Healthy Snacking Habits for Kids

Healthy Snacking Habits for Kids

In all honesty, my kids really do have healthy snacking habits. I started these healthy eating habits when they were babies, and I did my best not to stray the course. I won’t lie; it wasn’t always easy. It certainly would have been less hassle to have handed them a sugary juice box and a microwaved corn dog and walked away. Once in awhile is fine, but everyday? No way! Not for my kids.

It’s not surprising that statistics show children are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables each day. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables for a 2,000-calorie diet. Unfortunately, less than 50 percent of children eat these recommended amounts.

Healthy Snacking Habits for Kids


Healthy snacking and eating habits start when you are young. In our house, there is always a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit on the counter. My children are happy to eat the staples like apples, oranges and bananas, as well as pears, peaches, grapefruit and apricots. I always offer them new fruits to try and they adore figs, papaya, mango, pineapple, berries and melons. In the fall, we consume mass quantities of antioxidant-rich pomegranates. The kids’ lunch boxes always contains a fresh fruit.

We also use vegetables for snacking, too. Carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, celery and bite-sized tomatoes are super kid-friendly. I snag extra packets of salt at some restaurants and put them in the lunch box, especially when there are little grape tomatoes or cucumbers packed in. It’s a Persian thing, I guess, to add salt to these veggies.


For an afternoon snack, I love to pair a fresh fruit or vegetable with a healthy protein. My kids love nuts: pistachios, cashews and peanuts, to name a few. Sugar-free nut butters are also fabulous options. Another great source of protein is cheese: from mozzarella to cheddar to Swiss, you will always find a brick of cheese in our refrigerator. Yogurt is also another healthy protein option. Just read the labels and watch for too much sugar. I freeze those tubes of yogurt for kids to enjoy on HOT days. They love it.

Baked Swiss Chard Chips by


Instead of fatty potato chips, we snack on pretzels, whole-grain crackers and crispy seaweed. Don’t get me wrong, my kids prefer chips, but it’s not eaten on a daily basis!

All of their snacks are in the lower level of our cabinets/pantry. Easy access for shorties. I keep the sugary stuff way up high where they can’t reach – even with a step ladder. Because despite what I teach them, if they find a box of cookies within reach, they will go for it.

Where’s the self-control kids?!!!


And finally, my kidlets take their water bottles to school with them. Their teachers are very supportive and let them keep their water bottles on their desk. Juice and sodas are reserved for special occasions only. During the week the rule is water and milk, ONLY.

What are your tips for healthy snacking habits for kids?


45 Responses to Healthy Snacking Habits for Kids

  1. Hi Laura,
    Good for you for staying the course. I don’t yet have children, but I know it’s going to be a challenge. As an adult it is also something to be mindful of. I loved your chard chips. Have a great weekend:)

    I was so sad to hear about Cody. My heart breaks for his family. Hopefully they were able to raise enough to cover the majority of the medical bills.

  2. Great snack ideas for kids! Love the emphasis on fresh, whole foods.

  3. kate at #

    My sister and her husband like to have unflavored, unsweetened sparkling water around to drink. Her two-year-old thinks it’s a real treat when he gets to have some too — a state of affairs my sister maintains by not always saying Yes when he asks for it….

  4. I applaud you. I see so many children eating terrible food choices. My son didn’t know what a fizzy drink was until he was about four and when he tasted one, he thought it was disgusting because his taste buds weren’t accustomed to all the chemicals that are in processed foods. He is 21 now and still makes healthy choices most of the time and won’t go near McDonalds or similar fast food places. Keep it up and they will thank you for it – less illness and less need for unhealthy sugars and salt.

  5. anonymous at #

    I try to teach healthy eating by example. I try not to buy a lot of junk food and keep healthy snacks like vegetables with hummus,fruit, and nuts available for snacks. I also try to encourage water or low sugar drinks.

  6. sy at #

    Fruits are naturally good snacks since they’re so sweet, I have a lot of fruits and melons cut up ready to be snacked. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  7. Eha at #

    A fantastic post with which I could not agree more. I honestly believe it is up to the parents to set an example by what is available in the house and what they themselves eat. My husband and I sometimes played ‘games’ in eating something v healthy ourselves without in any way pushing it onto our daughters: of course they immediately wanted some too 🙂 ! However, because too much fructose [present in fruits] can do longterm harm, these days usually two fruits/five ++ vegetable rule is probably wiser to follow 😀 !

