The 54 Best Snacks for Kids
Whole Grain Cereal
With vitamins, calcium, and fiber, a bowl of enriched whole grain cereal with milk and fruit is a power-packed snack or healthy start to the day. For a fun and flavorful twist, try our cute clusters with yogurt-covered cereal and dried strawberries.
The protein in this kid-friendly snack keeps energy levels high until dinnertime. We like to stick salt-free pretzel sticks into cubes of low-fat cheese to make "satellite snacks," but you can also make cheese more interesting to kids by cutting it into fun shapes with a cookie cutter and making kabobs with your favorite fruit.
If you feel like all your kids eat are bananas and apples, try introducing vitamin C-packed fresh strawberries to their diet. For a perfect snack when you're short on time, try this vitamin- and protein-rich snack with only three ingredients. To add an extra-healthy option, choose whole wheat crepes.
Low-fat yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, and children love it dressed up. To add taste and nutritional value, whip up a yogurt parfait with berries and granola or make a homemade fruity yogurt pop that beats sugary store-bought frozen treats any day.
You can mix anything with a calcium-rich cheese quesadilla: chopped vegetables, leftover cooked chicken, or even shrimp. Try our Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, which are easy to make and fun for kids to hold. Don't forget to buy a chunky veggie salsa—with the folate in the corn, the lycopene in the tomatoes, and the fiber in the beans, this snack packs a nutritional punch.
These crispy and crunchy leaf chips are super easy to make—all you need are tortillas, herbs and spices, and a leaf-shaped cookie cutter!
One egg provides a 4-year-old with almost one-third of her protein requirements for the day. Keep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge (they last for seven days), or scramble an egg and roll it up in a flour tortilla. Another great idea: our easy breakfast pita that can be made the night before for an on-the-go meal.
Made from pureed chickpeas, hummus is an excellent dip for kids. It has an appealing nutty flavor, is thick enough not to be messy, and contains folate, vitamin B6, and iron. Serve hummus with cut-up vegetables or salt-free crackers for dipping, or use it to make a pita bread sandwich.
Pasta is a fabulous source of complex carbohydrates. Pick some in your child's favorite shape, and cook up a batch to keep in the refrigerator. At snacktime, microwave a half-cup serving tossed with veggies or cooked chicken and jarred tomato sauce. Our easy protein- and fiber-rich penne has only four ingredients and is done in 20 minutes.
Rich in fiber and available year-round, pears come in many delicious varieties. Serve up equally nutritious canned pears with a small bowl of low-fat cottage cheese or pack a juicy whole pear in your child's lunch box. For an after-school snack, our Pear Pinwheels are perfect picks with three easy ingredients.
These snacks are turbo-charged with vitamins! Kids will love how apple slices and grapes are turned into speeding cars.
It tastes just as good as regular ham, but the low-fat version is much healthier and a great way to boost your child's protein intake. Roll up a slice on its own or with a piece of cheese, make mini crustless ham sandwiches, or try our Ham and Cheese Crepes with diced ham, melty cheese, and tomatoes baked inside.
Raisins have a lot of good things going for them such as fiber, potassium, and vitamins. Even if your picky eaters aren't going for a handful of raisins out of the box, we have a super yummy raisin snack they won't be able to pass up. Kids will love to dip and swirl apple wedges or carrot sticks for a healthy and delicious scoop of creamy covered raisins.
Apples are the go-to healthy fruit, but if you're feeling the boring apple blues and want to switch up your applesauce routine, try this delicious Instant Apple Crisp to get the vitamin C and fiber you've come to count on from apples. For an added treat, sprinkle with fresh blueberries and a dollop of low-fat vanilla yogurt.
Whole Grain Waffles
For a fun alternative to peanut butter and jelly, try whole grain waffles for a boost of iron and vitamins B6, B12, and A. These cool, kid-approved waffle sticks topped with reduced-fat cream cheese and a fruit jelly are a refreshing change for snacktime.
What kid doesn't love cookies for snack time? Instead of buying the high-sugar, high-fat varieties from the store, bake up a batch of our low-fat Oatmeal Cookies and feel better about serving cookies and milk. The best part is you can add in whatever you want—try raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, or nuts to boost the nutritional value and taste.
Your kids will love this fruity combination of tomatoes, cantaloupe, apples, and a hint of lime. If you want to tone down the heat, use just one seeded jalapeno or none at all. Packed with lycopene from the tomato, vitamins A and C from the melon, and fiber from the apple, this healthy and delicious snack is a big winner.
You won't believe how these sweet "nachos" come together with layers of fruit, yogurt, honey, and other toppings.
