they need for their growing minds and bodies. Healthy snacks can even help make up for food groups or nutrients children missed out on during meals.
Some parents look down on snacking between meals, but healthy snacking is an important part of a child’s day. Remember, children have much smaller stomachs than adults so they need to eat more often during the day. In fact, some children (especially if they are very active) need to eat five or six times per day. That’s up to three snacks a day—a great opportunity to squeeze in some extra nutrition!
Make it wholesome
Typically, the more natural the food, the more wholesome it is. That’s because natural foods are minimally processed to conserve those rich nutrients already found in nature. Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and snacks with ingredients you recognize as real, natural foods.
Combination is the name of the game
Combine two or more of the five food groups—dairy, vegetables, fruit, grains, and protein—to make nutrient-rich snacks.
For example, apple slices and all-natural peanut butter are a good combination of the fruit and protein groups, providing carbohydrates for energy and protein for growth, as well as phytonutrients, fiber, iron, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Healthy snacking tips for kids
- Be creative. Make healthy foods fun by cutting them into shapes and using lots of color.
- Let your kids join in. What is your child’s favorite healthy food? Plan a snack around it.
- Be a good role model. If you snack healthy, your child is more likely to as well.
- Offer snacks no sooner than two hours before mealtime. This way, a child is less likely to be too full for regular meals.
Simple snack ideas for kids
- Banana roll-ups: whole wheat tortilla, all-natural peanut butter, and banana slices
- Cut-up fruit and yogurt dip
- Cut-up veggies and hummus
- Yogurt with crushed whole grain crackers or granola mixed in
- Vegetable soup and whole grain crackers
- Whole grain cereal and low-fat milk
- Quesadilla made with a whole wheat tortilla and beans and/or cheese