Healthier Snacks for Kids:
Snacks for kids: If you have kids, you’re well aware of the constant stream of junk food that seems to be everywhere in the house, from the pantry to the fridge to the end table next to your favorite chair.
The good news is that there are plenty of healthier snacks for kids that will both benefit their growing bodies and your budget.
Check out these five healthier snacks for kids that you’ll love too.
1) Homemade Fruit Snacks
Homemade fruit snacks, made with real fruit, are healthier than store-bought versions. These ones use orange juice concentrate as a sweetener, so they taste similar to Sweet Tarts without all of the artificial ingredients.
Plus, they’re incredibly easy to make! See our guide on How to Make Fruit Snacks here.
For more healthy snack ideas, check out these 20 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids and these 5 Healthy Breakfast Bars that Taste Like Dessert. And if you want to get your kids involved in cooking, try making some homemade popsicles together using fresh fruit.
2) Homemade Pretzels
Instead of buying pretzels in packages that are loaded with preservatives and tons of salt, get together with your child to make some homemade pretzels.
Not only will they be delicious, but they’ll also taste like something you would buy at a street fair or festival. To make them extra fun, shape them into different animals using cookie cutters.
If your child is old enough, let him roll out his own dough and create his own shapes—you’ll be surprised by how quickly he becomes an expert! And if you’re not quite ready to try making your own dough, just purchase some from a local bakery or grocery store.
It’s easy to find organic varieties as well as low-salt options. And remember: if your child doesn’t like pretzels straight up, try dipping them in hummus (see below).
3) Homemade Granola Bars
To make these, simply combine oats and other grains like wheat and rye in a large bowl. Then add dried fruit, seeds, nuts and salt. Next mix in yogurt or applesauce to give it a wet-noodle consistency (this will help keep it together).
Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap until about 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of paper or plastic wrap (you’ll use it as a guard so granola doesn’t stick to bottom piece).
Bake at 300 degrees F until dry to touch (about 15 minutes). Let cool completely; slice into bars. Makes approximately 36 one-inch squares; each bar has 50 calories.
4) Homemade Popcorn
Not only does it taste delicious, but it’s one of those snacks that can be healthy or indulgent, depending on what ingredients you choose.
It’s a great way to add a little flavor and crunch to your typical routine and can become a family favorite if you invest in an air popper.
Homemade popcorn is also an excellent snack choice because it’s easy to control just how much salt, butter, caramel sauce and other goodies make their way into each bowl (and there are lots of cool toppings out there).
Just be sure not to overdo it—the calories start piling up fast with popcorn. A cup of plain popped corn has about 30 calories.
To keep it really light, skip any added seasonings and stick to a small amount of melted butter. One tablespoon has about 100 calories!
A medium-sized bag of microwave popcorn typically contains less than 100 calories per serving, so if you find yourself craving more than a few cups at once, try making your own instead.
5) Grilled Cheese Sticks
Put your grilled cheese skills to work with these healthy and fun kids snacks. All you need is wheat bread, Cheddar or Swiss cheese, and a couple of sliced hot dogs (or vegetarian sausages).
Simply layer on one slice of cheese, add a couple of slices of hot dog (or vegetarian sausage), then another slice of cheese.
Lightly butter an iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat, place in sandwich and cook until golden brown. Let cool slightly before cutting into sticks; cut diagonally so you have 2-inch pieces that kids will love to grab out of their lunchboxes.
Add more meat if your children are hungry. Store in an airtight container so they can enjoy them throughout the week.