Almonds are nutritional powerhouses: high in fiber, protein, vitamin E, calcium, riboflavin, copper, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and healthy monounsaturated fat. A small handful (about one ounce) is just the right amount for kids to munch on. (Note: Do not give nuts to children under 3; they can be a choking hazard.)
Breakfast Bars are, admittedly, not as good for kids as a bowl of fortified cereal with milk is, but they're more portable and fun to eat. Health Valley brand contains 100 percent RDV (recommended daily value) of vitamin E and 25 percent of calcium, and it's low in fat too.
Dried Cranberries, a.k.a. Craisins, are a great alternative to raisins. Sweet, tart, and ruby red, one-third cup provides two grams of fiber and 11 percent RDV of vitamin C. For a snack that will give kids energy to burn, mix them with pistachios or peanuts.
Fruit Rolls are all-time favorites, but they're not all created equal. The best of the batch is Sunkist 100% Fruit Rolls, enriched with vitamin C. They're sweetened with fruit-juice concentrate instead of corn syrup.
Ices are an ideal choice—if they're homemade. Pour 100 percent fruit juice into small plastic cups and freeze. (Insert Popsicle sticks before juice freezes completely.) For extra nutrition, drop a whole strawberry into each cup.
Jelly spread on rice cakes is ho-hum, but a tower of mini rice cakes with jelly in between is an edible construction project—and a nearly fat-free snack.
Kosher pickle spears wrapped in deli-counter turkey slices make an excellent between-meal treat. An ounce of turkey provides 10 percent RDV of niacin, 7 percent of vitamin B6, and eight grams of protein. Pickles, though high in sodium, are basically fat- and calorie-free and make bland foods (such as turkey) more appealing.
Low-fat Chocolate Milk isn't news—but chocolate slushies are! Freeze in ice-cube trays and blend to make a delicious drink that contains 30 percent RDV of calcium, eight grams of protein, and only five grams of fat.
Soften a small corn or flour tortilla in the microwave, top with shredded cheese, salsa, and a sprinkling of vitamin-E-packed toasted sunflower seeds, and roll tightly.
Upside-down cake is a homey treat and can be made in less than ten minutes. Place one drained pineapple ring in a custard cup. Spread half a blueberry muffin with apple butter or jam and place over fruit; pop in the toaster oven for five minutes. Invert muffins onto plates. The pineapple contains 10 percent RDV of vitamin C, and the muffin provides complex carbs.
Whole-wheat English muffins are a smart switch from the traditional kind. Enriched with minerals, iron, and fiber, they make a perfect snack when toasted and spread with protein-rich peanut butter. Top with a teaspoon of chocolate sprinkles for extra kid appeal.
Cut a banana in half, skewer on a Popsicle stick, drizzle with fudge sauce, sprinkle with nuts, and freeze. Half a banana provides 220 milligrams of potassium and 15 percent RDV of vitamin B6.
Pudding (chocolate, vanilla, or butterscotch) gets a calcium boost when you add two tablespoons of dry milk powder to the dry mix before stirring in milk.
It may not be loaded with zucchini, but this bread is a step up from pound cake nutritionwise. Slice thinly, toast, and spread with light cream cheese.
Give them a superhero pick-me-up with this power food smoothie that's high in vitamins, potassium, fiber, protein, and calcium.
Yam and Jam Muffins
Canned sweet potatoes are the secret ingredient in these sweet and spicy low-fat muffins kids will love. And the real VIP to any pastry recipe? Milk. It provides calcium, protein, and vitamins kids need in their daily diet.
Nutty Popcorn and Fruit Mix
Dried fruit and nuts add protein, fiber, and vitamins to a snack-time favorite.
Fruit Sundae Cones
Naturally sweet and super easy, your little ones will never know they're getting a half-cup serving of fruit in this delicious cone.
Keep a handy supply of this tasty trail mix on hand for a grab-and-go snack that's also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Berry Yogurt Pops
Made with blueberries and pears, these vitamin-rich frozen fruit bars are also a good source of calcium.
Bag O' Teddies
Lower in fat and sugar than most cookies, these calcium-rich yogurt snacks are easy to whip up and are a blast to eat—right out of the bag! Serve alongside a glass of cold milk for an extra boost of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B, and protein.
Cheesy Chili Popcorn
Do your kids love to munch? Try this snazzy snack that's low in fat and calories but still ranks high in flavor.
Fruit juice adds vitamin C to these jiggly star-shape treats you can make in any flavor or color.
Looking for a healthful recipe for little helpers? Let them roll up their sleeves and mash their own applesauce.
Mango Magic Pops
Kids can help make these cool treats that are a healthier alternative to sugary store-bought pops.