Growing kids need extra nutrients in their diet, and snacks between meals can be the perfect opportunity to provide them with these nutrients. However, you must be careful not to give them packaged snacks, as they contain unhealthy ingredients like added sugars, salts, refined flour, artificial coloring, and other such ingredients.
Over-the-counter (OTC) packaged snacks are highly processed and provide little to no nutrition. Instead, you should always opt for healthy snacks for kids that give them the proper nutrition and energy needed by their growing bodies.
Hence, we have come up with our list of some of the most delicious healthy snacks for kids.
Healthy Snacks for Kids
As long as your kid isn’t allergic to tree nuts or peanuts, they can make for an excellent healthy snack. They are nutrient-dense food packed with healthy fats that help support kids’ growing bodies. Nuts also contain fibers for good digestion and antioxidants for relieving the body of free radicals.
Apart from this, nuts have more health benefits that make them an excellent option for snacking between meals. However, small nuts can be a choking hazard, so it is important to ensure that your child is old enough to handle and eat nuts without risk.
● Cottage Cheese
Like most milk-based foods, cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium. Protein, calcium, and B12 are all nutrients that are crucial for healthy growing bodies and brain development.
Moreover, fresh cottage cheese is creamy, delicious, and soft, so you can even feed it to infants as a healthy snack. While it is delicious on its own, cottage cheese tastes best when spread on toast or served with fresh fruits.
For the healthiest snack, use whole-wheat bread, and you can also add nutrient-dense dried fruits instead of normal fruits.
● Unsweetened Pickles with Live Cultures
Pickles may seem like an odd choice for healthy snacks for kids, but it is a great source of vitamin K, and the right pickles will include probiotic (healthy) bacteria. They help maintain and enhance a healthy digestive system in growing kids.
Pickles are simply fermented cucumbers, but OTC varieties are fermented in vinegar, which means they do not contain the healthy bacteria we are looking for. Instead, opt for unsweetened pickles with live cultures. These are rich in probiotics and do not contain added sugars like typical OTC sweet pickles.
● Carrot/ Celery with Hummus Dip
The idea of a dip is very appealing to children, and you can use this to your advantage by feeding them some healthy, crunchy veggies. Hummus on its own is a deliciously creamy and healthy food made from chickpeas. It offers plenty of antioxidants, fibers, and vitamin B9 or folate (folic acid).
You can use hummus as a dip and serve it with raw carrot sticks, celery, or other raw vegetables, making a yummy and healthy snack for your kids. What’s great about raw, crunchy veggies like carrots and celery is that they stimulate gums and teeth while also cleaning them and preventing plaque buildup. This means that this snack is great for your kids’ physical and oral health.
● Apple Slices with Peanut Butter Dip
It would be wrong not to include a sweet, healthy snack in this list. After all, it is the most desired taste for kids. Apples are one of the best healthy and sweet snacks for kids. The apple skin is an excellent source of fibers like pectin that improve gut bacteria and digestion, whereas the apple itself is rich in iron.
On the other hand, peanut butter contains healthy fats like Omega-6, lots of proteins, and arginine. Not to mention the delicious taste and texture that kids love. Combining these two ingredients, you can conveniently make apple slices and peanut butter dip for one of the best healthy snacks for kids.
If the thick consistency of peanut butter is difficult for your kids, you can either spread it directly on apple slices or mix some plain, full-fat yogurt to turn the peanut butter into a smooth and creamy dip.
● Ants on a Log
If you want to serve a healthy snack that is also the most fun at the same time, ants on a log are a great option. This snack is very similar to apple slices with peanut butter dip. Instead of apple slices, you use celery, and the peanut butter is used as a spread.
Simply cut up a stalk of celery into 3-4 smaller pieces and fill the inside of the celery pieces by spreading peanut butter on them. Lastly, garnish the “log” with a few raisins on the peanut butter, making it look like “ants on a log.”
This fun snack is very appealing to kids and is an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates, which are good for growing bodies. Use unsweetened peanut butter, which does not contain added sugars, for the most nutritious snack.
Our Final Thoughts
When you start giving your kids healthy snacks at an early age, they develop a habit and learn to crave healthy foods over unhealthy OTC snacks. It isn’t uncommon for growing kids to feel hungry between meals. Instead of unhealthy OTC packaged snacks, you should give them the healthy snacks for kids mentioned here.
They are easily available, require very little time to prepare (if any), and provide the added nutrients that kids need for growing healthy and strong bodies.
The key message here is that snacks do not have to be unhealthy, and you can use snack time as an opportunity to give your kids nutrient-rich healthy foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and cheeses. Just consider allergies, choking hazards, and unhealthy OTC ingredients, and you should be on the right track.