Kitchen & Cooking

11 healthy dietitian-approved, kid-friendly snacks

Here are the best snacking options for children of all ages.

Little girl holds ice cream in one hand, broccoli in the other hand, making a silly face at the broccoli. Credit: Getty / RichVintage

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It can be tough to find snacks that make kids and parents happy, and after living the COVID life with little ones for a year, I’ve gone through almost every packaged snack out there to find ones that check both must-have boxes (kid-approval and parent-approval). 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. Wilde Brands Chicken & Waffles Chicken Chips

wilde chips
Credit: Wilde Chips

Chicken (not potatoes!) is the base for these protein-packed chips.

Protein helps keep little tummies satisfied and gives snacks some staying power. Wilde Brands Chicken & Waffles Chicken Chips offer up a whopping 10 grams of protein per serving thanks to the all-natural chicken breast that these chips are made from—no potatoes here! And with only 2 grams of added sugar per serving, these chips are utterly satisfying and, dare I say, healthy!

Get a 2.25-oz. bag of Wilde Brands Chicken & Waffles Chicken Chips at Thrive Market for $4.29

2. Amara’s Smoothie Melts

smoothie melts
Credit: Amara's

These smoothie melts are a great options for babies and toddlers.

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.

Get a 6-pack of Amara’s Smoothie Melts on Amazon for $29.94

3. Real Food From The Ground Up Sea Salt Cauliflower Stalks

cauliflower chips
Credit: From the Ground Up

Nutrient-rich cauliflower is the main ingredients in these kid-friendly chips.

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.

Get a 6-pack of Real Food From The Ground Up Sea Salt Cauliflower Stalks on Amazon for $24.99

4. Fresh Bellies Groovies

fresh bellies
Credit: Fresh Bellies

Fresh Bellies' Groovies come in a variety of unconventional flavors like beet, onion, and paprika.

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.

Get the Fresh Bellies Groovies 8-Pack Sampler $31.92

5. Wonderful Pistachios

Credit: Wonderful

These pistachios are packed with nutrients, and they're lightly sweetened with honey.

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.

Get Honey Roasted Wonderful Pistachios, No Shells on Amazon for $6.49

6. Wyman’s Just Fruit & Banana Bites

Credit: Wyman's

Wyman's frozen fruit and banana bites make a great swap for sugary ice cream.

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.

Get Wyman’s Just Fruit & Banana Bites at Target for $4.99

7. Immuniteez Elderberry Pops

Credit: Immuniteez

Elderberries are the immune-boosting secret ingredient in these tasty lollipops.

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.

Get a 2-pack of Immuniteez Elderberry Pops on Amazon for $15.99

8. Uncle Matt’s Pure Organic Orange Juice with Added Calcium

Credit: Uncle Matt's

The oranges used to make Uncle Matt's orange juice is grown using USDA certified organic methods.

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.

Get Uncle Matt’s Pure Organic Orange Juice with Added Calcium at Target for $5.99

9. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Oats Bars

bob's red mill
Credit: Bob's Red Mill

This granola bar is a new take on the classic flavors of peanut butter and jelly.

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.

Get a 12-pack of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Peanut Butter, Jelly, and Oats Bars at Thrive Market for $18.99

10. Slate Chocolate Milk

Credit: Slate

Classic chocolate milk gets an upgrade in this protein-rich, naturally sweet option from Slate.

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.

Get a 12-pack of Slate Milk Classic Chocolate Milk at Walmart for $35.99

11. Blake’s Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treat

Credit: Blake's

Chocolate chips meet nutrient-rich seeds in these rice crispy treats.

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.

Get three boxes of Blake’s Chocolate Chip Rice Crispy Treat for $17.99

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