22 Healthy Snacks for Kids — Food They Will Love!

Healthy Snacks for Kids - Dr. Axe

It’s no secret that kids ­­can be picky eaters. If your little one eats only a handful of foods, making sure they get the healthy nutrients they need can be tough and make meal times a challenge. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of healthy snacks for kids — essentially, food that kids love, gone rogue!

From nuggets and mac and cheese to hot dogs and pizza, you can serve these 22 homemade, healthy snacks to your kids guilt-free. They’re all more nutritious than their “real” alternatives and taste much better. Don’t be surprised if some of these kids’ recipes become your favorites as well!


Chicken Nuggets

1. Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

There are no worries of pink slime with these nuggets. They’re gluten-free and lightly fried in beneficial coconut oil to give them that signature crunch without getting soggy.

chicken nuggets- Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets
Photo: Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets / Stir It Up

2. Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

This simple chicken is a great after-school healthy snack. The nuggets are made from fresh chicken breasts with a crispy, protein-packed quinoa coating. You’ll love that they’re baked instead of fried: fast cleanup! Use coconut flour and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

quinoa chicken nuggets
Photo: Quinoa Chicken Nuggets / La Crème de la Crumb

Fish Sticks

3. Almond-Crusted Salmon Sticks

Loaded with fatty acid-rich salmon, this lunchtime favorite is one of those timeless healthy snacks for kids. Coat salmon pieces in an almond mixture (and reap the amazing benefits of almonds nutrition!) and bake ­— that’s all it takes!


4. Homemade Fish Sticks

Cost-effective cod makes this an easy-to-make recipe that’s also easy on the wallet. Bread or fry these; they’ll taste great either way. Be sure to use coconut flour and try the spicy tartar sauce, too!

fish sticks- Homemade Fish Sticks
Photo: Homemade Fish Sticks / A Cozy Kitchen

French Fries

5. Oven-Baked Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries

Did you know that, when baked, carrots taste very similar to sweet potatoes? So it makes sense to give your kids a double dose of vitamins and minerals with this healthy snack. Carrots and nutrient-dense sweet potatoes are drizzled with olive oil, herbs and then baked. So easy, so good.

french fries- carrots and sweet potatoes
Photo: Oven-Baked Carrot and Sweet Potato Fries / Wishful Chef

6. Turnip Fries

Not sure what to do with turnips? They’re a fabulous vitamin C-packed food, and this recipe uses just four ingredients to turn the vegetable into fries your whole family will love.

french fries- turnip fries
Photo: Turnip Fries / Dr. Axe

French Toast and Waffles

7. Basic Vegan French Toast

Do you only serve your kids French toast in the morning? Well, if you make it healthy, then it can be one of those healthy snacks for kids at any time of the day. Plus, French toast is still possible for vegan eaters.

I love the addition of fiber-rich chia seeds to give this recipe an extra-healthy boost. While you can use any bread, a sprouted, hearty, rustic whole wheat is probably best; find one at your local farmer’s market, or go with Ezekiel bread. Top with nutritious maple syrup, fruit or other favorite toppings.

French toast- Basic Vegan French Toast
Photo: Basic Vegan French Toast / Minimalist Baker

8. Pumpkin Waffles

Forget the frozen waffles and try these pumpkin waffles instead! Suitable for vegans, they get an extra nutritional boost from beneficial flaxseed and coconut oil. Use canned pumpkin to have these come together in a snap. Don’t have a waffle iron? Turn them into pancakes instead!


Grilled Cheese

9. Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese

This genius grilled cheese recipe replaces nutritionally empty white bread with cauliflower “bread” slices. While slightly more labor-intensive than your standard recipe, with two full servings of anti-inflammatory, vitamin C-rich cauliflower, this one is a no-brainer.

grilled cheese- Cauli Crust Grilled Cheese
Photo: Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese / The Iron You

10. Loaded Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This super-customizable grilled cheese is bursting with so much flavor, your kids won’t notice all the healthy extras. In fact, this makes for a great lunch for adults, too. Loaded with heart-healthy avocado, vitamin K-packed spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions, this is one sandwich that doesn’t disappoint.

grilled cheese- veggie
Photo: Loaded Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich / The Dreaming Foodie

Hot Dogs

11. Homemade Veggie Dogs

Forget what you know about commercial veggie dogs. This recipe knocks it out of the park. Made with beans, loads of seasonings, oatmeal, flaxseed and gluten (make sure that’s OK for your family’s diet), you won’t believe these are homemade. You might want to save these for a special barbecue or holiday, or else your kids will ask you to make these all the time!

hot dogs- veggie dogs
Photo: Homemade Veggie Dogs / Fatfree Vegan Kitchen

12. Vegan Carrot “Hot Dogs”

You’ll have to make these vegan dogs to understand how, with just a few ingredients, carrots can taste like hot dogs (but better!). Plan ahead, because the carrots marinate overnight, but it’s worth it.


