Healthy snacks for kids: 10 child-friendly tips
Healthy snacks for kids don't have to be dull. Consider 10 tips for quick and healthy snacks.By Mayo Clinic Staff
Snacking is a major pastime for many kids — and that's not necessarily bad. Nutritious snacking can help your child curb hunger throughout the day, as well as provide energy and important nutrients. Find out how to make healthy snacks for kids.
1. Keep junk food out of the house
Your child won't clamor for cookies, candy bars or chips if you don't keep them on hand. Set a good example by choosing healthy snacks yourself.
2. Go for the grain
Whole-grain foods — such as whole-grain pretzels or tortillas and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals — provide energy with some staying power.
3. Mix and match
Serve baby carrots or other raw veggies with fat-free ranch dressing or hummus. Dip graham cracker sticks or fresh fruit in fat-free yogurt. Spread peanut butter on celery, apples or bananas.
4. Broaden the menu
Offer out-of-the-usual fare, such as avocado, pineapple, cranberries, red or yellow peppers, or mangoes. Have kids choose a few foods and mix them together for a colorful snack.
5. Revisit breakfast
Serve breakfast foods as healthy snacks for kids in the afternoon. Consider dried cereal mixed with dried fruit and nuts or microwaveable oatmeal made with low-fat milk and mixed with unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon.
April 12, 2014
See more In-depth
- What's to eat? Healthy foods for hungry children. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://patiented.aap.org/content.aspx?aid=5733. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013.
- 25 healthy snacks for kids. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=206. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013.
- Shop smart — Get the facts on food labels. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=206. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013.
- 20 ways to enjoy more fruits and vegetables. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=206. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013.
- Jordan AB, et al. Reducing children's television-viewing time: A qualitative study of parents and their children. Pediatrics. 2006;118:e1303.
- Shelov SP, et al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2009:305.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Dec. 18, 2013.