Encouraging kids to eat healthy is no easy feat, but it becomes much more exciting when they're involved in the process. Once little ones have some control over their diets, snacking can become a fun way to nurture their independent streak. There are a countless number of nutritious nibbles to enjoy, but these choices are all kid-improved, easy to make, and even easier to eat. Get them into the kitchen and ready to start snacking with these tempting treats.
Peanut butter and plain yogurt make excellent dips and have the added benefit of being calcium- and protein-rich. Honey is another great choice, rounding out the trio with a touch of sweetness. Kids can enjoy all three with apple and banana slices for a full round of flavor that never gets boring.
Parfaits contain hearty doses of calcium, protein, antioxidants, and whole grains, yet they're simple enough for kids to create on their own. All they need are single-serve yogurts, granola, berries, and bananas. Encourage them to play with flavor by having multiple fruits on hand; they might want to sample a strawberry parfait one day and a blueberry and banana one the next. With this healthy treat, the more ornate the combo, the merrier!
Who doesn't love a good slice of toast? For kids, this snack choice will feel like an adult upgrade with the benefit of well-rounded nutrition. They can spread guacamole over the toast — hand them a fork to mash their own avocado — then go wild with cheese slices, boiled eggs, sliced veggies, and deli meat, building a stack suited to their preferences. An added bonus? This is a filling, protein-heavy option that can be a full meal too, starting kids on the right path toward more complex cooking.
Little ones get bored with the same old thing, so give them variety with these full fruit plates. Using yogurt as a filling, nutritious dip, they can center their favorite fruits and cheeses around the plate to form professional-looking mini platters. Think strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries paired with cheddar, or kiwi, bananas, and pineapple coupled with mozzarella. It's up to the young set, of course, so if they want, they can enjoy all six! This encourages them to discover the flavors they truly enjoy while trying new fruits and cheeses, fostering newfound self-sufficiency.
They might be used to the premade kits, but this option encourages kiddos to DIY. They can easily make their own tuna salad by mixing a can of tuna with mayo and relish. Pairing it with crackers rounds out the dish, for a hearty helping of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. You can even introduce them to the spice cupboard by offering up additions like dill, chili powder, and thyme.
Smoothies don't have to be complicated, especially for the little ones! All they need is yogurt, bananas, and their favorite frozen berries to blend into creamy, mouthwatering smoothies. With plenty of potassium, B vitamins, and antioxidants, this a sweet treat they'll down without even realizing the myriad benefits. Top with a quick squirt of whip cream on special days.
This adorable snack encourages kids to get crafty. While rice cakes aren't filling on their own, adorning them with faces ups their appeal. Little ones should layer their choice of deli meat over the rice cake, then create their own face with boiled egg slices for the eyes. Raisins or olives can serve as eyeballs, while they can design additional features using cucumber, carrot sticks, tomatoes, and sliced cheese. Simple yet savory, and packed with protein, calcium, and vitamins, this one's a hit for any kitchen with kids.
Supply the kids with skewers and they can load them down with their favorite veggies, encouraging both creativity and healthy snacking. They can do the same with fruit; this snack is quick, easy to make, and portable, making it doable for kids on the go. Just make sure to remind them that the tips of skewers are sharp — no poking your sister!
Dips make this option more enjoyable: hummus pairs well with veggie kabobs, while peanut butter pairs well with fruit.
Pancakes don't have to be time-consuming; kids can make a simple, healthier version themselves in just a few minutes. All they'll need is two bananas and two eggs; this can yield two full-sized pancakes per child. In a large bowl, they should fully mash the bananas and mix in the eggs with a whisk, then pour the batter into a frying pan and cook until they see those characteristic bubbles start to form. Next, they can top the finished product with butter, syrup, and fruit for a simple breakfast staple any time of day! Since a stovetop is needed, this snack is best reserved for kids over eight, with an adult standing by in the kitchen.
Using pitas as their base, kids can craft healthy pizzas at home by loading them with sauce, cheese, and plenty of veggies, then microwaving for just one to two minutes. The finished product? Fresh, melted goodness that's impossible to resist. This easy recipe allows them to enjoy one of their favorite meals in a healthier way, while also giving them them to play chef. It's a win win!
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