“Mommy, I’m HUNGRY!”
We’ve all heard this one before. It’s hard to get everything done and everyone fed with our busy schedules. Sure it’s easy to go pick up some McDonald’s happy meals, but we all know they are far from nutritious. Their french fries alone have 17 ingredients , including Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate and Dimethylpolysiloxane. Yummy.
Prepackaged health food presents its own problem. It’s a healthier option, but at $4 for just one box of organic graham crackers, it can quickly get pricy. Especially if you have more than one child, that little box from the health food store isn’t going to last very long.
I would love to be able to have the time to create time intensive, nutrient dense snacks from scratch twice a day, but I realize that’s not going to happen. Thankfully there are healthy, real food snacks for kids that are easy to make and keep your little one happy at the same time. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t just have to be carrot sticks and raisins.
Ten Real Food Snacks For Kids
1. Berries and Cream Popsicles
Full of vitamins and probiotics, make a large batch and store in the freezer for use as needed.
- 1 cup berries of choice, fresh or frozen
- 1 cup milk kefir OR 1/2 c yogurt and 1/2 c raw milk.
- 1-3 tsps raw honey to taste
- 1 tsp green drink powder (optional)
Blend all of the ingredients, except for honey, together until smooth. Add honey 1 tsp at a time until you like the taste. Freeze in popsicle molds or in cups with a spoon in it until solid. I like using these bpa free, portable popsicle tubes.
2. Veggies with Hummus Dip
Hummus is a high protein dip that’s perfect for dipping cut up veggies or tortilla chips into. You can give this a garlic flavor, or opt for the smoked paprika if you want it to taste like bacon.
- 1 can garbanzo beans or chickpeas
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1 small clove garlic OR 2 tsps smoked paprika (optional)
- 1 Tbsp ground tahini
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Add more olive oil 1 Tbsp at a time if the mixture is too thick.
3. Cinnamon Peanut Butter Dip
Omit the cinnamon and this tastes great with celery slices, which are easier than celery sticks for very young children and toddlers to chew. I’ve known several kids who wouldn’t touch a piece of celery gobble up their “celery smiles.”
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 Tbsps raw honey
- 2 tsps cinnamon (if using for fruit slices)
Mix ingredients together with a spoon until well combined. Use as a dip for apple, pear or celery slices. Store in an airtight glass jar and scoop some out as needed.
4. Fruit Leather Strips
Don’t be fooled by this wonder snack, it couldn’t be easier to make. It just tastes like you slaved away all day on it. This is a great way to use fruit that’s a little overripe, but not spoiled.
- 3 cups of any peeled fruit or berries, fresh or thawed
- Water (optional)
- raw honey (optional)
- Put the fruit in the blender and blend until smooth. Add water if necessary, a little at a time, if the blender starts to clog up. Sweeten to taste, but realize that the flavor will also sweeten as it dries.
- Spread onto parchment lined dehydrator trays or silicone trays and heat at about 140 degrees until the leather is solid, but still pliable, about 7 hours. This can also be done on baking sheets in the oven on very low heat.
- Remove while warm, then cut the leather and paper into strips using scissors and roll each strip up. Store in an airtight container.
5. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
This is a really versatile way to have a tasty and highly nutritious snack that kids really love. Make a large batch and store the portions in freezer safe plastic bags for an even faster snack solution.
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- 1 cup unsweetened yogurt or milk kefir
- ½ cup packed spinach leaves
- raw honey or to taste (optional)
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
6. Black Bean Quesadillas
I like to make a plateful of these to reheat as needed throughout the week. To reheat, simply place one in the skillet for 1-2 minutes until warm.
- corn or wheat soft tortillas
- shredded cheese
- drained black beans, canned or already cooked
- butter or coconut oil for cooking
- Salsa or guacamole (optional)
- In a skillet on medium low heat add 1/2 tsp coconut oil or butter and use to coat the pan.
- Add a tortilla, then some beans and cheese, top with another tortilla.
- Once the cheese has melted, flip the quesadilla and cook the other side until a light golden brown.
- Cut into wedges and serve with sauce of choice.
7. Rosemary Veggie Chips
- 3 cups Beets, sweet potatoes, and other root veggies, thinly sliced
- 2 tsps melted coconut or olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsps ground rosemary
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss well to coat.
- Spread the veggies onto baking sheets or a dehydrator tray and cook until crisp.
8. Fruit and Cheese Kebobs.
My son and I love cheese and pickles together, but your eater may not be as adventurous.
- Cheese, sliced about ½ inch thick
- Fruit slices
- Wooden skewers
Use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes in the cheese. Slide fruit and cheese alternately onto the wooden skewers until full.
9. Herbal Popcorn
You wouldn’t believe how addictive this snack is. Who knew it’s also chock full of healthy fats, minerals and B vitamins?
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and gently toss to coat.
10. Chocolate PB Bites
I make a big tray up to keep in the freezer and take a few out as needed for a treat.
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Pour into silicone molds, or make “chocolate puddles” on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Freeze until firm. Store in the freezer until ready to eat.
Want Some More Kid Friendly Snack Ideas?
Muffins and Cookies
- Banana raspberry muffins via How To Just About Anything
- 2 Ingredient Banana Coconut Cookies via Grok and Grub
- Chunky Monkey Muffins via This is So Good
- Banana oatmeal breakfast cookies via The Rising Spoon
- Portable squeeze pouch recipes via How To Just About Anything
- Diy homemade gogurt like sticks via Live Simply
Bars and Balls
- Marshmallow popcorn balls via Mommypotamus
- Coconut date balls via Oh the Things We’ll Make
- Energy Bars :: Gluten & Dairy Free with Nut and Egg Free Options Via Raising Generation Nourished
- Quinoa bars via Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
- 3 ingredient AmazeBalls via Almost Bananas
- Raw almond balls via Propel Wellness
- Homemade no bake granola bars via Live Simply
- Strawberry Coconut Popsicles via Naturally Loriel
- Homemade coconut cream popsicles via Back to the Book Nutrition
- Strawberry Sage Popsicles via Almost Bananas
- Real food orange creamsicle smoothie via Recipes to Nourish
- Chocolate covered frozen banana bites via Recipes to Nourish
- Gluten Free Garlic Crispy Rice Crackers via Naturally Loriel
- Salted crispy almonds via Raising Generation Nourished
- Gluten free goldfish crackers via Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
- Cinnamon Apple Chips via This is So Good
- Bacon tortilla chips via Food Your Body Will Thank You For
- Probiotic Raspberry Fruit Chews via Happy Healthnut
- Homemade fruit snacks via Homemade Dutch Apple Pie
- Elderberry Gummies with Ginger and Turmeric via This is So Good
- Winter squash “fruit” leather via Eat Beautiful
- Easy strawberry fruit snacks via Raia’s Recipes
- Honey orange fruit snacks via Raia’s Recipes