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Healthy Snacks for Kids

Snacks are an important part of daily nutritional intake. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about healthy snacks to offer your kids. Choose one item from each column and offer a small portion size of each.

Vegetables/Fruits Carbohydrates Protein
  • Bell pepper strips
  • Baby carrots
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cucumber slices
  • Broccoli florets
  • Celery sticks
  • Zucchini sticks or slices
  • Corn
  • Grilled mushrooms
  • Salsa
  • Clementines
  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupes
  • Melon
  • Pineapple
  • Canned fruit in juice
  • Applesauce 
    (unsweetened)
  • Banana
  • Frozen fruit and juice bar
  • Apples: whole or sliced
  • Oranges
  • Broth-based vegatable soup
  • Pears
  • Dried fruit of any kind
  • Raisins
  • Whole wheat crackers (Triscuits)
  • Saltines
  • Goldfish
  • Animal crackers
  • Smart Pop or other healthy popcorn
  • Fig Newtons
  • Baked potato chips
  • Graham crackers
  • Ginger snaps
  • Flavored rice cake
  • Pretzels
  • Pita (stuff with vegatbles)
  • Flour tortilla
  • Wheat Chex
  • Cereal (low sugar/fat, high fiber)
  • Whole wheat English muffin
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Low fat granola
  • Bran muffin, low fat, small or 1/2
  • Peanut butter
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Refried beans (vegetarian)
  • Cheese slice or stick (low fat)
  • Ham slice
  • Skim milk
  • Yogurt (low fat)
  • Frozen yogurt (low fat)
  • Milk shake (add fruit, low fat)
  • Pecans
  • Hummus


Additional Tips

  • Make fruit more interesting with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg. Make vegatbles more interesting with mustard, lemon juice, or fat free dips (ranch, bbq, etc.). Make both more interesting by giving it a cute presentation (use the food to make a face, an abject, or a holiday creation).
  • Keep liquid calories to minimum - water or 8 oz. fruit juice (you can mix the latter with selter to make a fruit juice spritzer, but this counts as a fruit) or skim milk (but this counts as a protein).
  • Current FDA guidelines for children are different depending on age, gender, and activity level. Visit www.mypyramid.gov for more information.
  • Always check with your health care provider before changing your nutritional intake. Consultation with a nutritionish can also be very helpful.


Information provided by Wendy L. Ward-Begnoch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UAMS College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. © 2005 Ward-Begnoche, Revised 6/8/05.

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