8 Healthy Snacks to Keep Your Child’s Energy Up

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Let’s have a show of hands. Who has a picky eater in their lives? It is estimated that 1 in every 4 people is a picky eater, and this isn’t just something we see in kids, this number also represents adults. It can be hard enough to come up with healthy snacks, but we also have to factor in the likes and dislikes of the families we’re trying to feed.

There are so many options available for snacks, from the fruit we can grab and go to more involved items. Having plenty of healthy options on hand (and less of the not-so-healthy stuff), can make it easier for your kids to make excellent snacking choices that will keep their energy up and provide their growing bodies with the nutrients they need. We’ve put together some of our all-time favorites below to give you a jump start on menu planning for the week:

1. Smoothies

Let’s talk about smoothies first. This can be as simple as tossing Greek yogurt and frozen fruit into a blender or a more involved collection of fresh fruits and veggies. The beauty of a smoothie is the customizability of the options available. You make the smoothie the way you want it to be consumed. The popular smoothie around my house focuses more on a fruit base, but I like to add kale in every now and then for a bit of extra Vitamins A, C and K!

Photo courtesy of thermomama.com.au

Photo courtesy of thermomama.com.au

2. Fruit & Veggie Dippers

Fresh fruits and veggies are amazing snacks, but sometimes they need a little something extra to make them more palatable. While some resort to less healthy dips, like ranch dressing, for their snacks, there are so many great options that are easy to keep on hand. You can use peanut butter (or any other nut butter that delights you), a fun yogurt dip (Greek yogurt, brown sugar, and cinnamon), or even hummus. By adding nut butter, you are adding healthy fats that keep you feeling fuller longer. A yogurt dip can be tricky to keep healthy, so make sure to avoid yogurts with added sugar and sweeteners. Greek yogurt is especially filling and adds a great dose of extra protein to your snack. Hummus is also a great way to add protein and iron to your diet. The joy of snacking is going with what you love most!

Photo courtesy of http://jodywatleyblog.blogspot.com/

Photo courtesy of http://jodywatleyblog.blogspot.com/

3. Fruit Snacks

Fruit doesn’t always have to be eaten whole or dipped in something. Sometimes, it’s just as simple as a snack involving fruit. Wouldn’t it be great if that’s what kids thought of when then thought fruit snacks?

Try introducing Nutella and banana crepes, fruit pizza, or apple slices wrapped in sliced ham with cheese to their snack menu options.

Photo courtesy of http://weelicious.com/

Photo courtesy of http://weelicious.com/

4. Quesadillas

When you think of a quesadilla, most likely tortillas oozing cheese come to mind. They may be the basis for most quesadillas, but that doesn’t have to be everything. Simply using a whole wheat tortilla really steps up the game by increasing your fiber intake and vitamin B1, but you can also add grilled chicken and fresh veggies to create something healthy and sustaining. A quesadilla is a great opportunity to get kids helping in the kitchen, too. When they help make the snack, they’re more likely to try something new!

Photo courtesy of https://cookingmatters.org/

Photo courtesy of https://cookingmatters.org/

5. Trail Mix

Trail mix is another snack that can include almost anything. Start with a base of nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts), dried fruit (raisins, craisins, cherries, coconut), and carbohydrates (pretzels, rice cereal). From there, you can add chocolate or anything that makes it a desirable snack. This is an especially great option due to its portability and it’s another opportunity to help get kids in the kitchen. We recommend setting out bowls of ingredients, and then kids will love to make their own snacks for the week by scooping the parts they like into bags for storage.

Photo courtesy of http://wheredowefindthetime.com/

Photo courtesy of http://wheredowefindthetime.com/

6. Pretzel Sticks

Pretzel sticks are another great option to take on the go. They become even more special when dipped in a nut butter, and the nut butter can be dipped in toppings like dried fruit or nuts. The nut butter makes this a more filling snack, and the toppings make it just a bit more fun!

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Photo courtesy of http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/

7. Waffles

Who doesn’t like a little breakfast for dinner? Isn’t it fun to make it a snack, too? Next time you sit down to a whole grain waffle, consider topping it with peanut butter, slices of banana, and a drizzle of honey. This one is filling, fast, and easy to take on the go!

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Photo courtesy of Yummly

8. Oatmeal Bites

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Photo courtesy of http://jugglingwithkids.com/

Oatmeal bites are a quick, no-bake snack, and there are a number of ways to make them. My favorite recipe adds roasted almonds and makes for a nutritionally sound option that almost anyone will enjoy. They are a great source of fiber and protein that will help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Just like our other snack ideas, it is easy to customize the oatmeal bites to be exactly what you want with dried fruit, nuts, or chocolate.

Now that you have some fresh snack ideas, it’s time to make that grocery list and get to snacking. If your first snack isn’t what your child is looking for, try something else. Your choices are limitless! What are your favorite healthy snacks to make your kids?