Healthy snacks for kids- A Parent’s Guide (Printable)

 

Find out how to build a healthy snack for your child. You’ll find lots of ideas right here along with a printable parent’s guide to show you how to combine foods to make snacks boost your child’s nutrition.

 

 

Why are snacks important for kids?

 

Small children have small stomachs! So snacking is an important opportunity to keep your child topped up with energy and extra nutrients between meals. It’s helpful to think of snacks as ‘mini-meals’ as this helps you plan snacks using the same healthy foods that you serve at mealtimes rather than offering typical ‘snack foods.

 

 

What type of foods should I serve at snack time?

 

For a varied snack, try to choose one food from two or three of these groups.

 

Fruits and vegetables

Thin apple slices* 

Grapes * 

Banana slices 

Pear quarters 

Raspberries 

Strawberries 

Blueberries 

Orange quarters 

Mandarins 

Tinned Fruit (in natural juice) 

Frozen fruit (cooked) 

Dried Apricots* 

Prunes* 

Raisins* 

Grapefruit quarters 

Kiwi halves 

A cup of veggie soup 

Cucumber Sticks 

Thin red or yellow pepper sticks 

Leftover steamed veggies 

Peas* 

Avocado slices 

Cherry Tomatoes* 

Carrot Sticks* 

Grated Carrot 

Celery* 

Corn on the cob

 

 

 

Wholegrains

Wholegrain crackers

Plain rice cakes 

Oatcakes 

Wholegrain toast

 Breadsticks 

Bagel 

Wholegrain wrap 

Popcorn* 

Wholegrain low sugar cereal like reduced sugar Cheerios 

Strips of pita bread 

Small scone 

Pancake 

Homemade mini muffin 

 

 

 

 

Protein/healthy fat/dairy

Hard-boiled eggs 

Smooth Nut Butters 

Unsalted Nuts* 

Baked Beans 

Butter Beans* 

Hummus 

Lentil Soup 

Salmon Pate (tinned salmon with cream cheese or yoghurt) 

Milk 

Yoghurt 

Cheese-grated or cubes or sticks 

Sliced turkey or chicken 

Cream Cheese 

Mashed avocado 

Milled seeds

 

 

 

*YOUNG CHILDREN Big chunks of food can be dangerous for children under four and cause choking. Grate or slice raw veggies and hard fruits lengthways or cut into small pieces or serve cooked. Squash peas and other round foods. Don’t offer chopped or whole nuts, seeds or popcorn. Read more about choking hazards. 

 

 

Here’s a printable copy of this Snack Guide

 

 

Make “Parent Provides; Child Decides” your motto.

 

Don’t expect your child to eat everything you serve but do serve things you don’t expect your child to eat! I know that my kids may never taste the quartered cherry tomato, but I know they must be continually exposed to this food. If they never see it, how will they ever eat it? I’m willing to sacrifice one uneaten cherry tomato a few times of the week. However, if you really can’t bear the thought of food waste then eat it yourself afterwards, everyone’s a winner!

 

 

LEARN MORE >>> The division of responsibility in feeding- the ONE feeding strategy you need

 

A Week in Snacks for kids

 

Small kids need two to three snacks per day, and older kids may need two. Of course, if your kids are in school or childcare, you can adapt the snacks to make them suitable for little lunchboxes or their morning snack provided by the childcare provider. 

 

 

Be realistic

 

Offering 14 different snacks every week isn’t realistic. It’s natural to give a variation of the same snack several days in a row. For example, you might serve grapes every day while they’re fresh. That’s no problem, try though to change slightly, so your kids don’t come to expect the same snack all the time. One day it could be grapes with cheese and oatcakes, another day grapes with milk and rice cakes, another, grapes with yoghurt and seeds. You get the picture!

 

 

Sit down at the table.

 

Eat these snacks when possible at the table and without distractions like TV, tablets and toys. Offer milk or water as drinks.

 

 

READ MORE >>> How to manage toddler snacks?

 

A 7-day snack plan

 

 

Day

Morning Snack

Afternoon Snack

Monday

 

Apple slices with Dip (natural Greek Yoghurt with some almond or peanut butter)

 

Mandarins with dry cereal (low sugar oat Cheerios)

 

Tuesday

 

Wholegrain rice cake with hummus and quartered cherry tomato

 

Strawberries with Greek Yogurt and milled flaxseed or Flaxseed crunch

 

Wednesday

 

Smoothie made with frozen berries, milk and oats

 

A small cup of veggie soup with wholegrain toast

 

Thursday

 

Wholegrain crackers with smooth peanut butter and banana

 

Carrot sticks and breadsticks with cream cheese

 

Friday

 

Hard-boiled egg with avocado slices and wholemeal toast

 

½ whole-grain bagel with jam and smooth peanut butter

 

Saturday

 

Pepper slices with grated cheese and oatcakes

 

Pear with a savoury flapjack

 

Sunday

 

Homemade mini muffin or scone with cucumber slices

 

Sliced grapes with cheese cubes and breadsticks

 

 

 

Out and About Snacks for kids

 

My advice is to only bring a snack with you if you miss a scheduled snack time. Don’t carry one for the sake of it! These are simple to prepare and quick to put together.

 

  • Pancake with raspberries
  • Milk with banana
  • Rice Cake with cheese slice and carrot sticks
  • Low sugar oat cheerios and blueberries
  • Milk with melon slices
  • PB&J sandwich (smooth peanut butter and jam)
  • Savoury muffin with cucumber sticks

 

 

 

For more tips on how successful and enjoyable mealtimes check out my online Feeding Your Toddler course.

 

 

And why not subscribe to Solid Start and get tips on food, nutrition and feeding straight to your inbox every month?

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Healthy snacks for kids- A Parent’s Guide (Printable)

  1. Hi, Just wanted to let you know the printable version isn’t loading here, it comes up that it can’t find what I’m looking for.

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