Most kids are picky eaters and I know a lot of moms struggle with getting their little ones to eat healthy. One tip is getting them involved in preparing and cooking snacks and meals. If they are part of the process, it’s likely they will want to taste the end result. Also, exposing them to as much variety as possible, especially when it comes to veggies, is key. Try putting a small serving of several different veggies on their plate. Every little bit they do eat helps them acquire a taste for healthy foods.We know one thing is for sure – kids love snacks. Generally they like those of the refined carb variety (Goldfish, anyone?). Here are 10 healthy and yummy snacks that are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike!
1. Homemade PopsiclesWho doesn’t like a popsicle in the summer? You can make your own delicious popsicles without the added sugars and yucky preservatives. The flavor options are endless, but two of my favorite tried and true combos are Strawberry Ginger and Pina Colada. To make the Strawberry Ginger pops, blend fresh or frozen strawberries with coconut water, a splash of ginger juice (optional) and a few drops of stevia. For the Pina Colada pops, blend fresh or frozen pineapple chunks with coconut milk and a few stops of stevia. Pour into a popsicle mold and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
2. Watermelon Basil SlushyBlend 2 cups of ripe watermelon cubes and a handful of ice (about 1/2 – 2/3 cup) and 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil. Healthy Slurpee!
3. Crackers and GuacMost kids like avocado so guacamole is a delicious and nutritious way of getting in those amazing healthy fats. Serve with rice or gluten free crackers, or organic corn chips.
4. Sweet Potato FriesFor those carb-loving kids, baked sweet potato fries are an excellent alternative to regular (trans-fat fried!) french fries. Simply slice the sweet potato into wedges, toss with some olive or coconut oil, salt and pepper, then bake at 450ºF for 20 minutes.
5. Bliss BallsFor a sweet treat, whip up these chocolate-y, protein-rich bliss balls. Store them in the fridge or freezer and whip them out as an alternative to a sugary, processed snack or dessert.
6. Veggies and HummusNutrient-dense, low-carb, high-protein, there is a reason this is a popular snack amongst health-foodies! Look for no-oil or olive oil-based hummus at the store or make your own.
- 1-15oz. canned garbanzo beans, drained, reserve juice
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (optional)
7. Kale ChipsKale chips – like a potato chip, but healthy! Buy some at the store or make your own. Wash and remove stems from the kale. Tear kale leaves into bite size pieces. Dry kale leaves (a salad spinner works well). Toss leaves with olive oil, a splash of tamari, perhaps some nutritional yeast and spices and place kale on a parchment lined baking pan in a 200 degree oven until crisp.
8. “Peanut Butter Cup” SmoothiePass on the Reese’s and whiz up this smoothie for sweet, creamy and indulgent treat, free of refined sugar and other nasties.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 banana
- 2-3 Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1-2 tablespoons high quality cocoa powder
9. Apple Slices with Seed/Nut ButterServing apple slices with a tablespoon or two of nut or seed butter is a wonderful and satisfying plant-based snack. You could do peanut butter, almond butter, or even chocolate hazelnut butter for a treat. If your kid can’t do nuts, try sunflower seed butter. Delicious with a drizzle of raw honey.
10. Homemade Fruit and Nut BarsThere are a million granola bars on the market, some with great ingredients, others with not-so-great ingredients. Be selective about which ones you buy (read labels with a fine tooth comb!) or make your own so you can control the ingredients and ensure there aren’t any preservatives. Here’s a recipe I love that makes 10 bars:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter