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healthy snacks for kids - healthy evening snacks for kids | weight gaining snack recipes

Healthy snacks your kids will love

Growing children are often hungry between meals.

However, many packaged children's snacks are extremely unhealthy. They are often full of refined flour, added sugars, and artificial ingredients.

Snack time is a great opportunity to introduce some additional nutrients to your child's diet.

Instead of highly processed snacks, fill your child's tummy with whole foods that provide energy and nutrition.

Here's a list of kid-friendly snacks that are healthy and delicious.

healthy snacks for kids - healthy evening snacks for kids | weight gaining snack recipes


Yogurt

Yogurt is an excellent snack for children because it is a good source of protein and calcium. Calcium is especially important for children's developing bones (1 reliable source).

Some yogurts also contain live bacteria, which benefit the digestive system (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Most yogurt marketed for children is high in sugar. Instead, choose plain, full-fat yogurt and sweeten with fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.

Still, be sure not to give honey to babies younger than 12 months, as they are at increased risk for a serious infection called botulism (4Trusted Source).

Popcorn

Celery with peanut butter and raisins sometimes called "ants on a log", is a fun way to get your child to eat a vegetable.

Cut a celery stalk into three or four pieces, spread the peanut butter inside the celery, and place a few raisins on top of the peanut butter.

These three foods combined provide a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Just be sure to buy peanut butter with no added sugar or vegetable oils.

Celery with peanut butter and raisins

Celery with peanut butter and raisins sometimes called "ants on a log" is a fun way to get your child to eat vegetables.

Cut a celery stalk into three or four pieces, spread the peanut butter inside the celery, and place a few raisins on top of the peanut butter.

These three foods combined provide a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

Just be sure to buy peanut butter with no added sugar or vegetable oils.

Nuts

Walnuts are rich in healthy fats, along with fiber and antioxidants. Fat in the diet is important to support growth in children (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Doctors used to recommend retaining nuts for children because of the risk of an allergic reaction, but the latest evidence suggests that introducing nuts at an early age reduces this risk (7Trusted Source, 8, 9Trusted Source).

However, walnuts can be a choking hazard, so make sure your child can handle the texture before giving them nuts as a snack.

Trail mix

As long as your child isn't allergic to walnuts, the nut mix is a healthy snack for kids to eat on the go.

Most commercial trail mixes contain chocolate candies, which are high in sugar, but you can make them yourself at home.

For a healthier version, mix nuts, dried fruits, and whole grains.

Sliced pears with ricotta cheese

Pears are sweet and easy to eat for little ones when sliced. Pears are rich in fiber and beneficial plant compounds (10, 11).

Spread each slice with ricotta cheese to add a delicious source of protein and calcium to your child's snack.

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a creamy, fresh cheese that is soft enough for even babies to eat.

It is rich in protein and a good source of selenium, vitamin B12, and calcium. Vitamin B12 is important for proper growth and brain development in children (12Trusted Source).

You can serve cottage cheese alone, top it with fresh or dried fruit, or use it as a spread on whole-wheat toast.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast for kids, but it's also a great snack.

Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, which increases the number of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, along with other health benefits (13Trusted Source).

Skip the flavored packages, which are high in sugar, and make your oatmeal with whole rolled oats. Add about 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon and a few diced apples for sweetness.

If you make oatmeal with milk instead of water, it will add some extra protein and calcium.

A piece of cheese

Cheese is primarily made up of protein and fat and is a good source of calcium.

Studies show that eating cheese and other dairy products are linked to the better overall quality of the diet.

High-fat dairy products contribute significantly to a child's nutritional requirements for calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A and D (14 trusted sources, 15, 16 trusted sources, 17 trusted sources).

Cheese provides children with high-quality protein, which is necessary for proper growth. Proteins will also help them feel full between meals (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).

Also, some studies indicate that children who eat cheese are less likely to have cavities (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

Veggie pita pocket

Some parents think that it is difficult to get their children to eat vegetables. But if you make it fun for them, they're more likely to try vegetables.

Spread some hummus in a bag of whole wheat pita and cut raw vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, and bell peppers. Let your child choose some vegetables and fill the pita.

Vegetables are loaded with important vitamins and minerals, and many children don't eat enough (22Trusted Source).
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