6 Fun Snacks for Kids
Kids don't need junk food to make snacktime fun. Here are six fun snacks for kids that are as entertaining as they are healthy.
Who says kids can't play with their food? According to Thea Runyan, MPH, a pediatric weight management behavior coach and a co-founder of Kurbo Health, "One of the best ways to get kids excited about food is to get them involved in making it."
These nutritious and fun snacks for kids, easy enough to leave for a date night babysitter, let little ones take the driver's seat and encourage them to have a good time doing it:
- Hard-Boiled Egg Penguins
Tammy Lakatos Shames, a registered dietitian and co-author of "The Veggie Cure," says this recipe lets kids get creative and use their hands to construct the fun little critters.
Start to finish: 5 minutes per penguin
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
18 baby carrots
16 large pitted black olives
12 roasted red pepper strips, each about 3 inches long
Use the large end of the egg as the base of the penguin. Insert one toothpick into each of two baby carrots. Stick the toothpicks into the bottom of the egg to form the "feet" of the penguin. These help stabilize the egg to keep your penguin standing upright!
Use one olive for the head. Trim a carrot and insert into the olive for the nose. Insert a toothpick into bottom of the olive and place on top of the egg.
Cut one olive in half lengthwise for "flippers." Place one half on each side of the egg using toothpicks broken in half. Place a strip of roasted red pepper around the neck and another down one side of the penguin for the scarf.
Repeat for each penguin. Be sure kids remove toothpicks as they eat their penguins.
- Egg-Salad-Stuffed Tomato Cradles
Shames says, "Kids have fun getting a little messy using their hands to scoop up the egg salad." Plus, the complete project looks like adorable little boats!
Start to finish: 10 minutes
4 hard-boiled eggs
Ingredients for your favorite egg salad recipe -- mayonnaise, dijonnaise, lemon juice or whatever your family prefers
Salt and pepper to taste
Make 4 eggs' worth of egg salad according to your family's preferred recipe. Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Cut a thin slice off the top of each tomato. Leaving a half-inch shell, scoop out the pulp. Fill each tomato with the egg salad mixture.
- Fruit Fondue
"Kids really love to dip," says Runyan. That's why she created this fun fruit fondue for little ones.
Start to finish: 5 to 10 minutes
Strawberries or bananas
Crushed-up graham crackers
Place all the ingredients in their own bowls. Let kids take the fruit and dip it into the yogurt, then into the graham crackers.
- Cherry, Kiwi, and Peach Ice Pops
"This recipe is simple, easy and safe, so kids can get involved in the process," says Shames.
Start to finish: 5 minutes to prep and 3 hours to freeze
1 cup of frozen cherries, kiwi and peaches
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Puree fruit, yogurt and vanilla in blender until the mixture is slightly sticky. Pour into Popsicle molds and place in the freezer for about 3 hours.
- Pizza Muffin
One of the best fun snacks for kids is to let them decorate their own mini pizzas. For even more fun, turn the pizza into a face -- with olives as eyes and a green pepper slice for a mouth.
Start to finish: 5 minutes to prep, 10 minutes in the oven
1/2 whole-wheat English muffin
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese
Green peppers, olives and onions
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Top the English muffin with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and toppings. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Chia Pudding
"Similar to other pudding mixes, this recipe starts out as a loose, liquid texture and once refrigerated it becomes pudding, making it a delicious science experiment for kids!" says Shames.
Start to finish: 15 minutes
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk
1/3 cup chocolate almond milk
1 tablespoon overripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon sugar
2 large strawberries
2 teaspoons chocolate chips
In a medium mixing bowl, mix chia seeds, coconut milk and chocolate almond milk. Allow ingredients to sit for about 10 minutes or until chia seeds have absorbed the liquid. Mix in extract, banana and sugar until well combined. Add chocolate chips and strawberries.