Healthy kid's snacks

Let’s be honest: Getting the kids to eat three healthy square meals every day is probably one of the hardest parts of being a parent, especially if you’re dealing with fussy kids or children with food allergies.

And when you add the struggle of getting them to eat healthy snacks on top of their healthy meals, well, let’s just say the job goes from hard to almost impossible!

Snack time is one of the daily routines your child looks forward to the most, and while you’ll find no shortage of quick and easy junk food to take care of the hunger pangs, you shouldn’t be surprised when most kids come back asking you for seconds soon after!

The problem with relying on high-carb and high-fat snacks is that they don’t tackle the root cause of the problem, and without any fibre or protein to keep your kids satisfied throughout the day, these processed foods end up lacking all the filling nutrients needed to thrive and keep the hunger at bay.

So, what’s a busy parent to do?

Why not snack smart instead?

So, while there’s nothing wrong with the odd chocolate bar and dry cereal here and there, high sugar foods won’t help your kids’ energy levels stay up for long, and when the inevitable crash comes, you’ll want to rely on a balanced snack instead.

And what makes for a balanced, healthy snack?

As a general rule of thumb, healthy snacks contain a balanced ratio of macronutrients (complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats) to micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), perfect for nourishing a growing body as well as for getting rid of the hunger pangs for good.

But when it comes to feeding picky eaters, healthy snacking comes down to more than just handing over unprocessed foods to your hungry kid and hoping for the best: It’s about finding creative ways of making them enjoy healthy food, around the clock!

Healthy snacks 101: Healthy snack ideas for kids

Thanks to clever marketing techniques and long-running nutritional myths, many parents don’t really know what healthy (yet delicious!) snacking is supposed to look like.

If all you can picture is boring pieces of fruit, old fashioned granola bars, cottage cheese, or a pot of greek yogurt, you might just need a little dose of healthy snack inspiration…

Dried fruit and nuts

Bring it back to basics with a classic trail mix, packed with all the most nutritious dried fruit for a quick energy boost and all the best brain-healthy nuts for filling tummies and staying focused.

Feel free to skip the raisins!

Peanut butter and apple slices

This is a classic for a reason: So many kids love peanut butter because of the addictive salty taste, and accompanying a nut butter with apple slices instead of bread will boost your kids’ vitamin intake with no extra planning.

Better granola bars

Whole food snack bars like Hiya snack bars contain plenty of nuts and seeds to provide filling healthy fats, perfect for keeping your little one’s brain in tip-top shape!

Multipack Hiya snack bars
Baked sweet potatoes

If you want to incorporate more whole foods into your child’s diet, the humble sweet potato comes to the rescue: All you have to do is pierce the skin and stick it in the oven for an hour to get a creamy, sweet snack loaded with vitamin C.

Whole-grain crackers with hummus

Not all packaged snacks are bad for you, and if your little ones are craving a salty, satisfying snack to power them through play and study, a simple combination of protein-packed hummus and whole-grain crackers will do the trick just fine!

Energy balls

If you’ve already tried the granola bars, why not blend up some dates, nuts, and seeds and roll them into delicious balls or energy bites instead?

You’ll only need to let them set in the fridge for a couple of hours before taking them out and watching them disappear in minutes who knew snacks with no added sugar could be so addictive?

Frozen berries and grapes

If your kids don’t do too well with eating fresh fruit, snacking on frozen fruit might be the way to get them to eat vitamin-packed fruit it’s literally nature’s candy!

Pop some blueberries, strawberries, and grapes in the freezer overnight and see what happens…

Want something a little more challenging?

Well, it might just be your lucky day!

We have plenty of great recipes to share if you want to put the fun back in healthy snacking and try your hand at cooking some delicious, homemade whole food snacks with your children:

Delicious savoury muffins

Why not try these simple, healthy and savoury muffins with chickpea flour, green peppers, red onions. They are just so easy and perfect for Sunday supper or a healthy kids snack at any time.
1 tsp minced ginger
1 onion diced
1 green pepper
0.25 cup broccoli or spinach greens or green beans
1.5 cups chickpea flour
0.5 tsp cumin
0.25 tsp Nigella seeds
0.25 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp yeast
1.75 cups water
0.25 cup fresh coriander
Preheat oven to 190/170 fan/gas 5 and prepare a muffin tin with cases. Fry the ginger, onion and green pepper, add the broccoli (or your chosen green), you can add a splash of water to prevent any vegetables from sticking. In a separate bowl put in the chickpea flour, cumin, nigella seeds, black pepper, turmeric, and yeast. Mix through. Add the water and vegetables to the dry ingredients and mix through until it becomes a batter, then stir in the fresh coriander. Pour batter into muffin cases and bake for 20-25mins. Enjoy!

vegan savoury muffins

Krispies - yummy

Krispies time!! This is a vegan version with a more adult taste, but options for the kids and the sweeter tooth. Recipe is more by eye than weighing, but generally this makes 12 muffin cases:
125g coconut oil
150g golden syrup
125g cacao nibs
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Warm and mix oil and syrup in a large pan. Add cacao nibs and when slightly melted add cocoa powder. Mix well and taste. If too bitter for you, add more golden syrup, or substitute cacao with milk chocolate. Mix about 3 cups of rice krispies (or other cereal of your choice) – again this is by eye. Put in muffin cases and cool in fridge. Have fun decorating with the kids! Eat when set, if you can wait…


Banana cup cakes

We fancied banana cake for a perfect kids tea! This is gluten free, vegan and delicious.
225g chickpea flour
4 tsp baking powder
125g vegetable oil (butter)
200g soft brown sugar
3 ripe bananas – mashed
2 egg substitute (I used psyllium husk, 1 tbsp husk and 2 tbsp water per egg, mix just before using)
Add cinnamon or ginger if you fancy spicing it up
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and prepare muffin cup cases in a tray.
Use all in one method to mix ingredients.
Fill cup cases to two thirds and bake for approx. 25 mins. Check with skewer.
Cool for as long as you can resist! Yummy.
Options – you can make this same recipe as a loaf, just lower the temp slightly and cook for approx. 50 mins.

Banana cupcakes

Seed or nut butter and banana smoothie

Make this healthy snack for kids and it is a great way to get your children to join in with you.

  1. 1 cup 240 ml milk of your choice.
  2. 1 teaspoon or 5 ml of vanilla essence
  3. 2 tablespoon or 30 grams of seed or nut butter (peanut butter is great)
  4. 1 banana (as ripe as possible).
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and whizz. This is super simple and filling. The peanut butter or seed butter is a source of protein, good fats and fibre. Another simple way to serve up this combination is to slice the banana then spread peanut or seed butter on the slices, you can also add some plain full fat yogurt over the top. Also, try with other fruits, like berries or add some cacao to give that rich chocolatey taste but in a healthy way. Yummy!
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