Finding the right snacks for kids can make all the difference in building a healthy lifestyle.
The good news is that finding healthier, and easy, snacks for kids doesn’t have to mean sacrificing fun or flavor!
While you may need to cleverly disguise some ingredients, this is not about tricking your kids into eating healthier. It is about showing them that healthier foods and healthier snacks taste great!
Easy Snacks for Kids Need Wholesome Ingredients
When preparing easy snacks for kids, remember that nutrition should be front and center. Growing bodies need vitamins and minerals for development.
What each child needs will vary based on gender and age. It is unlikely that you will be able to include every important nutrient in each snack but, for the most part, you should be trying to include them in meals and snacks throughout the day.
Try to include:
- Protein: Lentils, peas, chickpeas, nuts, seeds, eggs, and lean meats like chicken.
- Fruits: Try to stick to a variety of whole fruits as fruit juices can contain added sugars and may be lacking some of the fiber found in things like apple skin.
- Vegetables: Think of the rainbow and try to include a vegetable of each color over the course of the week. Leafy greens, red peppers, green peas, squash, carrots, sweet potatoes.
- Grains: Grains can provide slow-release carbohydrates and keep energy levels stable. Look at oats, quinoa, and brown or wild rice. Try to avoid refined grains like white bread and pasta.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats play a significant role in childhood development. They are critical for brain development in infants but in older children, they may improve sleep and school performance, reduce the symptoms of ADHD, and reduce allergies. Look to foods like avocado, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, peanuts, and fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Get the Kids Involved in Making Snacks
It is important to start building healthier habits as soon as possible. The younger you start, the more natural and normal these actions become.
Involving children in the snack-making process will make them feel more engaged with what they are putting in their bodies. Kids want to help in the kitchen and they want to feel empowered to make their own choices.
By choosing easy snacks for kids, you can demonstrate the value of nutritious ingredients and how they all come together in the final product.
And, what’s more, you are modeling healthier habits that they can emulate and practice for a lifetime.
8 Fun and Easy Snacks Kids Can Make Themselves
The following snack ideas for kids are nutritious, delicious, and require little or no adult involvement.
Some of these snack ideas may require a little prep work or the use of the oven, but for the most part, kids can put together these snacks all on their own!
So, if you are looking for a great after-school snack or need something kids can prepare while you’re busy working from home, the following snack ideas for kids should fit the bill!
We’ve provided a range of easy snacks for kids that are sure to entertain and satisfy everyone from the littlest of littles to the pickiest of teenagers.
Depending on the snack and the age of the children, consider portioning ingredients in advance and pre-slicing fruits and vegetables for both ease and safety.
Snack Ideas for Kids That Require Little or No Adult Supervision
Many of these easy snacks for kids will benefit from a little bit of prep work, especially if being made by children in early elementary school. You do not want young kids using knives! Older children should be able to manage all prep and measurements on their own.
1) Cookie Dough Protein Balls
Making snacks for kids that taste sweet is a great way to entice them towards healthier eating habits. These bite-sized protein balls taste just like cookie dough and are made with flax or chia seeds, providing a protein-packed energy boost. Perfect for after school, after soccer practice, or any time you need an easy snack!
- 1 cup of oats
- ⅓ cup of unfiltered honey
- ½ of almond butter or soy butter/sunflower butter for a nut-free option
- ½ cup of ground flaxseed or whole chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, blueberries, goji berries) or dark chocolate chips
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir until combined. Roll the mixture into small balls and refrigerate. Keep refrigerated until you want to eat.
2) Celery Snails and Caterpillars
If you are struggling to increase vegetable consumption in your home, why not make it really fun and creative? These celery creatures are exciting and easy snacks for kids that will be so much fun to eat that they won’t even notice that they are healthy.
- Celery stalks
- Peanut butter or cream cheese
- Sliced, cored apple rounds
- Sliced orange rounds
- Sliced kiwi rounds
- Sliced cucumbers
- Raw, whole cashews
- Celery stalks
- Peanut butter or cream cheese
- Grape tomatoes
- Radish or carrot matchsticks
- Slice celery stalks into 2-3 inch pieces, fill with peanut butter or cream cheese
- To make snails, stand the sliced apples, orange, kiwi, or cucumbers for the shell in the peanut butter/cream cheese and stand a cashew near the end of the stalk, curve side out, for the head. To make caterpillars, top stalks with grapes, tomatoes, or blueberries for the body and head. Use radish or carrot matchsticks for antennae.
- For extra fun, consider adding candy eyes. Simply use peanut butter or cream cheese to “glue” the eyes to the head.
To avoid unnecessary sugars, use natural peanut butter. If using regular peanut butter, keep in mind that the consistency may be a little thick for smaller children. So, mix a little bit of plain full-fat yogurt into 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for a smooth and creamy consistency.
When it comes to snacks kids, involving them in the process makes it that much better. Enlist them to help you build these loveable creatures. This could be a fun activity for a birthday party or play date.
Bonus tip: If you want to cut the apple slices ahead of time and keep them from browning, dissolve ½ tsp of salt in 4 cups of cold water. Submerge the apple slices in solution for 5 minutes. Drain but do not rinse. Store apple slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days!
For more creative critter snack ideas, check out these inspirations!
3) Hummus and Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps
Hummus is a wonderful snack spread. And when paired with Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps, it becomes one of the best and most irresistible easy snacks for kids!
Hummus is an excellent source of iron, fiber, and planted-based protein. Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps list green peas, red lentils, or black beans as the number one ingredient providing their own tasty hit of plant protein.
