Kids like all of us love good food, but if you’re not careful, they can end up eating a lot of junk food and candies. As a father, you want the best for your children, but you (and maybe your wife) may be too busy to prepare healthy foods. Especially when going out on a long drive to vacation, a good parent will offer them healthy foods like apple slices, bananas, carrot sticks, and string cheese – but these can be easily approached with moans and groans. They won’t be happy unless you give them something like potato chips, hotdogs, French fries, ice cream, and cotton candy.
But before you give in and give them what they want to make everything easier, the great news is you don’t need to exert so much time and effort to give your kids healthy snacks. There are a lot of easy-to-whip snacks so your children can still eat healthily. You can purchase healthy snacks or create them yourselves with your kids by simply following easy-to-do recipes.
You want your kids to eat fruit, but they aren’t interested when it’s fresh from the market? SunRype’s Fruit to Go bars can be your friend. It’s a great snack to pack if you’re in a hurry or while bringing kids on a trip. It’s made of all-natural fruit ingredients with no added processed sugar, no artificial flavors, and preservatives. It’s gluten-free and allergy-friendly. Choose from these berry-delicious flavors: strawberry watermelon, raspberry, strawberry, and wildberry. Warning: your whole family might get addicted to it.
Chips are crunchy and delicious, but it’s not nutritious. Instead of potato chips, give your kids popcorn. It’s a sure-fire hit with children, plus, it’s a whole-grain snack. It has 4 grams of fiber per 3-cup serving, that’s why you’d feel full with it after eating a handful. It’s a versatile snack too, which you can flavor with different varieties like salt, butter, grated cheese, caramel, or cinnamon and sugar. But if you’re in a rush, grab Angie’s BOOMCHIKAPOP popcorn it’s made of whole grain! Plus, it comes in yummy flavors like cheddar cheese, sea salt, real butter, milk chocolate peanut butter, buttery caramel, sweet and salty and cinnamon roll-drizzled.
The BARE Gluten Free Baked Crunchy Carrot Chips has a flavor comparable to a Cool Ranch Doritos. So if your kids always talk about how they want Doritos, try going for Bare products and it might change their minds. It’s yummy, plus they’re made from real veggies! This one’s made from real carrots that are slowly baked to become crunchy, so there’s no added oil. It’s gluten-free, low fat and offers the crave-able crunchiness of a chip but made of veggies. Besides this carrot with ranch, it’s also available in beet with sea salt, beet with salt and vinegar, carrot with sea salt, sweet potato with barbeque and sweet potato with sea salt.
This is a delicious crunchy puff snack not made of corn but made of peas. World Peas Peatos Classic Cheese removes the junk in junk food by using nutritious ingredients. One bag of this snack provides twice the protein and three times the fiber of the “corny cheetah” (perhaps you already know what they mean!). It’s non-GMO, gluten free, MSG free and free of artificial flavoring. It’s available in four flavors: classic cheese, fiery hot, masala and chili cheese.
If your child is craving for something sweet, this gluten-free take on marshmallows only has 80 calories per serving. Smash Mallow Snackable Marshmallows has a delightful mint chocolate chip flavor perfect for the summer.
Somersaults create healthy, nut-free snacks for children. The Somersaults Sunflower Seed Bites is a lightly-salted, bite-sized snack powered by sunflower seeds and also contains sesame seeds and whole-wheat flour. It offers perfect bite sizes for little hands and little mouths. These snacks offer 8% of the daily recommended Vitamin E and brings 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber per serving.
RXBar Kids’ Apple Cinnamon Raisin is a clean-label protein snack bar that is upfront about what it contains: 5 egg whites, 4 almonds, 5 cashews and 1 date with apple cinnamon raisin flavor. It’s delicious and can serve as a quick, on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack. It’s also available in flavors such as Berry Blast and Chocolate Chip.
8. Hard Boiled Eggs
We all know that eggs are nutritious and packed with protein, and the easiest and most tummy-filling way to serve them is by boiling it hard.
To make hard-boiled eggs,
- Place eggs in a saucepan, add water to cover them by 1 to 2 inches.
- Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 30 seconds.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the eggs sit on hot water for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove the eggs from water or run it under cold water for the eggs to stop cooking.
- Serve with salt and pepper.
9. Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites
Make a tasty finger snack out of ham, cheese, and pretzels. This one’s really easy:
- Take a slice of ham or lunch meat and roll it up tight.
- Take a slice of Swiss cheese and roll it outside the meat roll to wrap it, slightly overlapping the cheese to keep it covered.
- Spear this with a pretzel stick to serve as an edible handle.
It’s so cute and so fun to eat, plus it’s very tasty! It will surely be a hit for your kids.
10. Apple Cookies
Wanna make apple sweeter and more exciting? Here’s an idea – why don’t you make “chocolate chip cookies” out of them?
- Simply slice an apple horizontally into thin slices
- Slice out the core, so you can create donut-shaped apple slices
- Spread peanut butter on top of the apple slice, then sprinkle it with mini chocolate chips.
11. Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Make snacking on fruit and cheese more exciting for your little ones. Once there are sticks, it becomes irresistible to most kids.
- Get some Colby jack cheese snacks and slice them up into bite-size pieces.
- Get some green seedless grapes and small strawberries.
- In a skewer, alternate the fruits and cheese until the skewer is full.
- Serve it with low-fat vanilla yogurt for dip.
You can add your own fruit choices, like papaya or kiwi.
12. Crispy Puffed Rice Balls
Make the classic crispy rice-marshmallow-and-butter snack healthier by adding dried fruit and seeds and to whole-grain cereal.
- 4 cups puffed rice cereal
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground
- 2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup dried apricots, diced
- 1 teaspoon light agave syrup
- Kosher salt
- Cooking spray
- Spray a large metal mixing bowl with cooking spray and set aside.
