Fun and Healthy Snacks for Kids

by Holly on March 15, 2011

in Nourish

Tired of your kid asking for chips, cookies, or candy at snack time?

Want them to eat something healthy without giving you a ton of grief about it?

Trying to develop the connection that healthy can also equal fun and tasty?

Check out these ideas for making fun and healthy snacks that kids of all ages will love to dig into.

Stick It
One of the easiest ways to get kids to eat healthier snacks is to make it a fun experience. Cutting up a variety of fruit and skewering them on some colorful party picks will make plain old fruit seem exciting. If the kids are old enough put the cut up fruit in a few separate bowls—or an empty muffin tin—and let them create the fruit kabobs themselves. They will have a blast picking different colored fruits for their skewer. The same goes with little cubes of cheese, deli meat, cherry tomatoes, and pickles.

Dip It
Want to get the family to eat more veggies? Cut them up in sticks (think celery, carrots, and peppers), discs (cucumbers and radishes) or just bite size pieces (broccoli and cauliflower) and serve them with yummy dips. Everything is better when you have something to dip it in.

Our favorite veggie dip is one that my mom has been making as long as I can remember. Everybody loves it and we cannot stop munching on fresh vegetables when there is a batch in the fridge. It is the best veggie dip I’ve ever had, and your life will be that much more fulfilled once you try it. Okay, maybe not, but it is so good  (and easy) that I’m going to share the recipe with you right here and now.

Vegetable Dill Dip
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Mayo
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt (I’m a stickler for Lawry’s)
1 teaspoon Dillweed
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
A few drops of Tabasco Sauce

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Let it sit for a few to merry the flavors. Enjoy!

Veggies aren’t the only things that love to be dipped. Pita triangles dipped in hummus are another delicious and healthy snack. Even fruit loves to be dipped—mix a little honey in vanilla yogurt for an easy and tasty fruit dip.

Blend It
If your kid is more of a drinker than a muncher never fear—there are much better options than sugar laden juices or soft drinks. Our favorite snack type drink is the smoothie. With endless options they never get boring. They are incredibly simple and fun to make—my son loves pushing the button on the blender. Plus, you can sneak in some extra healthy ingredients without your kids having any idea—like wheat germ or flax seed.

With just a few simple things you can make smoothies for one or for a crowd. We almost always start with a base of yogurt (vanilla, plain, or fruit flavored). Then we toss in lots of fruit—bananas, strawberries, raspberries, mangoes, etc. I like to buy the frozen bags of fruit (and freeze our extra bananas when they get really ripe) which makes the smoothies really cold without having to throw in extra ice. Squeeze in a little honey and toss a bit of wheat germ on top. Blend until smooth. If it is too thick and not blending well add a little juice or milk to help smooth things out. Pour it into a glass and add a fun straw. Your family will love it and you will be happy knowing they are getting a heavy dose of vitamins that they won’t find in a can of soda.

What are some of your favorite fun and healthy snacks for kids? Please share them in the comments and together we can teach our families just how delicious healthy really is.

Holly teaches design at a small NW Ohio college. She spends her days off hanging out with her foxy musician husband and their gorgeous new baby and ridiculously smart pre-school aged son. Holly has a passion for food, photography, beautiful letter forms, and the possibilities that can be found in a single sheet of well made paper. You can read more from Holly on her blog, Artist Mother Teacher.

Sharon Heg March 15, 2011 at 8:13 am

I grew up with fruit juice ice pops – they were always a fave in the summertime!

Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 17, 2011 at 9:01 am

Yes! You can even mash/blend up some fruit with the juice for a sort of chunky with an extra kick of vitamins juice pop.

Daisy March 15, 2011 at 8:13 am

Jicama sticks and hummus – yum.

Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

I think I’ve only had jicama once in my life and I cannot remember what I thought of it. Must try it again.

Angie March 15, 2011 at 8:49 am

I’m a HUGE proponent of toothpicks to get the kids to eat stuff. If it comes on a stick, they’ll eat it.

Weirdos.

Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 17, 2011 at 9:03 am

Total weirdos. But it really works. Which should make grilled kabobs a huge hit now that the weather is warming up. Mmm…

Cindy March 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

We do lots of smoothies and hummus. They are healthy and my girls LOVE it.

My girls have become so picky in the last 6 months – my 2 fruit/veggie eaters have begun to refuse them and I have a 3rd that won’t eat either since birth (well, since she started solids). It’s so frustrating. I try dips but they eat the dip and leave the healthy stuff. I blend lots of foods/sauces and mix veggies in there. I am going to try “on-a-stick”. Maybe that will work. And I am definitely going to try your veggie dip. Sounds delicious!

I try not to turn it into a power struggle. My girls are almost 7 and twin almost 3 year olds. They are all very head strong so if I make it an issue, it will become an all out war.

Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 17, 2011 at 9:06 am

We have a “try bite” rule in the house. My son has to have at least one bite of whatever is on his plate. If he hates it then at least he tried it. When I serve it again he has to try it again. Often he likes it after the second or third time serving it.

We also have a “Remember the Corned Beef” motto. I served CB once and he didn’t want anything to do with it. Once he had his “try bite” he ended up eating a couple of servings. And every single time I make it he chows it down. Kids can be so crazy.

Amy March 15, 2011 at 11:17 am

I can’t wait until my son is old enough to get excited by things like toothpicks. He’s on a bit of a veggie strike these days, but he does love fruit, so I don’t worry at this point.

Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 17, 2011 at 9:07 am

You should try the broccoli nuggets I wrote about awhile back in my Broccoli: The Caped Cruciferous post here on CGG. They hide the fact that your kid is eating veggies and they are great for really little kids (and big ones too)!

Mishelle Lane March 15, 2011 at 11:48 am

Love, love, love these ideas!!

Allison March 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm

me too!

Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 17, 2011 at 9:08 am

Thanks Ladies! You just have to be a little creative sometimes when feeding kids. Eating needs to be fun. Of course, I ALWAYS think it’s fun but that’s another story. :)

Kendra March 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Stick yogurt in ice cube trays with toothpicks stuck in them. Freeze it. It’s still just yogurt but somehow tastes better anyway.

Holly {Artist Mother Teacher} March 17, 2011 at 9:09 am

Yum. That sounds great. Like the juice pops I bet you could blend a little fruit with the yogurt for an extra nutritious and delicious frozen treat.

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