Tired of cheese and crackers? Spice up your mid-meal routine with these 10 healthy snacks for kids, all recommended by Circle of Moms members who’ve tried them successfully on their own kids.
1. Hummus with Veggies or Pita Bread
Healthy hummus makes a perfect dunking dip for whole wheat pita wedges and sliced veggies like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers and broccoli. If your kids don’t like the chickpea spread, experiment with varieties (think lemon, garlic, roasted red pepper) or whip up Sherry D.'s easy white bean hummus recipe for a different taste altogether.
2. Apples and Peanut Butter
Pair high-fiber apples and protein-packed peanut butter (or soynut butter for kids with peanut allergies) for a healthy, satisfying snack. Mary B. suggests adding a dash of honey to the peanut butter and microwaving it until melted. “It’s really good and about the only way I can get my son to eat apples.”
3. Edamame (Soy Beans)
“My 5 yr. old loves edamame,” shared Karen M. in the Healthy Food for Kids community. Rachel V.’s daughter is a fan of soy beans too: “My daughter loves them and thinks they taste sweeter than other beans.” Your kids may love shelling the healthy legume themselves; otherwise, buy the frozen, pre-shelled edamame.
4. Healthy Bread and Muffins
From zucchini bread to Fiber One banana muffins, moms are full of praise for healthy baked goods. To make recipes healthier, Circle of Moms members like Teka G. recommend easy baking subsitutions such as "applesauce or prune puree for half of the called-for butter, shortening or oil."
Your preschooler will get a kick out of eating just-exploded popcorn! “Pop it yourself on the stove,” says Nikki D., and you'll avoid additives and excessive oil, plus save some cash.
6. Yogurt Parfait
“My kids like to have plain yogurt with granola and fruit,” Heidi M. shares. Yogurt is an excellent nutritious snack, and even more so with real granola and fresh fruit mixed in.
7. Healthy Cereal
Moms like Brandy K. recommend “healthy cereals that can be eaten dry” for snack time, “like Multigrain Cheerios or Harvest Crunch.” Low-sugar, high-fiber and iron-rich cereals like the trusty regular Cheerios are also great picks.
“Smoothies are a huge hit in our house!" raves Dana M. "They're an easy and fun way to afford [your] son all the nutrition he needs in a quick snack!...I usually use milk or yogurt… and throw in some flax seed, avocado, and of course fruit!” They can also easily be served in popsicle form, shares Sarah H.: “Freeze them in those Popsicle molds for a different texture.”
9. Mini Pizzas
Whole grain bagels, English muffins, and pita bread are all healthy “dough” bases for kid-friendly mini pizzas. They're simple to make too, says Mickey O.: “I always make pita pizzas. Kids love them…It's just a pita with pizza sauce and cheese and whatever other toppings you care to throw on there. They take [only] up to ten minutes to make.”
10. Homemade Popsicles
Somehow every snack seems more appealing when it's frozen and on a stick. Some moms recommend banana pops, while mother-of-two Lynn S. shares how she takes yogurt and fresh juice to the next level: “We make a ton of different fresh squeezed juice, add a little lemon and yogurt, then freeze into popsicles.”
Do you have another easy, healthy snack that your kids love? Share it in the comments!