  8. You are good mama Laura! Since my children are small, I really didn’t give much sugar drinks or snacks, so they were pretty much the last person to learn about candies, gums, and chocolate. The best way is not to get bad snacks and just keep the healthy ones at home. I once in a while treat the kids with what they request to try. 🙂

  9. A fruit or veggie with every meal and snack is my motto. It’s the number one recommendation I give to all my clients. Glad to see to promoting more fruits and veggies too! P.S Love your pistachio nut photo-makes me want to snack on some right now! Hope you’re managing to stay cool….

  10. Great tips. The fruit bowl is our daily snack source – it’s always full with a variety of fruit, so one can just grab and eat. Super post – thanks.

  11. steph at #

    by leading by example!! they’ll copy what they see you doing/eating

  12. Laura, I’m so glad to find another mom providing healthy snacks for the children and setting a good example for them. I don’t bake desserts every day, but when I do I make everything with organic ingredients and far less sugar than usual.

  13. They may prefer “chips” to seaweed but you are planting a seed in those kids. Not only the seeds of healthy eating habits but adventurous eating habits too. I gotta say my love for food (and an understanding of what it is) is the greatest “snack” my mom ever gave me. GREG

  14. Tina M at #

    I add veggies and fruits to smoothies

  15. Carolyn G at #

    Bento box lunches are a good and fun way to serve healthy food to kids

  16. Annabell at #

    Our family loves smoothies and when making fruit smoothies I now stick in a handful of spinach or carrots to sweeten the drink. My kids like to dip carrots or celery into cream cheese or peanut butter and it works great for school snacks. I will have to try sweet potatoes in my smoothies. We will also give those new capri suns a try.

  17. Marcia Goss at #

    My granddaughter comes to our house every day after school. Her favorite snack is a bowl of cottage cheese with peaches or bananas.

  18. Christina Tong at #

    My children have learned this concept “An apple a day keeps the doctors away”. I taught them when they were small that fruits and veggie are healthy. We have fresh fruits for snacks during the day and I used to pack 2 pouches of Caprisun juice with their lunch to school and they like it very much. Actually my whole family like it too. Now I learn that this Caprisun Super V contains veggies & fruit juice, my family will be very happy to know it!


  19. Christina Tong at #

    I tweeted about this giveaway:


  20. Bev Edge at #

    Patience is the key. Keep offering great fresh real-food options. Make new fruits and veggies fun by cutting into shapes, adding peanut butter for dipping. Pair it with cheese and crackers too and see what combinations they like best!

  21. jennifer horn at #

    I sneak in fruits and veggies to desserts and I also keep snack packs in the fridge so they are easy to grab and go.

  22. Kristen M. at #

    We belong to a CSA, go to the farmers market bi-weekly, and garden in our backyard to educate our children about real food choices.

  23. sandra at #

    i try to buy fruit snacks and juices with “hidden” fruits and vegetables

  24. LAMusing at #

    I don’t have kids, but my parents treated fruit as “dessert” so I looked at it as my daily treats – and I still love it! Also they never kept junk foods in the house.

  25. Lisa Brown at #

    Being a roll model and eating these foods with them, to show they are good for them, has been successful for me. Also, fixing veggies in a way that they like, gets them to est them.
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot com

  26. Lisa Brown at #
    jslbrown_03 at yahoo dot

  27. Kerry at #

    I try to lead by example and also teach them about healthy choices and how much better your body feels by making healthy choices.

  28. Jennai at #

    I buy healthy snacks and that’s what there is to offer. My son gets the occaisional lolipop or popsicle, but he’ll also ask me for an apple or yogurt. I figure if he doesn’t know any better, he’ll eat what he sees is the pantry or fridge!

  29. Chelsey at #

    I just teach her that sweets are for special occasions. We eat fruits or veggies for snacks everyday. She loves them. Especially dried mangos.

  30. Karina Lee at #

    we make smoothies

  31. Daniel M at #

    by example, have an apple instead of a cookie

  32. Lee at #

    I make smoothies which they enjoy.

  33. Eugenie at #

    I make fruit based desserts like apple crisp.

  34. Melanie at #

    I mix them into mac and cheese.

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