Healthy Snacks for Kids

Updated on January 21, 2009
C.P. asks from Houston, TX
9 answers

I need help! :) I have a 2 year old, and we never gave him sweets until just recently. Well, I didn't realize how much he was going to want them. All he wants are cookies. I need ideas for semi-healthy snacks (Nothing so healthy that he won't eat). Recipes or just some great snack ideas will be great. Also, I'd love to hear about any rules that you guys have about sweets. I really don't want to give them that often. Thank you in advance!

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answers from Houston on

There is a cook book, Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld that sneaks good food into sweet treats.

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answers from Austin on

There was a good episode once on Sesame Street that my kids understood better than I could have ever explained it. Cookie Monster learned that cookies are "every once in a while" foods, not "every day" foods. So now, I just limit them based on if they're every day or once in a while. If they ask for cookies after they've already had some, I say, "No, remember cookies are every once in a while foods and we need your body to grow big and strong and healthy!"

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

My daughter loved fruit yogurt as a "dip" I would put cut fruits on a plate and place a dollop of fruit yogurt in the middle.

She loved low fat cottage cheese with pineapple pieces or peaches.

I would make tiny fruit smoothies with apple juice, frozen banana and frozen strawberries all blended together. I would cut a straw in half and let her drink from a cup like a "big girl".

Freeze dried fruit or veggies are also great snacks. They have them in the health food area of HEB. They are a little expensive, but my daughter loved them. They sell them also at Sun Harvest and Whole foods.

Graham crackers, fortune cookies, and oatmeal raisin cookies have less sugar. Also my mother always cuts the sugar in cookie recipes in half. Try it, they still come out great.

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answers from El Paso on

My kids love sweets too! I have tried giving them frozen grapes, my daughter likes them my son doesn't. They are very very sweet though I cut them in quarters then stick them on a plate in the freezer for an hour or so. If your son is a big fan of dipping, strawberries or apples and peanut butter are really great. Also if he wants cookies all the time we use them as a reward for cleaning and helping around the house. We bake "mini" chocolate chip cookies they are about the size of a fifty cent piece and they are allowed 2 of them. They help me scoop the dough and watch me take them out of the oven. I bought a tub of cookie dough and they know I only make just enough for them and only when they have been helpful. Things they can do to get cookies (they are 31 months and 18 months) are put all the toys away. Dust with the swiffer, help vacume (they push the cannister while I push the brush), clean up their room, put all the clothes in the hamper and sometimes I let my son who is 31 months wash all the plastic dishes. He is pretty good at washing the bowls and plates and he thinks it is a big deal and really fun.

Basically they have to earn their sweets, but fruit is always for snacks and deserts.

Hope that helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I am extremely anal in the eating healthy department with my children. However, if you deny them sweets it just makes them want them more. My kids get sweets once in a while, not often but regularly. A sweet treat just can't be replaced by healthy food. However, because my kids know it is not regular and that it is a special treat, they ask, they will even beg occasionally for me to get them something sweet, but because I stick to my guns and do occasionally let them have treats, they typically want fruit or veggies for snacks. I am very lucky in this respect.

So I say let him have a sweet treat now and again, regularly and he will stop asking or crying all the time for betwwen his sweet treat offer him lots of yummy healthy alternatives...

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answers from Austin on

I been giving my daughter freeze dried 'Just Fruit' since she was 1 year (although I've seen other brands; even bought one at Costco). Its dried fruit that isn't made with sulfur dioxide. She loves the dried apples, dried strawberries, dried bananas. Dried peas are pretty good too. Speaking of peas, my newphew liked to munch on semi-frozen peas (just out of the bag and a little melted); they actually taste sweet. Frozen banana is pretty tasty too.

I also give my daughter about 16 oz of yogart smoothies (just dilute yogurt with milk; no blender. Although you may need to strain out any fruit chunks. No daughter won't drink it if there is any fruit chunks.)

Plain cinnamon raisen bread is an alternative too, especially if you can find it made with whole wheat. Or plain blueberry begal chunks.

Fruit leather is another idea, as long as the ingredients say its sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar or corn syrup.

And of course, raisens! (Note, dried cranberries are not the same as raisens. Typically crainberries are sweetened with sugar and also, the vitamin C might be to rough on a 2 yo's tummy or cause a rash).



answers from Houston on

I am such a stickler for healthy eating, especially in the kiddos! My rule is that they can't miss it if they don't know it. I serve no "sweets" (candy or dessert-type foods) to anyone under, say, 5 years of age. By the time they're old enough to go to school and be exposed to that stuff, they're already in the habit of not having it...and they realize that they can only have a little bit every once in a while. It's what my parents did with us regarding sweets and fast foods and sodas, and it's what I've done. To this day, my idea of a "sweet treat" is a popsicle (prefer the "real fruit" ones) or some fresh fruit. I don't like cookies.

A regular treat in our house is pancakes on the weekends with cinnamon and brown sugar mixed into the batter. Because they can count on it every weekend (Saturday and Sunday morning), there's no fuss through the week.

Teach your children that the healthy habits in your house are the norm--not that everybody else is wrong, just that what you do is better for him and why. You can give more detail as he gets older.

I know that it's not sweet, but will your son eat string mozzarella cheese? How about a grilled cheese sandwich or toasted or grilled "butter sandwich" (buttered bread toasted and made into a sandwich). These can be fun to eat, thus distracting from the fact that it's not sweet, at least until you can establish a better routine with the sweets. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be adjusted to make it sweeter.



answers from Odessa on

I've reserved sweets for Grandma (she makes sure he gets plenty) and bribery with potty training. It works like a charm!!!

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