- Cook mini marshmallows, unsalted butter, agave syrup and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir for up to 3 minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and the mixture is blended.
- Remove it from heat, then add puffed rice to coat it with the mixture.
- Put the rice mixture into the mixing bowl and sprinkle it with flaxseeds, apricots and sunflower seeds.
- Stir them all with wooden spoon or hands, then form into balls.
- Let it cool for about 30 minutes and serve, or wrap them in parchment paper for future snacking.
13. Toothpick Snacks
Eating healthy foods can be fun for your kids as long as it has to be eaten with a toothpick. Keep the food simple – cut bread, cheese, grapes, bananas, apples, kiwi and even turkey into chunks and serve them with a toothpick. It’s amazing how much and what they are willing to eat if they get to stick a toothpick in it, and before you know it, toothpick snacks are your kids’ favorite thing to eat! Use different kinds of toothpicks for extra fun!
14. Tomato Basil Mozzarella Toasts
Make healthier cheesy toasts for your kids by adding tomato and basil on it. They would like the crunchiness and cheesiness of the bread, while they eat the veggie goodness.
- Crusty French baguette
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
- 4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
To make the toasts,
- Slice a crusty French baguette in half.
- Layer a mozzarella slice along the bread.
- Place bread on a baking tray and broil for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese begins to melt.
- Remove it from the oven and lay the tomato slices.
- Bring it back to the oven for 1-2 minutes and remove.
- Sprinkle it with the freshly chopped basil and cut the bread into pieces.
- Garnish it lightly with salt and paper, if you want to add more flavor.
15. Banana Ice Cream
Bananas are great, but when they’re frozen and made into ice cream, they even become greater! Your kids will surely love this homemade ice cream you’ll make for them.
- Slice ripe or overripe bananas for at least 2-3 hours.
- Make a puree out of them in a food processor for 5 minutes.
- Stop it halfway through to add vanilla.
- Serve it right away.
You can add toppings like berries, chocolate chips, nuts or anything your kids like.
16. Cracker Sandwich
If the presentation is cute, your kids will more likely to be attracted to eat it. For little children, a regular-sized sandwich may be overwhelming, so using crackers instead can give it some camouflage. Make some mini turkey sandwiches by using Ritz whole wheat crackers, turkey and some cheese (cheddar or Colby-jack).
- Slice the cheese and the turkey into small pieces that will fit with the crackers
- Place the cheese and the turkey slice between two crackers.
- Serve and let your kids enjoy!
Try making it with tuna sandwiches, egg sandwiches or even BLT. Your kids may even enjoy making it on their own.
17. Homemade Protein Bars
Tell your kids it’s homemade cookies, but it’s actually a protein bar. This can serve as a healthy snack and dessert in one. You may even love it yourself.
Prepare these ingredients:
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 2 ½ cups peanut butter
- 2 ¼ cups chocolate whey protein powder
- ¼ cup wheat germ
- ¼ cup almonds, chopped
- 2 cups honey
Here’s how to do your no-bake protein bar:
- Mix chocolate whey protein powder, oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, wheat germ and chopped almonds in a mixing bowl.
- Start by using a spatula, but as the mixture gets heavier, you need to do the mixing with your hands.
- Press this mixture into a bar pan.
- Slice them up into bars and freeze while still in the pan.
- Store these protein bars in a container in the freezer, in between pieces of parchment paper so they won’t stick together.
18. Orange Yogurt Ice Pops
Ice pops are so easy to whip up and your kids love it. You need to ask them for a little patience to wait for them to freeze.
- 4 cups pulp-free orange juice
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
To make this citrusy creamy ice pops,
- Mix orange juice and honey in a wide saucepan.
- Let it simmer over medium-high heat.
- Let it cool completely.
- Add the orange honey mixture to Greek yogurt, orange zest, pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to a blender.
- Puree until it’s smooth.
- Pour it out to the popsicle molds and freeze until set.
19. Tuscan Kale Bites
Kale is a popular healthy vegetable filled with vitamin K, which helps build bones. However, because kale is so green and a little bitter, kids despise it. To introduce it to your little children, you need to add some cheesy goodness to make it more approachable to them. Make a Tuscan-style food with kale and spinach as the main ingredient.
To prepare, get these ingredients:
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 egg
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Sauté your chopped kale in olive oil until it becomes softer and bright green in color.
- Toss in the spinach until it looks wilted.
- Puree the kale, spinach, parmesan cheese, beans and in a food processor or blender until it’s nice and smooth.
- Add garlic powder and a dash of salt and pepper.
- Put the mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese until it becomes like a dough.
- Scoop out the “dough” in tablespoonfuls.
- Place them in a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until balls is golden brown.
- Serve it warm, with salsa or marinara sauce.
20. Sweet Potato Crackers
Goldfish crackers are the ultimate snack for kids, but you can make it even healthier by making a wholesome cracker of your own.
Using only 5 ingredients:
- 1 cup of sweet potato (cooked, mashed and cooled)
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ½ cup oat flour and a pinch of salt
With these ingredients, you can make these tasty crackers in no time. Here are the steps:
- Start by combining oat flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Place the mashed sweet potato and coconut oil in a standup mixer and mix it well.
- Add the dry ingredients and blend them out until they form a ball.
- Cover the ball in plastic wrap, squish it to form a disc and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
- After that, preheat oven to 350 degrees, and then take the dough out of the fridge.
- Using a roller, roll out the dough to ½ inch thickness and cut up some shapes you want. If you have a cookie dough cutter that makes fun shapes, now is the time to use it.
- Keep re-rolling and cutting up shapes until there is no more dough left.
- Place the shaped dough pieces to baking sheets covered in parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Making this fun snack can be a great bonding activity for you and your kids.