You don’t have to pay for healthy snacks for kids. There are 20 nutritious options that cost less than $1 per item, and you can make even more money selling your own homemade food at a farmer’s market or in the school cafeteria.
The “100 healthy snacks” is a list of 20 cheap and healthy snacks for kids. The snack list includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and other healthful ingredients.
Do you find yourself splurging on boxed snacks every week? Here’s a list of inexpensive nutritious snacks for kids.
Do you feel like snacks consume half of your weekly food budget?
And, if your home is anything like mine, all of the packed snacks–the pricey things you were intending to gradually distribute–are gone in a matter of hours, leaving your kids exclaiming, “We have no food!”
The truth is that kid-friendly snacks don’t have to come in flashy packaging with a lot of marketing. They also don’t have to be costly. There are a plethora of inexpensive snacks that kids will happily consume at snack time–and you probably already have a large number of them in your kitchen.
The most important piece of advise I can give you concerning snacks and kids is to
Most snacks should be centered on “meal items,” according to one of my key pieces of advise for finicky eaters. These are the kind of nutritious foods that children are exposed to during mealtime: Whole grains, fruits and vegetables, as well as protein-rich foods like beans and nuts, make up the majority of the diet.
Don’t get me wrong: packaged snack items like chips and snack cakes are perfectly acceptable on occasion. We like them as well! When most snacks resemble “meal items,” however, children are more likely to accept similar meals at the dinner table as well.
What makes these treats so inexpensive?
The snacks on this list include potatoes, peanut butter, tuna, cereal, eggs, canned beans, and bananas, which are some of the most economical nutrient-dense “meal foods” available at the grocery store.
“Nutrient-dense” refers to the number of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, packed into a given amount of calories.
What can you do with this list?
Print this list and stick it on your refrigerator, or have your kids circle the snacks that appeal to them, then add them to your shopping list. For a list that you can simply print, go here.
Even better, older kids can create these simple snacks on their own, making them great for after-school snacks (or nighttime snacks after you’ve cleaned up after dinner and declared yourself officially off-duty in the kitchen!). Many of these healthy snack choices are also high in minerals like fiber, potassium, and iron, which may be missing in a regular child’s diet.
20 Healthy Snacks For Kids That Aren’t Expensive
Baked Potato: If your child needs a more full snack in between meals, this is a great option. A potato may be readily microwaved by older children (scrub the potato, pokes several holes in it with a fork, place on a paper towel and cook for about 8 minutes on HIGH). Alternatively, bake a couple on Sunday and reheat them throughout the week. Shredded cheese, canned beans, salsa, steamed broccoli, butter, or sour cream may be added to the slices. (And don’t worry if they don’t eat the peel; the meat contains more than half of the potato’s fiber.)
Apples + Peanut Butter: Apples are one of the most cost-effective fresh fruits, particularly if you’re willing to be flexible with variety and take advantage of store promotions. They’re also filling since they’re rich in fiber. Slice and serve with a dipping sauce of peanut butter. To make it more interesting, add a sprinkling of small chocolate chips.
To save money, use a big container of yogurt instead of little cups or tubes, and mix in defrosted frozen fruit. Make Fro-Yo Bark instead: On a baking sheet coated with wax paper, spread vanilla yogurt. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, sliced fresh or dried fruit, almonds, and chocolate chips. Freeze until hard, then cut into bite-size pieces to consume. Freeze leftovers in an airtight container.
Need a cheap, quick afternoon snack? Try a bowl of whole-grain cereal. A bowl of cereal with milk costs around 50 cents per serving and provides essential nutrients like iron and B vitamins to children. Because most kids don’t receive enough whole grains, look for cereals that include them. Check out what else I check for on cereal nutrition labels.
Hard-Boiled Eggs: They’re a cheap source of high-quality protein, even if you purchase organic. Six grams of protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals may be found in one big egg. (And keep in mind that the nutritional value of brown and white eggs is the same.) Here’s how to use your Instant Pot to create hard-boiled eggs.
Snacks Made Using Oatmeal or Oats: A bowl of oats may be a healthy snack in addition to breakfast. Alternatively, oats may be used to make your own handmade energy snacks and bars. Here are some healthier alternatives: Here’s a recipe for (banana-free!) Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars, as well as a recipe for Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars that are healthier than the boxed type. Oats are 100% whole grain and rich in fiber in all kinds (even instant).
