20+ Surprisingly Healthy Snacks for Kids : Food Network

Toss out the junk food and start making snack time fun again! See how these 20 kid-friendly ingredients can turn into healthy homemade snacks. Try the low calorie snack recipes that will keep your kids happy and healthy.

Whole Grain Cereal

Whole Grain Cereal
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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.

Popcorn

Popcorn
simplyrecipes.com

Cheese

Cheese
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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.

Ice Pops

Ice Pops
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Ice pops couldn’t be easier or more versatile to whip up. And when you make them yourself, you control exactly what goes in them. These Frozen Orange Pops deliver a helping of vitamin C and calcium to your child, courtesy of the main ingredients: orange juice and nonfat Greek yogurt.

Smoothies

Smoothies
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Kids go crazy over these delicious sippable treats, and they’re packed with nutrients. Use nonfat vanilla yogurt, 100 percent orange juice, dairy milk, or a banana as the smoothie’s base, then experiment with a combination of cut-up fresh or frozen fruit. It’s a great way to sneak two or three servings of fruit, calcium, protein, and fiber into your child’s diet.

Hummus

Hummus
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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.

Cookies

Cookies
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Here’s the thing about cookies: You can make them healthy when you use the right ingredients. Whole-wheat pastry flour can be subbed for white flour in most cookies. Rolled oats add even more fiber. And in some recipes, like these Oatmeal-Chocolate Snack Cakes, you can replace some of the butter with applesauce to lighten up the saturated fat. Serve them with low-fat milk and you have a nutritious, balanced snack for your kids.

Strawberries

Strawberries
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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.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter
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Natural peanut butter (the kind without added sugars and other kinds of fats) is a great snack option. It gives your kids protein and healthy fats, and pairs perfectly with apples, bananas, celery and whole-grain crackers or toast.

Healthier Baked Goods

Healthier Baked Goods
simple-nourished-living.com

Your child will never guess you’re sneaking fruits or vegetables into her diet when you bake them into yummy muffins or breads. Banana bread, zucchini muffins, and carrot bars are a few of our favorites for kids. Our tasty Yam and Jam Muffins contain beta-carotene and potassium from the sweet potatoes, but only you will know.

Pizza

Pizza
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Pizza is really just another take on a sandwich, and it can be a vehicle for healthy toppings like olives, sliced peppers, or pineapple and ham. Use whole-wheat English muffins or buy premade whole-wheat pizza dough and have your kids add their favorite toppings.

Eggs

Eggs
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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.

Yogurt

Yogurt
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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.

Chocolate-Dipped Foods

Chocolate-Dipped Foods
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Want to make fruit and nuts extra appealing? Dip them in chocolate.

Quesadillas

Quesadillas
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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.

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter
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This versatile childhood favorite has plenty of protein and fiber. For a change, try making silly PB&J sandwiches with toasted mini waffles or rice cakes instead of bread, or try it with yogurt and raspberries in a yummy frozen treat that’s super fun to eat.

Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese
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Snacks don’t need to be made from snack foods. Serving a sandwich (or half of one) can be a smart solution for snack time. Even grilled cheese can be a good choice when you use 100-percent whole-grain bread and add in sliced apples for extra fiber.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes
bonappetit.com

Sweet spuds are some of the most nutritious vegetables around: They’re packed with vitamin A and are good sources of B6, C, and folate. These simple, delicious chips are great alternatives to the greasy, store-bought variety.

Crispy Rice Treats

Crispy Rice Treats
healthfulpursuit.com
The classic crispy rice-marshmallow-and-butter snack gets a health boost in these Puffed Rice Snowballs, thanks to added dried fruit and seeds. Use puffed whole-grain cereal to make them even better for your kids.

Noodles

Noodles
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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.

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