Kids are snacking more than ever and with the endless variety of snacking options available, the ‘healthy’ aspect of their diet has literally gone out the window. But there’s good news – as a parent, you still have the power to make those snacks healthy and helpful. Yes, your children will continue to get extra calories from overly sugary snacks, but as long as things are within limits, there isn’t much for you to worry about – and to uphold those limits, it’s best for you to prepare their snacks at home.
The majority of kids these days have rather erratic eating habits and getting them to have healthy snacks can easily help you fill all their nutrition gaps. With healthy snacking, you can help your kids keep their energy levels up, provide them with the fuel they need before after-school sports and other activities and make up for skipped or skimpy breakfasts. For this reason, it’s best for you to think of snacks as mini meals.
With good snacks, your children will be able to acquire the right amounts of healthy fat, fiber, protein and carbohydrates. If you’re interested in preparing healthy snacks for your kids at home, don’t forget to try the ones mentioned here:
7 Rainbow Fruit Skewers with Vanilla-honey Yogurt Dip
Even the name sounds delicious, right? For those who haven’t had rainbow fruit skewers yet, these are basically fresh and rather colorful fruit skewers that are served with a delicious creamy honey-vanilla yogurt dip. The fruits are what make it one of the best healthy yet totally scrumptious snacks for kids. The best part about it is that it is extremely easy to prepare too.
If your kids want to have something a bit spicy, then all you need to do is swirl on half a teaspoon of cinnamon into the yogurt dip. Oh and to add a bit of color to the dip, feel free to garnish with mint leaves or a few extra berries.
The ingredients that you need to prepare rainbow fruit skewers with vanilla-honey yogurt dip are rather simple and commonly available. To begin with, you will need about 10 long wooden skewers (cut in half), assorted fruits – whatever you and your kids like, ¼ cup honey, 2 cups of plain or vanilla yogurt (if you use plain yogurt, just add a teaspoon of vanilla to it) and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon.
The different fruits that you can use to prepare this snack are pineapple chunks, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, tangerines, strawberries, grapes, blueberries and even kiwi fruit chunks.
For the dip, just take a medium bowl and stir together the yogurt, honey and cinnamon. Now for the fruits, all you need to do is take the wooden skewers and thread the fruits you want onto each of them. For the final touch, arrange the skewers in a rainbow shape and let your kids help themselves to delicious snack!
6 Tortilla Pizzas
Children are very picky eaters – there’s no denying this fact. But the one thing that many children like is cheese. Heck, my wife has a friend whose two daughters are FANATICS when it comes to cheese. They don’t like anything – not peanut butter, jelly--not even oranges – their one true love is cheese. So how do you satiate your child’s cheese cravings?
Well, you can start off by serving tortilla pizzas with lots of cheese on them! To be honest, making tortilla pizzas is fairly easy and will help fill any nutritional gaps in your kids’ diets. The best part about this particular snack is that you don’t need an extensive list of ingredients for its preparation. On the whole, the only things you need to prepare tortilla pizzas at home are salsa, small corn tortillas and shredded corn cheese.
To get started, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Now take the tortillas and place them side by side on two heavy baking sheets. Next, top each tortilla with 2 Tbsp. spaghetti sauce, but make sure that you leave about half an inch border all the way around. On top of each tortilla, sprinkle about a cup of shredded cheese and if you want, add pepperoni to it too.
Once done, bake the tortilla pizzas for about 3-5 minutes until the cheese starts getting bubbly and the crust begins to get golden brown.
If you want, you can add a layer of refried beans under the salsa and add cilantro for garnish, finely chopped green pepper or a dollop of sour cream. Oh and while you are at it, make sure that you get your kids to assemble the pizzas!
5 Healthy Flapjacks
This healthier version of nut bars and traditional fruit contains oats is packed full of nutrition. If anything, this snack is great for lunchboxes too. The ingredients required for this healthy snack include 100g low-fat spread, 150g ready-to-eat stoned dates, 50g chopped toasted hazelnuts, 3 tbsp. agave syrup, 50g stoned dried apricots (finely chopped), 3 tbsp mixed seeds, 150g porridge oats and 50g raisins.
Begin by heating your oven to 170C. Now take a square tin and line it with baking parchment. Place the dates inside the food processor and process them to the point that they are finely chopped and stick together in clumps. Now take a saucepan and place the low-fat spread, dates and agave syrup into it – heat gently.
Stir this mixture to the point that the low-fat spread melts and blends in with the dates. Next, add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir it well. Spoon out the mixture into the tin and spread it to a level. Place it in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Once out of the oven, cut into 12 pieces and let it cool.
Go sugar free too!
If you’re worried about your child’s sugar intake, try out this sugar-free version of banana and date flapjacks. Just mash 2 sliced bananas in a large bowl and add 175g chopped dates and 80ml vegetable oil to them. Next, add in 180g oats and 1 tsp vanilla essence and let it soak for about 5 minutes. Grease a baking tray and spoon the mixture into it – bake at about 175 degree C for around 20 minutes.
4 Orange Cranberry Muffins
These are fruity muffins that are packed full of kid-friendly fruit juice and fruits and make another truly delicious and totally healthy snack option for your kids. What makes it stand out is the fact that you can serve it both as a yummy snack and a healthy breakfast – no matter when you serve it, you can rest-assured that the kids are totally going to love it.