Tuna Melts on Crackers or Rice Cakes: Canned tuna is an excellent source of protein. According to the newest American Dietary Guidelines, youngsters should consume fish on a regular basis to get nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Top crackers or a rice cake with tuna, cheese, and cook until melted in the microwave or under the broiler.
Roasted Chickpeas: This is a great snack for youngsters who like crunchy foods, but it also has protein, iron, and fiber. Drain and drain a can of chickpeas, then combine with olive oil and spices of choice (for a taco-spiced version, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt). Roast for 20-30 minutes on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F or until crispy, stirring halfway through.
Banana, canned pineapple, and spinach fruit smoothie: Yes, canned fruit may be used in a smoothie. It’s cost-effective, and since it’s canned, it’s simple to have on hand. To sweeten the smoothie, use the 100% fruit juice that comes with it. Here’s how to make a green smoothie starter for kids.
Shredded Carrot Salad: Whole carrots are generally less expensive than tiny carrots. They’re also great for carrot salad, which is just shredded carrots put with your child’s favorite dressing. For added sweetness, garnish with dried cranberries or raisins (or sunflower seeds for crunch). Carrots are high in vitamin A, a vital component for the immune system.
GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts): Have you heard of GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts)? Peanuts are the most cost-effective nut and make a delicious snack. To prepare a simple, nutrient-dense trail mix, combine chocolate chips, other dried fruit like cranberries or chopped apricots, and whole-grain cereal pieces. (Note: Peanuts may cause choking in children under the age of four.)
Healthy Vanilla Shake: This delightful snack is high in potassium and calcium, and it’s easy to make with no ice cream (and much less added sugar than a traditional milkshake). 1 cup milk + 1/2 frozen banana + 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey + a drop or two of pure vanilla extract + a drop or two of pure vanilla extract You’re not a fan of dairy products? Instead of sweetened almond milk, use unsweetened almond milk.
Cottage cheese + fruit: Buying a big tub rather than individual cups saves money. Serve this high-protein, calcium-rich snack with fresh, frozen, or canned fruit on top. Alternatively, make a savory cottage cheese snack with black pepper and taco spice.
Toast with Seed Butter and Strawberries: It’s all the rage to have fancy toast! Simply toast a whole grain piece of bread, spread with nut or seed butter, and top with sliced strawberries or bananas. Dot a piece of peanut butter toast with a tablespoon of micro chocolate chips for a sweeter variation.
Grapes, frozen: They’re a one-ingredient frozen delicacy that’s delicious: Rinse them, remove the stems, put them in a freezer-safe bag, and freeze them flat. They taste like small sorbet bites! Adding a couple to a smoothie is also a delicious way to add sweetness. (Note: Whole grapes may cause choking in children under the age of four.) For small children, cut grapes into half or quarters before freezing, then thaw them slightly before serving.)
Popcorn: One of my children’s favorite snacks is popcorn, and a bag of popcorn kernels is inexpensive (and produces a lot!). Popcorn is a natural whole grain snack with a high fiber content. In one study, kids and adults who ate popcorn on a regular basis consumed 250 percent more whole grains and a quarter more fiber than those who didn’t. Here’s how to make stovetop popcorn that’s foolproof. Season with salt and grated parmesan cheese. (Note: Popcorn may cause choking in children under the age of four.)
Celery + Peanut Butter: Celery is a low-cost vegetable that is high in hydrating fluid. By thoroughly cleaning a stalk, you may make the famous fun snack “ants-on-a-log” (dirt often hides in the bottom crevices). Dot with raisins or dried cranberries and a thin coating of nut or seed butter or cream cheese. Here’s how to do it quickly. (Note: Peanut butter globs are a choking danger for children under the age of four.)
Quesadilla with Refried Beans and Cheese: Spread refried beans on a whole grain tortilla, top with cheese, and broil or toast until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges after folding. As a dipping sauce, serve with salsa. It’s quick, simple, filling, and high in protein.
Veggies with Homemade Hummus: To create your own batch of homemade hummus, all you need is a can of chickpeas, some olive oil (a healthy fat), and spices. Serve with fresh vegetables or pita bread wedges for dipping. Get the recipe for my easy hummus.
More kid-friendly snack ideas
The “healthy sports snacks” is a list of 20 healthy and cheap snacks that are perfect for kids. The list includes snacks such as apples, carrots, bananas, raisins, pretzels, and more.
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