Macaroni and Cheese

13. Gluten-Free Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese as one of those go-to healthy snacks for kids? Yes, cancer-fighting cauliflower masquerades as a healthier version of noodles in this revamped version of the classic. With the benefits of kefir adding a dual nutritional and protein punch, you can feel as good about serving this as your kids will eating it!

mac and cheese- cauliflower
Photo: Gluten-Free Cauliflower Mac and Cheese / Dr. Axe

14. One-Pot Veggie Mac and Cheese

It’s cheesy, full of fresh veggies and comes together in one pot — what’s not to love about this veggie mac and cheese? Your kids will get the nutritional benefits of mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes, but thanks to the three types of fresh cheese, they won’t even notice.


Mashed Potatoes

15. Kale Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Subbing in cauliflower for some potatoes plus adding heart-healthy olive oil lightens this mash up while keeping that familiar taste and texture. With the added health benefits of kale and leeks, you’ll have a side dish or snack that kids (and adults!) will love.


16. Rosemary, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Skip starchy potatoes altogether and opt for vitamin A-loaded sweet potatoes in this mashed recipe. While they contain no cream or butter, these potatoes are smooth and flavorful.

mashed potatoes - sweet
Photo: Rosemary, Olive Oil & Sea Salt Mashed Sweet Potatoes / Ari’s Menu

Pizza

17. Eggplant Pizza

Eggplant recipes are not easily found, and that’s a shame because they’re so good for kids. Here, baked eggplant slices become the “crust” for these pizzas. Kids will love how they’re bite-sized and easy to personalize with their favorite toppings. You’ll love that they’ll get nutritious eggplant, spinach and tomatoes in each bite. So easy, yet so good.

pizza- eggplant
Photo: Eggplant Pizza / Eat Good 4 Life

18. Hummus Pita Pizza

These whole-wheat pita pizzas make an excellent afterschool snack for kids. Instead of sauce, they use fiber-rich hummus as a base. Best of all, they don’t require any cooking — this is one kids can make solo.


Potato Chips

19. Sea Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Superfood kale disguised as one of the healthy snacks for kids? This sea salt and vinegar potato chip alternative will have even the fiercest veggie haters begging for more. They bake quickly and keep for up to a week — if little hands let them last that long, that is.

potato chips- kale
Photo: Sea Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips / Gimme Some Oven

20. Sweet and Salty Sweet Potato Chips

A little bit sweet thanks to sugar (use coconut!), a little bit spicy with a whole lot of zest, these sweet potato chips are sure to be a hit. Adding a little cornstarch to your seasoning blend will make these oven-baked chips extra crispy; arrowroot starch works well.

potato chips- sweet potato
Photo: Sweet and Salty Sweet Potato Chips / Mariah’s Pleasing Plates

Sloppy Joes

21. Sloppy Joes with Quinoa

The best quinoa recipes wouldn’t be complete without a “Sloppy Joe” version, right? Quinoa, an excellent source of protein, replaces ground beef in this meat-free version of the cafeteria favorite. The short list of common ingredients means you can whip up a batch at a moment’s notice. Stuff it between burger buns or in a lettuce wrap and never buy a can of the prepared version again.

sloppy joes- quinoa
Photo: Sloppy Joes With Quinoa / Petite Allergy Treats

22. Vegetable Loaded Sloppy Joes

Veggies like celery, carrots, mushrooms and onions get mixed in with ground beef (preferably grass-fed beef) in these loaded sloppy joes. I love how you can swap your kids’ favorites veggies in here and leave them chunky or grate them so picky eaters won’t notice. These joes are messy, delicious and nutritious — the perfect healthy snack or meal for kids.

Read Next: 27 Healthy Snacks on the Go


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