This is a simple and easy combination that is perfect for around the house or as a school snack.
With several exciting flavors to choose from, including Tomato Basil, Parmesan Roasted Garlic, Caesar, and Lightly Salted, you can satisfy any snack style! Older kids and more adventurous eaters will enjoy the bolder Mango Chile Lime and Wasabi Ranch for a little extra kick!
For a slight change in flavor and a boost in additional nutrients, add some carrots to your hummus. Simply peel one large carrot, cut into chunks and boil until soft. Grate or mash the carrot and mix with the hummus. Add a little squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors and you’re all set.
4) Sweet and Simple Snack Mix
Nothing is better than easy snacks for kids you can literally just throw together. Better yet, set out ingredients into small bowls and let your kids make their own snack mix!
The quantity of ingredients is up to you although we recommend taking it easy on the miniature marshmallows. Swap out any of the following ingredients based on your kids’ tastes.
- Harvest Snaps Snack Crisps Lightly Salted
- Mini pretzels or pretzel sticks
- Dried cranberries
- Miniature marshmallows
- Raw almonds or plain Cheerios for a nut-free option
- Pepitas or sunflower seeds
- Put the desired amounts of each ingredient into a large bowl and stir gently.
- Or portion amounts into tiny bowls and let the children put their picks into a small container with a lid and shake it up.
- Portion finished mixture into small containers so kids can just grab when they are hungry.
5) Blueberry Yogurt Pops
This easy snack for kids is perfect for those hot and humid days of summer. Ice cream and store-bought popsicles are often full of added sugars and provide very little nutritional value. With only 3 ingredients, this is a simple recipe the kids are sure to love!
- 2 ¼ cups blueberries
- 2 tbsp of agave or honey (optional)
- 2 cups of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
- In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix gently.
- Pour mixture into popsicle mold.
- Freeze for 6 to 8 hours or overnight
If your popsicle mold comes with sticks or a slot for inserting a stick, add it before putting mold into the freezer. If there is no slot, insert a stick into the center of the mold after 2 hours in the freezer.
Get creative with this one and use whatever fruit the kid likes best. This snack idea works well with chopped peaches, sliced strawberries, raspberries, and even chopped mango.
If the kids making this snack are a little older and can use a food processor, they can blend the fruit until it has a smoothie-like consistency before adding it to the yogurt. Then, the idea is to stir the mixture together only a few times to create a streaky look. Once frozen, it will result in a beautiful swirly popsicle!
Easy Snack Ideas for Kids That May Require Adult Assistance
These snack ideas may require support from adults. Much of the work can be handled by kids aged 10 and over but the recipe calls for use of a microwave, oven, or food processor.
6) Banana Raspberry Smoothie Bowl
Smoothies are a wonderful snack option. But when you move them from a cup to a bowl, they turn into something really special. Thick, creamy, and sweet, these smoothie bowls have an ice cream vibe making them an ideal easy snack for kids!
- 2 cups of frozen raspberries
- 2 bananas
- ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- ½ cup of low-fat milk
- Granola and/or toasted coconut, for serving
- In a blender, puree raspberries, banana, yogurt, chia seeds, and milk until smooth.
- Divide evenly between bowls and top with granola and coconut if using.
7) Chai Spice Crispy Chickpeas
Parents love simple and easy snacks for kids. While not difficult to make, this snack is a little more of a time commitment. But don’t worry—these crispy chickpeas are not only worth the effort, but they may also be a snack that older kids love to make for themselves!
Full of protein, iron, and fiber, this snack is both scrumptious and satisfying!
- 1 15-oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- Pat chickpeas dry with a paper towel, discarding any loose skin
- On a small rimmed baking sheet, toss chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and spices.
- Roast until crisp (35-40 minutes).
- Eat warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
- If you need to re-crisp the chickpeas, toast in a 425℉ oven for 8 minutes.
8) Chocolate-Dipped Clementines
Chocolate and oranges are the perfect flavor pairing! Simple and sweet, this snack will ensure your kids are getting their vitamin C! Vitamin C can help promote a healthy immune system and the formation of strong bones and teeth.
- 4 oz dark chocolate
- 6 clementines, peeled and separated into segments
- Coarse sea salt
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave on high power for 20-second intervals until melted and smooth. Should be about 1 minute in total.
- Dip half of each clementine segment into chocolate. Shake off any excess. Place clementine segments on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until chocolate hardens.
Snacks for Kids Made Easy with Harvest Snaps
Making snacks for kids doesn’t need to be difficult. All you really need to do is choose wholesome ingredients and have a little fun! If the snack tastes like a sweet or savory treat, you can bet they will gobble it up in no time!
Harvest Snaps can provide a healthier ingredient to some snack recipes (as seen above!) but they can also be enjoyed all on their own.
Both the Snack Crisps and Harvest Snaps Crunchions are a perfect grab-and-go option, because, let’s face it, we don’t always have time to prepare snacks for kids!
While the snacks listed above are quick and easy, they will not always be possible to make. Especially if the kids need your supervision or there is a time crunch. With green peas, red lentils, or black beans as the first ingredient, you can feel comfortable stocking your pantry with Harvest Snaps products!
Pour out a bowl of snappy Snack Crips or the scrumptious bite-sized ring-shaped Crunchions in mouth-watering Kick’N BBQ, Tangy Sweet Chili, Sour Cream & Onion flavors, and know that the kids will be eating vegetables, whether they know it or not!