10 Healthy Snack Ideas For Kids
It can be difficult trying to keep active kids satisfied with healthy snacks for school, or when they get home after a big day.
While more schools are taking a healthier approach towards nutrition, the real challenge is to actually get your kids to eat what’s in their lunch box and avoid the temptation of cafeteria food.
Healthy snacks are important for growth and development, so it’s about finding ways to pack them full of flavour so that your kids will want to eat more!
I’m here to show you that snacks can be BOTH flavoursome and nutritious.
Healthy snacks your kids will love
Most of the packaged and pre-made snacks you can purchase at the supermarket have SO many hidden nasties like added sugars and sodium, and have minimal nutritional benefits.
Preparing snacks in advance will ensure you know EXACTLY what your children are eating AND help you to avoid that dreaded ‘sugar high’.
You might be familiar with typical healthy snack foods — think nuts, fruits and vegetables — but it’s about working out how you can combine these ingredients together to make snacks your kids will actually WANT to eat.
Here are my top tasty snacks for kids — with ALL the good stuff hidden inside.
Lunch box snacks
These quick and easy foods are perfect to pack into lunch boxes for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
Some of these recipes contain nuts — which is great because nuts are packed with a wide range of essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, fibre and magnesium. Just be sure to check whether nuts are allowed at your child’s school before including any of the nut-based snacks in their lunch box!
Bliss balls, energy balls, or protein balls are a quick and healthy snack that can be made in SO many different ways!
They typically only take 10 minutes to make and can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Wrap them in cling wrap or a resealable bag for a perfect on-the-go snack.
These cookie dough energy balls are packed full of healthy ingredients like energy-fuelling almond meal, peanut butter and rolled oats, and are a great way to satisfy your child’s sweet tooth!
Homemade muesli bars
Muesli bars might seem like an easy lunch box addition, and while their health star rating might make you believe that they’re good for you — think again. Store-bought muesli bars are often FULL of added sugars and other processed ingredients.
That’s why this healthy homemade muesli bars recipe is so great! It only contains wholesome ingredients and you can change them up each week with other dried fruits or seeds so that your kids will never get bored.
If you struggle to get your children to eat enough fruit, then why not disguise it in something that looks more appealing?
I know I wouldn’t say no to a slice of banana bread mid-morning. But the problem with the store-bought kind is that they usually contain a large amount of refined sugar.
What makes my healthy banana bread recipe different is that it has NO refined sugars!
You can send the kids to school with a slice, and have some yourself for breakfast or with your morning coffee!
If your kids love peanut butter, they can spread a layer on top for extra protein and healthy fats to keep them full for longer!
And if your family has any dietary intolerances, you can make this recipe gluten-free by swapping the flour for gluten-free flour or almond meal — you can do this for pretty much any of my recipes that use flour. For a nut-free option, simply leave out the walnuts.
If your kids like this recipe, you can also try my banana bread balls recipe.
Muffins are a perfect lunch box snack! They can be made either sweet OR savoury, and can even double as a quick and healthy breakfast when you’re on-the-go.
It’s SO easy to make a batch of muffins with your family’s favourite fruits or vegetables — you can really get creative with this one!
In these yummy healthy berry muffins, I’ve used maple syrup as a natural sweetener, which contains minerals and antioxidants like manganese and zinc and has a lower glycemic index than white sugar — just make sure to read the label and choose PURE maple syrup, rather than maple FLAVOURED syrup.
For a savoury twist, these zucchini and egg breakfast muffins use eggs as a binding agent AND provide the protein that active kids need to get them through the day.
You can find SO many more muffin variations on the recipes page of my blog.
Cake doesn’t JUST have to be a birthday treat!
This healthy chocolate cake actually contains zucchini for added moisture, so you’re satisfying your child's chocolate cravings AND adding to their daily serving of veggies.
I promise that you and your kids will love these peanut butter protein brownies too — they are SO versatile and can be made vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free.
After school snacks
Here are some quick and easy snack ideas you can prepare for hungry kids after school.
I LOVE making homemade popsicles, especially on a hot summer’s day — they are the perfect healthy after-school treat!
And for the little ones who need to avoid dairy, my dairy-free green and gold popsicles will hit the spot!
You can also try preparing these four nice cream recipes as a healthier alternative to ice cream using frozen fruit as a base!
One of the tastiest ways to enjoy chia seeds is in a chia pudding. You’ll need to prepare it ahead of time, and it is so EASY to make.
You can vary the ingredients each time, using your child’s favourite milk or milk alternative, fruit and other flavours like vanilla or cinnamon.
This snack recipe is perfect for busy mums — all you need to do is to assemble all the ingredients together and leave them to set overnight in the refrigerator — that’s it!
Falafel balls with yoghurt dip
Falafels are a tasty mediterranean recipe that are a delicious snack when paired with a yoghurt dip!
They are perfect for sharing and to grab-and-go for the kids and parents who prefer a savoury snack.
I know that you are probably thinking that grilled cheese is NOT healthy, but it actually CAN be!
These are my three healthy versions of grilled cheese that have added veggies and protein.
Opt for wholemeal bread, rather than white bread for added fibre.
Another family favourite made for sharing are nachos. Yum!
My healthy spin on this typical Mexican dish means you can enjoy them more regularly.
Swap out sour cream with yoghurt and make sure to choose baked corn chips that don’t have artificial flavourings.
Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring
So there you have it — healthy snacks for kids don’t need to be dull and boring.
YOU can use these recipes to create healthier food habits and start meal prepping in advance for the WHOLE family. This way, you all can experience the benefits that a balanced diet can have.
It’s so important to provide growing kids with the nutrients they need — and you know they’ll be getting that when you pack these delicious healthy snacks into their lunch box, or have them ready for when they get home.
Do your children have a favourite healthy snack? Let me know in the comments!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.