10 Easy and Healthy Snacks for Kindergarteners

Posted by Grant Oster on

It can be such a challenge to prepare healthy snacks for kids. As a loving parent you want to try to source all your snacks from whole and healthy foods, but this often adds to the challenge as healthier options might take a little longer to prepare. And then your child might decide that they aren’t a fan of the ingredients, or that they want a change of pace.

Here are some healthy snack ideas that might help!

Tips for choosing healthy snacks for kids

Tip #1: Colorfulness matters

When choosing a healthy snacks for kids, make sure there are enough colors in the assembled ingredients to be interesting and attractive.

Children associate colors with "tasty" food like candy, so the more natural colors you can assemble, the easier it will be to introduce healthy snacks to your kids.

Tip #2: Avoid boxed and bagged snacks

Packaged snacks that are ultra-processed, even some healthy store-bought snacks, tend to make people even hungrier in the long run, according to a Harvard report.

In the test, two groups of people were given sets of food that were the same in calorie count and nutrient content.

However, ultra-processed foods triggers hunger and lessens appetite suppressants. In other words, if your kids eat processed food, they will often eat more, get hungry faster, and generally have a harder time staying healthy.

Tip #3: Have a variety of tastes

It is easy to fall into the trap of finding the one or two easy and healthy options and wanting to keep those in the rotation. But don't limit yourself to just a few snack ideas.

You can use fresh fruit mixes, especially since they have less added ingredients. Dried fruit mixes would also make the cut and are very tasty.

If you can prepare them right, even nutritious snacks can be attractive to your kids and add variety to your options. Dairy products give a delicious, creamy taste to most foods. Breads and cereals add texture and fill the stomach.

Don't be afraid to add some proteins into the mix, including fish, different kinds of nut butters, plant-based protein sources such as chickpeas and tofu, and even eggs.

Tip #4: Mix and match ingredients

Dried fruits add an interesting tangy taste to most of the foods they are mixed in with. Cheese can make almost any food into a healthy alternative to junk food.

Bread doesn't always need to be in large or whole pieces; it can be cut up and mixed in, toasted.

When you're in charge of making the snacks, you decide the best way to make them interesting for your children!

Tip #5: Think of snacks as small meals

Snacks should be small enough to tide children over between meals, but nutritious enough to add to the total amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients a child would need throughout the day.

Children who are picky during regular meals can easily get their nutrition through smaller snacks throughout the day.

Tip #6: Make healthy snacks cool

When preparing snacks for your kids, tell them about the ingredients. Talk about farmers, fisherfolk, the history of wheat, or how cheese is made.

Explain how cool it is that carrots are roots that are delicious to eat. Share how raisins are made. Make healthy snacks interesting to your kids, and they won't just eat them for the look and flavor.

Here are 10 easy snack ideas for kindergarteners you don't want to miss.

Snack 1: Strawberry and banana smoothies

Both dairy and non-dairy milks are great sources of protein and calcium. Full-fat dairy milks can be more beneficial for younger children, but others who are lactose-intolerant may need to use alternatives such as soy or pea protein milk, or Greek yogurt.

Fresh fruit such as strawberries are rich in antioxidants, which cleanse the body. Bananas are a great pairing because they are rich in potassium, which keeps cells healthy and normalizes blood pressure.

The ingredients you need:

  • 1 cup dairy or non-dairy milk
  • 100 grams ripe strawberries, tops cut off and sliced in half
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oats

Place the strawberries in the blender, followed by the sliced banana. Pour the oats over those, then the milk over the whole combination. Blend until the consistency is smooth.

Pour your fruit smoothie into a mug or toddler cup and serve as the perfect snack! You can even use it as a healthy breakfast alternative.

Snack 2: Oatmeal bars

Oatmeal is one of the most fun ways to get children used to a healthy, gluten-free diet. It is easily paired with various ingredients that keep the experience interesting.

Oats are rich in fiber which keep your kids' stomachs healthy! When you make them into bars, pair them with dried fruit so that the tastes are sharper.

