Kids snacks can be mundane and boring when you offer the same things day after day. My daughter’s friend with type 1 diabetes asked me for some healthy 15 gram carbs snack ideas. I texted her some off the top of my head but it was hard to get past the usual snacks people eat. I thought I would ask my registered dietitian friends for some ideas and write a post on healthy snacks, since many people struggle with snack ideas.
Incorporate Healthy Foods:
For kids’ snacks, I recommend picturing the food groups and trying to incorporate vegetables, fruits, and protein, adding in some whole grain options and healthy fats occasionally. Most typical snacks are are high fat and processed carbs which aren’t healthy and do not help your child or teen get their daily fruit and vegetable servings, plus they add empty calories which may contribute to obesity.
If you have a picky eater that wants the same foods day in and day out, be sure to check out expert child dietitian, Jill Castle’s, book Try New Food. She has some really great tips and is an expert in getting picky eaters to eat and not being a short-order cook. This is my affiliate link, meaning I make a small commission but you do not pay extra. This helps keep this site going.
Here’s some easy snacks I thought of:
Whole grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter
Apple slices and nut butter or cheese (Tip: to keep cut apples from browning, dip them in Sprite for a few seconds. I keep a small bottle for that purpose. It doesn’t matter if it is flat and old!)
Apple “donuts” with nut butter and sprinkles (remove core, slice apples horizontal, and top with nut butter and sprinkles)
1/2 whole grain sandwich or pita
1/2 whole grain pita or 1 whole low carb pita with pizza sauce, cheese, and optional pepperoni slices
Celery sticks stuffed with pimento cheese or hummus
Broccoli “trees” and carrot “coins” with ranch dressing
Granola bars, especially ones made at home so there’s no artificial ingredients and preservatives
Hummus and any vegetables
Banana, spread with nut butter and a tiny amount of sprinkles or granola for some crunch
Yogurts with limited added sugars
Any fruit or vegetable
Need help with carb counting? Be sure to check out the post Carb Counting Made Easy!
My dietitian friends were much more creative than me!
For those with kids with diabetes, these aren’t necessarily right at 15 grams of carbs, but most of the recipes have the nutritional analysis so you can vary the serving size in order to get to 15 grams if you are trying to stick with 15. Otherwise, enjoy a serving and inject or bolus based on a carb ratio. Not sure what a carb ratio, click to read about it!
Dietitian’s Choice Healthy Snacks:
Fruity Rainbow Toast by Betsy Ramirez
No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars by Betsy Ramirez
Dessert Hummus (Cookie Dough Dip) by Pulse Nutrition
Apple Peanut Butter Nachos by Amanda Hernandez
Apple Sandwiches by Sara Hilgert Pflugradt
Sugar Free Fruit Roll-Ups by Create Kids Club
Frozen Fruit Yogurt Bites byLindsey Janeiro
Mini Carmelized Banana Split Sundaes by Jenni Shea Rawn
Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins by Jill Castle
Dr Jenn Bowers has several ideas on her Tasty Kids Nutrition Club Posts
Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Dip by Kati Mora
The following from Kelli Shallal:
Sweet Potato Banana Bites by Lindsey Livingston
Almond Butter and Jelly Bites by Kara Lydon
Almond Pistachio Cocoa Bites by Amy Gorin
Dark Cherry Cashew Granola Bars by Christina LaRue
Nuttela Pudding (2 ingredient!) by Adina Pearson
Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies by Melanie Flinn
Thanks to all the Registered Dietitians for contributing to this Snack Round-up!
Use fun containers and ways to serve to encourage your little ones to eat more healthy snacks! Some things can be served in sno cone paper cups, lots of mini bowls, made to look like faces or other objects, molds can be done into fun shapes, and sandwiches can be cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters.
Remember good feeding tips when offering snacks, letting your child choose the portions so he can learn to self-regulate and eat based on his hunger. Don’t force/encourage your child to finish a snack. Let him learn to read his body signals, knowing it is a process that is sometimes learned. Mistakes are alright, that’s how they learn!
If you need help with feeding your child in a healthy way, be sure to check out Jill Castle’s books and programs. She focuses on teaching healthy feeding practices along with healthy food. Healthy food is only one part of the big puzzle of healthy feeding. Click here to learn more!
Hope that gives you some new and fun snack ideas! Let me know what you tried and your child’s reaction by commenting below and be sure to share with your friends!