Healthy Snacks for Kids

I’ve recently had a few guests asking for some ideas on healthy snacks for children. It’s important for children to have a routine of eating regular, well-balanced meals and snacks. This helps them get the nutrients their bodies need for growth and development and assists in building healthy habits for the future.


Snacks that are well-balanced include combinations of foods from the various food groups. For example, a well-balanced snack for a child could include a fruit/vegetable, a grain (whole grains are best), a lean protein source (including dairy for calcium), and/or a healthy fat. Here are a few ideas for healthy snacks for children:
  • Ants on a Log (celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins)
  • Fruit and Cheese Kabobs (cut up variety of fruit with cubes of cheddar or other cheese, poked on long skewers or toothpicks)
  • Fun Trail Mix (mixture of whole grain oat cereal or granola, almonds or walnuts, and dried cherries, cranberries, apricots or other dried fruit)
  • Cinnamon Toast with Banana and Milk (toasted whole grain bread topped with olive oil/butter spread, then sprinkled with small amount of cinnamon and sugar. Serve with banana and glass of milk)
  • Cheese Quesadilla with Salsa (corn tortillas, part-skim mozzarella, goat, or other cheese, and generous portion of salsa for dipping)
  • Sugar Snap Peas with Dip (dip ideas: hummus, salsa, or honey-mustard dip–Greek yogurt mixed with honey and Dijon mustard)
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Toast (spread natural peanut butter on whole grain toast and add a mashed up banana on top)
  • Mini Pizza (whole wheat sandwich thin or other whole grain roll/flatbread as the base, add tomato puree or sauce, then add desired veggies. Top with part-skim mozzarella or other cheese and bake)
  • Popcorn Banana Munch Mix (mixture of plain popcorn, banana chips, peanuts and dried cranberries)
  • Frozen Banana (peel a banana and dip in yogurt. Roll in crushed, whole grain cereal and freeze)
  • Pita Pockets (stuff a whole grain pita pocket with sliced apples and ricotta cheese. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon)
It can be difficult at times to get children to eat healthy, balanced snacks. Here are a few ideas that may help encourage children to eat the healthy snacks you prepare: make the food colorful and interesting, tell a fun story that incorporates the food, or have children help in the preparation/cooking.
I’d love to hear your ideas–what fun, healthy snacks do you serve your kids?
Rachel Cope MPH, RD, CD