In this recipe, you can use apples rich in antioxidants, apricots rich in vitamin A (boosting the immune system) and vitamin C (antioxidants), and cranberries (good for the heart).

There are a few other grains and ingredients you can add to raise the fiber content, and of course you get to mix and match the fruits according to your taste!

Some ingredients you can use:

  • 3 oz of butter or a non-dairy alternative such as vegan butter
  • 2 oz of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of syrup
  • ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 5 oz of porridge oats
  • 1 oz of dried sliced apples
  • 1 oz of dried cranberries, whole
  • 1 oz of dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 oz of dried coconut
  • 1 oz of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

Start by melting the butter, sugar, syrup, and salt together until the mixture has a consistent color and texture. In another bowl, mix your oats, fruits, seeds, and dried coconut. (Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.)

Pour the butter mix into the bowl and mix the ingredients together until each part looks like it has the same amount of fruits, seeds, and coconut as the others.

Line and grease a flat pan and press the oat bar mix onto the whole pan, making sure the surface is even and flat. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a fork dipped into the dough comes out clean.

Cut the baked mixture into bars and let it cool. They make great snacks for school!

Snack 3: Dried fruit snacks for kids

Dried fruits are full of vitamins and nutrients. Match different fruit types so that you have a wide variety that creates a delicious and well-balanced mix.

Either fresh or dried fruit would work for your child's diet, but if you have limited time to prepare, dried fruit is the way to go. You can find a good fruit-pairing guide here!

We've talked about some fruit benefits in the other recipes; here are a few we haven't mentioned. Raisins are high in antioxidants and iron; a great choice for the iron-deficient (anemic).

Peaches, like apricots, are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Blueberries are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K1, which helps with blood clotting and bone health.

Some ingredients you can use:

  • Raisins (basically dried grapes)
  • Dried sliced apples (or other good base fruits, such as pears)
  • Dried strawberries (or other tangy fruits, like oranges)
  • Dried sliced peaches (or other fleshy fruits, like apricots)
  • Dried blueberries (or other berries, such as blackberries or cranberries)

The suggested ingredients give a good base of flavors, but you can add pieces according to how you want to pivot the taste to your liking.

Start with the base ingredient – in this case it's the most solid tastes, such as apples or pears. Don't put in too many or they may overwhelm the other flavors.

Add the fleshy fruits like peaches or apricots next, and then sprinkle the tangy fruits, the berries, and enhance the taste with raisins. Taste the mix after every addition and adjust the ingredients accordingly.

Snack 4: Protein roll-ups

A great snack for light eaters is a protein roll-up. You can make these with ham, roast beef, or deli turkey.

Red meat is full of protein, which builds muscle and promotes healing, and you can add other different ingredients according to taste.

Some ingredients you can use:

  • Ham, one square or circle (or roast beef, or turkey)
  • Cheddar cheese, one square (or cream cheese, or cheese according to taste)
  • Yellow mustard (or another natural flavoring)
  • Lettuce, shredded (or other leafy vegetables; see the pattern?)
  • Pickles, finely diced
  • Tomatoes, finely diced

Cheese, as dairy, is a great source of calcium, protein, and healthy fats. Pickles and tomatoes add flavor and Vitamin C, while lettuce brings in Vitamin A.

Lay out the meat, two layers at a time. Spread it with mustard. Lay the slice of cheddar cheese over the ham, then cluster the lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes at one side for an easy roll.

Starting on the side with the vegetables, roll the ham until it is a tight package. Pack several for delicious kid-friendly snacks.

Snack 5: Sweet potato fries

Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and they are filling enough to keep your kid happy throughout the day. Fry them just right!

Here are some ingredients you can use:

  • Sweet potatoes, sliced
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper (if they’ll tolerate it)
  • Salt

Slice your sweet potatoes 1/4 of an inch thick. Keep the sizes as consistent as possible for better crisping. Mix together all the dry seasoning except the salt. You can add other spices according to your taste.

