10 Healthy Snacks for Kids That Don't Taste Healthy
Whip up some healthy snacks that taste so good, your kids won't even realize they're good for them.
Does it sometimes feel like getting your child to eat nutritious snacks is impossible? With the right foods and recipes, you can create healthy snacks for kids that are so tasty, your kids won't even realize they're eating something good for them. "Getting kids to eat healthy foods is all about rethinking the ingredients," says Laura Fuentes, creator of kid-friendly recipe site MOMables and author of "The Best Homemade Kids' Snacks on the Planet." The trick? Use healthy ingredients, but prepare them in a kid-friendly way. "Instead of steamed broccoli for example, put broccoli on a pizza," Fuentes explains.
Try these 10 deliciously good-for-you snacks and make your kid's lunchbox the most enviable one at school.
1) Freeze Healthy Popsicles
"Popsicles seem like a treat, but they can actually be healthy when you make them at home with fresh fruits and yogurt," explains Fuentes. Invest in some freezer molds and get creative with fruits. Recipes like these chocolate avocado popsicles from Momables are easy to make and taste great, and they're filled with healthy antioxidant-rich ingredients. They're also easy for a babysitter to grab out of the freezer for a healthy snack without the prep!
2) Make Snacktime Pop
"Popcorn is a delicious, whole grain snack that kids love to customize!" says culinary coach Samantha Barnes, the founder of Kitchen Kid and Raddish Kids. Skip the preservative-laden microwave variety and pop your own in just a few minutes with a popcorn maker or on the stove, then let kids add their own toppings and mix-ins, such as Parmesan cheese, dried cranberries or dried seasonings.
3) Build a Better Bento
"Offering smaller portions and a variety of options are great ways to encourage picky eaters to try healthier foods," says Jenna Rammell, a cofounder of children's lifestyle blog Small Fry. Put small healthy items, such as chopped veggies, fruits or a handful of nuts into compartmentalized bento boxes. Kids will get excited about eating all the different sections, explains Rammell.
4) Offer Fresh Fruit
Fruit offers kids a sweet treat, but little do they know just how nutritious those strawberries and blueberries actually are. Fuentes suggests mixing a bowl of fresh berries with yogurt for a simple, healthy (but still sweet!) snack.
5) Slice Sweet Potato Chips
If you have a chip lover on your hands, skip the deep fryer and swap in nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes or apples, which are packed with vitamins. These baked sweet potato chips from Small Fry will fill those chip cravings while packing a nutritious punch.
6) Get Dotty With Yogurt
If snack packages are any indicator, kids are attracted to fun and colorful snacks. Take advantage of that with these frozen yogurt dots from Lady Behind the Curtain. Your kids will have fun making (and eating) this dessert-like treat with all the nutritional benefits of all-natural yogurt.
7) Start Dipping
Store-bought dips like hummus and guacamole make a protein-rich snack that will keep kids fuller longer and less likely to be nibbling constantly. "Kids love to dip!" says Fuentes. "And tasty dips make a great way to sneak in vegetables." Offer veggies such as carrot sticks to dip into the hummus or sliced cucumber to dunk into guacamole.
8) Whip Up Banana Ice Cream
Yes, "ice cream" can be healthy -- as long as it's not actually ice cream. The texture and flavor of this frozen blended banana recipe from Raddish Kids is so similar to real ice cream, your kids will hardly notice that they are simply eating pureed fruit.
9) Power Up With Smoothies
Smoothies offer a tasty way to sneak in fruits and vegetables your picky eater might not otherwise try. When made at home, smoothies can be filled with fresh fruits and dark leafy greens, says Barnes. "A favorite after-school snack in our house is our Super-Power Milkshake, made with frozen bananas, milk, kale, cocoa powder, peanut butter and a squirt of agave," she explains. Make your own "milkshake" with frozen fruits and veggies to get your kids slurping up vitamins in no time.
10) Granola Bars
Some snacks that your kids already love, like granola and protein bars, may seem like a healthy option, but in fact they are loaded with sugar and other processed ingredients. Give kids the tastes they love with a healthier twist by making your own variety using wholesome ingredients. Start with these five-ingredient no-bake granola bars from Minimalist Baker, and customize them with your kids' favorite add-ins.
The key to getting kids to eat healthy is to only offer healthy options, says Rammell. Continually offer wise snacking choices.
For more healthy snacks for kids, read Got Fruit? Try Homemade Fruit Snacks!
Shahrzad Warkentin is a freelance writer with several years of experience covering topics like parenting, health and lifestyle, and is a stay-at-home mom in Los Angeles.