The ingredients that you need for this healthy snack include ¼ cup fresh orange juice, 1 cup dried cranberries, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon fine salt, 1 teaspoon grated orange zest, ½ cup unsalted butter and a bit more to prepare the muffin tin, ½ cup milk, 2 large eggs and 2/3 cup granulated sugar and a tablespoon to top the muffins.
To get started, preheat your oven to about 375 degrees F. Place the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and remove the berries from it. Set the mixture aside to cool and plump. Set it aside after draining off any excess liquid. Take butter and lightly brush a 12-muffin tin with it.
Now take a medium sized bowl and sift the baking powder, flour and salt into it and set it aside for a while. Take a large bowl and use a hand-held mixer to cream the orange zest, butter and 2/3 cup sugar in it to the point that it becomes light and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape it all down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs to it while beating well. Remove the mixture from the mixer now.
Next, fold the flour into the butter mixture in 3 parts, alternating with milk in 2 parts until it becomes just combined. Fold in the cranberries, but refrain from over-mixing. Now divide the batter into the muffin tin and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for about 25 minutes and cool off the muffins before serving.
3 Fantastic Smoothies for Kids
Kids love smoothies – nobody can deny that fact, and this is just what makes smoothies one of the best, most easily prepared and healthy snacks for kids. What’s best is the fact that there are plenty of smoothie options that you can try out according to your child’s liking. To start off, there’s the famous peach melba smoothie.
The ingredients that are required for this smoothie include 100g frozen raspberries with a few for garnish, 410g can peach halves, 150ml fresh custard with a spoonful for garnish and 100ml orange juice. To prepare the smoothie, just drain and rinse the peaches and place them in a blender with the raspberries.
Add the orange juice and fresh custard to it and give it a whizz. Pour the smoothie over ice and garnish it with a spoonful of custard and a few raspberries – your kids are sure to love it!
Get your kids to fall in love with smoothies
Next in line is a mango and banana smoothie. For this, all you need is a medium sized mango, a banana, 500ml orange juice and 4 ice cubes. To get things going, just cut the mango down either side of the flat stone, peel it off and cut the flesh into chunks. Now move on to the banana, peel it and chop it too.
Get your hands on a food processor or blender, put all the ingredients into it and process them until smooth and thick. Place it in the fridge for a while and make sure that you use it the same day you make it.
Another nutritious and delicious smoothy option is the delicious banana, honey and hazelnut smoothie. For this smoothie, blend a peeled and sliced banana with 250ml milk, 1 tsp honey, and a bit of grated nutmeg. Pour the smoothie in a large glass and garnish with chopped hazelnuts.
2 Carrots with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Children are distracted eaters and if you truly want to attract your child’s palette, then it’s highly recommended for you to try out this amazing snack recipe full of flavor. Not only is the recipe simple and easy, it’s also packed with nutrition and most importantly, your child can easily help you prepare it. To be honest, this snacking option can make it easier for you to break the disturbing peanut butter and jelly habit that is so common with children.
Apart from carrots, you can use the peanut dip with cold noodles too!
The ingredients that are required for this snack are 1 tablespoon of honey, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, a splash of soy sauce, water to smooth, a few drops of sesame oil and a couple carrot sticks. Now to get started with preparing the dip, all you need to do is mix all of the ingredients except the carrot sticks together using a whisk or fork in a bowl.
Next you add a bit of water to it just so that the mixture thins to a dipping consistency. If you use all-natural peanut butter, then you will need to add a bit more water, whereas you wouldn’t have to add so much water if you choose to use an everyday brand.
Can my kids help?
Of course your kids can help prepare this delicious snack. To get them involved, you can ask them to scrape the carrots and stir in the ingredients. Ask them to store the carrot sticks in water so they stay juicy and crisp. Also, you can vary things a bit by using apple slices instead of carrots when you prepare this snack the next time.
1 Granola Trifle with Berries and Greek Yogurt
If you want to give your kids a snack that they’ll label ‘absolutely divine’, then this delicious crunchy snack featuring granola paired with rich and creamy yogurt and sweet berries is just what you should prepare for them. If you want, you can easily prepare the granola in advance so when the time comes, you just have to assemble the trifle and serve it to your little ones.
Remember, you can store the granola for up to one month in an air-tight container.
To prepare this delicious snack for your kids, start with preheating your oven to 300 degrees. Now take a large bowl, and add 1 ½ cups of rolled oats, ½ cup chopped nuts, ½ cup oat bran, ¼ cup flax seed, ¼ cup salted sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt to it.
Now take a separate large bowl and whisk together ¼ cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons honey and ½ teaspoon vanilla to it. Now combine both the wet and dry ingredients with each other and spread out this mixture onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake the mixture for about 45 minutes and make sure that you stir it every 15 minutes. Next, pour the granola in a large bowl and stir in dried fruits of your choice to it. Let it cool for a while.
Serve it to the kids!
To serve this delicious snack to your kids, spoon the granola in the bottom of a mini trifle bowl. Next, add a dollop of yogurt and a few berries on top of it. Repeat the procedure and top it off with berries before serving it to your hungry little ones!