The 20 Best Snacks for Kids

When it comes to kids, I think they are precious but I don't have any at this time in my life (because I like to give them back to their parents lol ) but that's okay because I'm sure a lot of my readers do and I want to make sure that their little cherubs, devils, or heathens are taken care of health wise too!! So with that being said, I found this little article in Parents Magazine and thought it could be helpful to some of you who are struggling with picky eaters or for those of you who just need some inspiration or creativity in some snack foods for your kids.

#1 Cheese is number one on the list. The protein in this kid-friendly snack keeps energy levels high until dinnertime. 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.

#2 Peanut Butter - 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. Check out these Peanut Butter and Raspberry Pops.

#3 Healthier Baked Goods  - 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 good ones for kids.

#4 Whole Grain Cereal - 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 these cute clusters with yogurt-covered cereal and dried strawberries. You need 3 cups Yogurt-Burst Cheerios or similar whole-grain cereal, 1/2 cup chopped dried strawberries (find these in the baby food isle), 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips. To make it, place paper liners in 24 mini muffin cups. Toss the whole-grain cereal and chopped dried strawberries in a medium bowl. Melt the white chocolate in a microwave on high for a minute, stirring it frequently. Combine with the cereal and strawberry mixture. Spoon into prepared cups and refrigerate until the clusters are firm, about 5 minutes.

#5 Quesadillas -  You can mix anything with a calcium-rich cheese quesadilla: chopped vegetables, leftover cooked chicken, or even shrimp. Quesadillas are 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. Here is a recipe for Greek Quesadillas

#6 Yogurt  - 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. Try these Confetti Yogurt Pops!

#7 Eggs  - 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. Or if you're in a rush, you can always microwave some eggs. I taught my God daughters how to make scrambled eggs in the microwave and their Mother LOVES it! Super easy even the kids can do it!! Just scramble a few eggs in a microwave safe bowl, add a dash of milk whisk real good and then pop those babies right in there - it usually takes about 1 minute per egg - stirring halfway through.

#8 Sweet Potatoes 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

#9 Hummus  - 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.

#10 Noodles  - 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 snack time, microwave a half-cup serving tossed with veggies or cooked chicken and jarred tomato sauce.

#11 Pears - Rich in fiber and available year-round, pears come in many delicious varieties. Serve up equally nutritious canned pears with a small bowl of low-fat cottage cheese or pack a juicy whole pear in your child's lunch box. For an after-school snack, our Pear Pinwheels are perfect picks with three easy ingredients. Ingredients Whole-wheat tortillas Cheddar cheese, grated Pear, peeled and thinly sliced Make It Place 1 whole-wheat tortilla on a plate, and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover cheese with pear slices. Sprinkle pear with a bit more cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until cheese melts. Roll, and cut into slices.

#12 Smoothies -  Kids go crazy over these delicious sippable treats, and they're packed with nutrients. Use nonfat vanilla yogurt, 100 percent orange juice, and 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 and fiber into your child's diet.

#13 Snack Mix -  Toss together a healthy combo of nuts, pretzels, whole grain cereal, banana chips, and popcorn for a handy, portable snack. Nuts contain must-have minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc. Try this kid-friendly Nutty Popcorn and Fruit Mix, or make up one of your own yummy combinations!

#14 Low-Fat Ham  - It tastes just as good as regular ham, but the low-fat version is much healthier and a great way to boost your child's protein intake. Roll up a slice on its own or with a piece of cheese, make mini crustless ham sandwiches, or try these Ham and Cheese Crepes with diced ham, melty cheese, and tomatoes baked inside.

#15 Raisins - Raisins have a lot of good things going for them such as fiber, potassium, and vitamins. Even if your picky eaters aren't going for a handful of raisins out of the box, here is a super yummy raisin snack they won't be able to pass up. Kids will love to dip and swirl apple wedges or carrot sticks for a healthy and delicious scoop of creamy covered raisins.

#16 Apples -  Apples are the go-to healthy fruit, but if you're feeling the boring apple blues and want to switch up your applesauce routine, try this delicious Instant Apple Crisp to get the vitamin C and fiber you've come to count on from apples. For an added treat, sprinkle with fresh blueberries and a dollop of low-fat vanilla yogurt.

 #17 Whole Grain Waffles  - For a fun alternative to peanut butter and jelly, try whole grain waffles for a boost of iron and vitamins B6, B12, and A. These cool, kid-approved waffle sticks topped with reduced-fat cream cheese and a fruit jelly are a refreshing change for snack time.

#18 Strawberries - 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.

#19 Oatmeal  - What kid doesn't love cookies for snack time? Instead of buying the high-sugar, high-fat varieties from the store, bake up a batch of our low-fat Oatmeal Cookies and feel better about serving cookies and milk. The best part is you can add in whatever you want -- try raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, or nuts to boost the nutritional value and taste.

#20 Tomatoes - Your kids will love this fruity combination of tomatoes, cantaloupe, apples, and a hint of lime. If you want to tone down the heat, use just one seeded jalapeno or none at all. Packed with lycopene from the tomato, vitamins A and C from the melon, and fiber from the apple, this healthy and delicious snack is a big winner.

Source: Parents 

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