10 healthy dietitian-approved, kid-friendly snacks
Here are the best snacking options for children of all ages.
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It can be tough to find snacks that make kids and parents happy, but healthy snacks are extra important for going back to school. As a registered dietitian, I'm very particular about which ingredients I’ll feed my children, so it took lots of trial and error to find my go-to options. Here are 11 snacks that are made with ingredients that I feel comfortable with, are easy to order online, offer some nutritional benefit, and most importantly, my kids will actually eat them!
1. Amara’s Smoothie Melts
Amara’s Smoothie Melts are a game-changer for toddlers. These melt-in-your-mouth snacks for babies and toddlers have no added sugar or unnecessary ingredients. Not only are they convenient for keeping little hands busy, they also provide relief for many parents who are trying to cut back on the sweet stuff in their kid's diets.
And since these melts come in plant-based and whole milk yogurt options, they can fit into a wide variety of diets and lifestyles—a perfect on-the-go snack for busy families.
2. Real Food From The Ground Up Sea Salt Cauliflower Stalks
These snacks are a favorite in my house as a simple swap for potato chips or other puffed snacks made with lots of artificial ingredients. Real Food From the Ground Up Sea Salt Cauliflower Stalks are a kid-friendly, nutrient-rich snack with a satisfying crunch. And since they're made with ingredients like real cauliflower, I'll happily offer these to my daughter any day of the week.
3. Fresh Bellies Groovies
Fresh Bellies Groovies are free from any added sugar or fruits. Made with sorghum, vegetables, herbs, and spices instead of corn or potato starch, they offer a unique taste that's a neat change from the usual salty and sweet suspects. These snacks feature flavors that kids don’t typically get exposure to until they are a bit older, like mushrooms, sage, paprika, and more.
4. Wonderful Pistachios
When my kids want something sweet, I reach for these no-shell Honey Roasted Wonderful Pistachios. Since pistachios provide a good source of plant protein and fiber, these nuts give snack time some staying power and help prevent a sugar crash later on. Slightly sweetened with a kiss of honey, these pre-shelled nuts only contain 3 grams of added sugars.
Bonus? Pistachios’ green and red-purple colors come from antioxidants, giving kiddos an extra boost of nutritional benefits. As long as your child is developmentally ready to eat shelled pistachios, these nuts are a must-have for snack time.
5. Wyman’s Just Fruit & Banana Bites
My daughter loves frozen sweet treats and would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I Iet her. Thankfully, she'll happily eat Wyman’s Just Fruit & Banana Bites in place of her beloved ice cream any day of the week. Made with nutritious ingredients like frozen wild blueberries, strawberries, and banana puree, these individual-serving cups are a solution for any parent who struggles to get their kid to eat real fruit.
Dairy-free, non-GMO, and preservative-free, these cups are a natural source of antioxidants, fiber, and a slew of other nutrients that growing bodies need. Just Fruit is available in other combos as well, like wild blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, or wild blueberry and mango.
6. Immuniteez Elderberry Pops
Okay, so these aren’t a snack per-se, but they're something that I offer my daughter every single day—especially during cold and flu season. Since my daughter asks for candy basically every waking hour, these pops are a great solution.
Made with ingredients that actually offer some benefit to her little immune system like vitamins C, D, and E as well as Zinc, Selenium, and organic elderberry, these pops are so much more than a sweet treat.
7. Uncle Matt’s Pure Organic Orange Juice with Added Calcium
With so many kid-focused drinks on the market, it is important to have healthy options available for when something other than water or milk is desired. Instead of offering my daughter soda or “fruit” drinks, she gets Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange Juice with Added Calcium.
Since the updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends to limit added sugars in a child’s diet, 100% orange juice is a perfect choice because it contains no added sugars, yet provides a slew of important nutrients. Plus, the boost of vitamin D helps support my little one’s immune system without having to lean on supplements.
8. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Oats Bars
Many bars are loaded with ingredients that I'm not comfortable feeding my child. Thankfully, Bob's Red Mill organic Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Oats bars are made with healthful ingredients and, most importantly, my daughter will actually eat them.
Made with whole grain oats, peanut butter, and honey, there's nothing questionable about these kid-friendly bars. And since kids naturally gravitate towards the flavors of a PB&J, these bars are a very easy sell.
9. Slate Chocolate Milk
I grew up on old-school chocolate milk, so this particular snack feels especially nostalgic to me. And as I've learned very quickly, my kids share the same adoration for the classic drink. Loaded in nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, milk certainly plays an important role in a child’s diet.
While I love the nutrients that chocolate milk provides, I am not in love with the added sugar that the conventional options offer. Enter: Slate milk. This milk is ultra-filtered, a process which results in a milk that's higher in protein and lower in sugar. And since this milk is sweetened with monk fruit instead of sugar, the resulting drink only provides 9 grams of added sugar—about 75% less than other chocolate milk options.
10. Blake’s Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treat
Loaded with seeds like pumpkin and sunflower, Blake’s Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treats are a snack that my daughter loves. My daughter chows down on these snacks, even as she sees “healthy pieces” (the seeds!) mixed with the chocolate chips. I'm thrilled that she's getting some important minerals while she is enjoying this sweet treat.
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