100 Healthy Vegetarian Snacks for Kids

With our kids at home all day every day, it's fair to say we are expected to produce a lot of snacks!  Our girls are busy all the time and expend huge amounts of energy, so need to constantly replenish that with food, as well as getting through pints and pints of water every day!  But there's no way they are going to be eating biscuits all day long, so here are our ideas for healthy vegetarian and vegan snacks for kids.


Snacking smart is key to keeping our blood sugar levels stable and helps prevent children's mood swings and energy slumps.  But while snacking might be a way to stave off hunger until your next meal, there's no need to turn to sugar.

Instead, encourage them to munch on energy-giving, mood-boosting snacks during the day and kids will have more energy and have a happier mood all day long.

The good news is that snacks and sweet treats can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

If kids are constantly asking for snacks, and particularly less healthy snacks, consider whether they are bored, need a drink instead, or are feeling emotional.

Thirst, boredom and big feelings can all be confused with hunger, so take the time to observe and talk to your child before handing over yet another snack.  Encourage them to recognise when they are actually hungry, rather than thirsty, bored or overwhelmed.


It's better to avoid snacks like chocolate, biscuits and processed cakes, opting instead for more filling options with plenty of protein and fibre so they fill hungry tummies.  Beware of things like cereal bars or breakfast bars as they may appear healthy but often contain lots of sugar.

Here are some ideas for filling, healthier snacks:

Veggies and dip

An easy healthy snack grab some delicious crunchy vegetables like carrot, pepper, celery or cucumber sticks and add a dip like houmous, guacamole, home-made ranch dip, a mild salsa or peanut butter.

Sugar snap peas, mange tout and raw broccoli florets are great alternatives too.  You could even try making a veggie train like this one or the stunning Rainbow Veggie Kebabs below.

Recipe: French Onion Dip


MYO houmous

Houmous or hummus, this delicious dip is a mixture of chickpeas and tahini (sesame paste). It’s usually made to taste. Begin with a can of chickpeas and a tablespoon of tahini. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, even a little lemon juice. Serve with vegetables to dip.

Recipes:

Fruit

Make up a platter of fruit and leave on the table for kids to graze on.  Introduce new, exotic fruits like dragon fruit, papaya or kiwi if you normally only have apples, pears and oranges.  For something warming, try this Stewed Fruit recipe that our girls love.

Berries and yogurt

For a quicker snack, grab a serving of yogurt and top it with berries.  You can add some granola on top to make it a little more filling with an extra boost of nutrients.

Add other toppings like nut butter, honey and fruit to Greek yogurt to make a filling snack.

Apple nachos

Combine delicious apples with yummy treats like peanut butter (sunflower for those with a nut allergy), dried fruits and nuts.  Get the recipe here.


Apple slices and cheese

Simple but tasty.  Add a few wholegrain crackers to make an even more filling snack.  Make it fun by using cutters to cut the cheese into fun shapes like in these Bento ideas.

Cottage cheese

Add a portion of cottage cheese (70-100g) to wholegrain crispbreads or pitta bread.  Kids don't like cottage cheese?  Even snack foods like Dairylea triangles are surprisingly low in calories, but high in salt so best avoided too often.

Popcorn

Air-popped, plain popcorn is healthy. Homemade is best to avoid the high fat, sugar or salt content in some commercial brands.

Recipes:

Nuts

Grab a handful of raw, unsalted almonds or brazil nuts (around 5-7) with your fruit.

Crackers

A couple of wholegrain crackers and some sliced up some fruit or raw veggies.  Spread with Marmite or Vegemite and add a few cubes of cheese for protein.

Recipes to make your own crackers:

Homemade protein balls

If you are a fan of protein bars, but don’t want the ship bought bars loaded with sugar and ingredients, you can make your own.  Instead of bars, it is easier to combine the ingredients and make oat balls.

Protein balls come in different varieties with tons of recipes, but the basic recipe uses oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and ingredients like seeds.  There are more recipes below.

Recipes:

Ants on a log

This is an old favorite that can be prepared two ways.  Cut celery sticks into 2-3 inch lengths. Place natural peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese down the middle, then top with raisins or chocolate chips – they’re the ants!

Oatmeal

If you have time to make a bowl of oatmeal, this can be a hearty and filling snack, that also provides kids with lots of fibre and protein.  A single serving of oats is typically around 100 calories, so this is a light snack, even with fun toppings.

You can add anything you like to it, such as banana and peanut butter, almond butter, chocolate chips or cacao nibs, chia seeds, granola, and so much more. There are an endless number of possibilities.

Recipe: Cherry Bakewell Baked Oats


GORP

Good old raisins and peanuts.

GORP with a twist

Substitute dried fruit chips or whole grain cereal like Cheerios for the peanuts.  Add a few chocolate chips or candies and your children have a high fibre snack they will eat by the handful.

Baked chips and salsa

Use corn tortillas to make your own healthier chips.  Cut the corn tortillas into squares, brush with vegetable oil and place in a 350 degree oven (175C) for a few minutes. Watch them because they can get too dark very quickly. Serve with salsa.

Recipe: Pitta Chips


Wonton chips and fruit salsa

You can also make wonton wrapper chips, just cut them into triangles. You’ll get two triangles per wrapper. Brush them with a little bit of sesame oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place them in the oven at 350 degrees F (175C) for 10 minutes. Watch them carefully. When they begin to brown at the edges they’re done. Let them rest for a few minutes to get crispy, then serve plain or with a fruit-based salsa or chutney.

Edamame beans

 Edamame are soy beans in their shell. You can buy them frozen or fresh. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Place water in the bottom of the bowl to steam the beans. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-5 minutes. Test. If the beans are still cool, warm for another few minutes.


60 More Healthy Snack Ideas

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