Spread parchment paper over a baking pan and spread the fries evenly over it. After one side turns a golden-brown, flip them over and bake the other side.

Sprinkle with salt, pack, and serve when desired!

Snack 6: Nut butter on anything whole grain

Yes, your typical peanut butter sandwich. However, since a whole sandwich might be more than you want in your snacks, here is a simpler alternative.

Ingredients you can use:

  • Peanut butter (or other nut butters)
  • Whole-wheat crackers (or other baked goods)

Okay, this one is pretty easy. Spread the peanut butter over the crackers, in pieces that can be eaten in a couple of bites.

Don't pack too many together at one time; when nut butter spreads, it gets sticky really fast. If you need some alternatives to peanut butter, you can find some here!

Snack 7: Fried chickpeas

Fried chickpeas are an incredible, easily digestible source of protein and they are fun and tasty to make. Turn them into something as snackish as peanuts!

Here are some ingredients you can use:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas (you can use dried ones, but they need some extra prep)
  • Olive or sesame oil
  • Paprika (and other dry seasoning)

Yes, that's it! Drain and rinse your chickpeas, then bake them for about 40 minutes anywhere between 350 to 400 degrees. Go for length of bake rather than heat to make sure they are crispy the whole way through.

Toss them in a frying pan with a little bit of oil for the finishing touch, then mix in the dry seasoning. You can add other ingredients, but by themselves they should make a pretty tasty snack.

Snack 8: Yes, popcorn is a healthy snack

If popcorn isn't loaded down with oil-rich or other seasonings, it retains the properties that make corn healthy. It's rich in fiber, has some antioxidant properties, and does not cause any sugar spikes in the blood.

Here's how you can get creative with popcorn for your kids.

Some ingredients you can use:

  • Popcorn
  • Dry seasoning
  • Shredded cheese

Pop the popcorn in an air fryer (zero-oil) or with healthier oils such as canola oil. Don't pop too much—a couple of cups of popped kernels should do it. Sprinkle it with dry seasoning of your choice.

This can range anywhere from spicy to salty, but don't overload it. Shredded or even melted cheese can be mixed in, and it will add taste without relying on salt.

Snack 9: Homemade hummus

Your chickpeas can also become a spread or dip! They are the central ingredient in hummus, a mid-eastern dish that is usually eaten with bread or wraps.

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • The chickpea can liquid
  • Tahini
  • 2 lemons
  • Cumin spice for taste
  • Olive oil (garnish)
  • Dry seasoning (garnish)

The garnish is optional. Take your cans of chickpeas and drain them (not thoroughly) over a bowl that will hold your chickpea liquid. Place the chickpeas into a blender, along with just enough chickpea liquid to dampen them.

Add all of the other ingredients and set the blender at high. If the consistency is too dry, add chickpea liquid until it is as smooth as nut butter.

Use your garnish on top, if you want to. Pack with crackers or tortilla wraps.

Snack 10: Frozen fruit salad

A frozen fruit salad is a great way to make sure you get to use any fresh fruit you have in your home. It's also healthy, delicious, and can cool you down in very hot weather.

Ingredients you can use:

  • Cool whip (or whipped cream of your choice)
  • Cream cheese, softened
  • Bananas, sliced
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Pineapple tidbits

First, whip together the cool whip and cream cheese. You might want to add a little sugar according to taste, but the fruits should add quite a bit of flavor. In a separate bowl, mix the fruits together.

Part by part, spoon the whip into the fruits and fold the fruits in until they are well blended. Freeze overnight in smaller containers and serve when your kids need a snack!

You’ve got this!

Healthy snacks are a wonder. They compensate for any vitamins, minerals, or nutrients not consumed during mealtimes. They keep children fuller for longer, and the different ingredients boost their immune systems, maintain their health, and give them the best head start to their day.

Junk food and fast food have few nutrients and, in the long run, will do very little for the children's growth and health.

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