Ten healthy snack ideas for kids

T'is that time of the year when kids go back to school (and parents celebrate a little)! When they come dashing into the kitchen after a long day at school, here are some healthy snack ideas to keep the little ones properly fueled.

 Image by CCHarmon

Image by CCHarmon

1. Baby carrot sticks with hummus dip

Baby carrots are a healthy combo with hummus. Whether it's store-bought or home made hummus, this snack is high in fiber and protein, low in fat. Everything a little body needs to grow strong!

2. Fruit kebabs

I love this easy way to serve fruit. It's colorful and easy for the little ones to eat too. Use thin wooden skewers to hold a variety of small or cut-up fruit like strawberries, melons, grapes, blueberries, and even cherry tomatoes. Your little ones will love this colorful, healthy snack.

3. English muffin pizza

 Image by m01229

Image by m01229

This little snack packs a protein punch and allows you to sneak in some veggies as toppings. I like to keep a stash of English muffins in my freezer handy. Defrost them in the microwave (a few seconds should do the trick). Then, top them with a spoonful of marinara sauce, shredded cheese, ham and even diced broccoli or mushrooms - whatever you have on hand. They can be baked in a toaster oven or in a regular oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese melts. Best of all, your kids can help to assemble their own pizza.

4. Ricotta cheese cup

Instead of a regular yogurt cup, try making a ricotta cheese cup for a taste of Italy. Drizzle with local honey and top with fruit. Yum.

5. Fruit smoothie

Making your own fruit smoothie is fun! I use naturally sweet fruit like bananas and berries, and add extra protein, like yogurt or peanut butter. Finally, I use skim milk (or a non-dairy milk) as a base instead of ice cubes, for a thicker shake-like consistency. But feel free to make it to your taste. With ready-to-use bags of frozen fruit in my freezer - frozen mangoes, frozen blueberries and strawberries - this snack is a breeze to make!

 Image by regan76

Image by regan76

6. Cottage cheese and fruit

As a lover of cottage cheese myself, I think it's vastly under-rated! It packs a protein punch and is creamy and delish! Not exciting enough for ya? Try jazzing it up with fruit or even cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper.

7. Ham roll-ups

Start with a warm flour tortilla (a few seconds in the microwave should do the trick). Layer on thin deli ham and sliced cheese. Roll and slice like a sushi roll. Easy-peasy!

8. Homemade trail mix

We all have our favorite bits and pieces in trail mix - some people like the roasted almonds while others prefer the raisins. Why not have your children make their own custom-blend trail mix that they can snack on whenever they want? A delicious trail mix has a balance of sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy. Try these healthy ingredients: dried fruit (eg. cranberries, raisins, apricots, cherries), roasted nuts (eg. pecans, walnuts, almonds), roasted seeds (eg. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds). Finally, some dark chocolate chunks can add a welcomed touch of decadence and delight.

9. Apple nut dippers

 Image by MelisaTG

Image by MelisaTG

Plain apple slices can be boring. But add a side of nut butter and the apple slices become yummy, protein-packed dippers! Better still, this snack is fast and easy. It can be prepped in 1 minute and 20 seconds flat - trust me, I've timed this.

10. Milk kefir

Sometimes, our children are just in too much of a hurry to sit down and eat. In that case, try a glass of milk kefir. Like yogurt, kefir is a healthful dairy product made from cultured milk. They are both good sources of protein and high in calcium, potassium and B-vitamins, while each offers a unique blend of beneficial gut bacteria. 

 

Now that the kids are taken care of, it's time for you to kick back and relax. Check out our Tartly cocktails for a grown-up beverage you can enjoy... hopefully in peace!