Kids are always hungry, whether they come back from school or from the playground or can eat like hobbits because they homeschool. If it was up to them, they would probably snack all day rather than sit down and have a meal. Making healthy and nutritious snacks is essential for your child’s nourishment. Yet often trying to get our kids to eat anything other than sandwiches can be tough. Even though a vegan diet does not include eating meat or dairy products, there is a wide variety of snacks that vegans can eat, which you may not know about. The key to eating healthy and right is planning in advance. Here’s a list of healthy vegan snack ideas that are easy to make and nutritious for your child.
Ants on a Log
Ants on a log is an extremely fun way to get your child to eat a vegetable. Cut a stalk of celery into four to five pieces, spread peanut butter inside the celery, and arrange a few raisins on top of the peanut butter so they look like ants. These three foods combined provide a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat. My kids won’t eat celery on its own, but they will eat two or three celery stalks if I put peanut butter on it. (They haven’t gotten into the raisins yet, but you never know until you give it a try!)
Raisin Bran Cereal
Most kids love cereal; mine will eat cereal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. While they often look at the brightly coloured and sugar-coated cereals at the grocery store, they know that I’ll only buy a few healthier cereals. I do read cereal boxes, and the cereals in our cupboard have to have a short list of ingredients that I can actually read. Raisin bran is one of my favourites as its high in fiber and also includes some fruit.
Hummus with Chips or Veggies
Hummus is very easy to make at home and this dip is packed with flavor. I’ve adjusted my homemade hummus recipe a bit to my kids’ taste (you can make it saltier or less, add more garlic or less, etc.) and they’ll often eat an entire batch of hummus in one sitting. Kids love to dip their food while eating. You can serve carrots, cucumbers, corn or pita chips, and bell peppers alongside hummus to make your dish appealing to your kids.
This is also an easy snack to pack for your child’s school lunch! You can buy hummus cups that are snack size to send with your child or, if you are making your own hummus, use small Tupperware containers for it. When Sunshine was in Kindergarten, she’d just eat her hummus with a spoon.
Peanut Butter with anything or everything
Peanut butter is great with everything when you are a kid. The simplest snack is a peanut butter jelly sandwich which is very easy to make and yummy. You can spread peanut butter on apples, carrots, crackers, and the list goes on. It is a healthy snack with necessary proteins for your child.
Rice Cakes with Mashed Avocado
Rice cakes and crackers are a great alternative for toast and adding avocados or guacamole to them is a great way to make your snack appealing to your kids. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats and keeps cholesterol levels healthy. Although the small bits of popped rice require good chewing and swallowing skills, rice cakes are a great healthy snack to add to your list. I like using rice cakes and rice crackers to vary our diet of bread a bit.
Mini Sandwich Triangles
The beauty of this dish is that you can choose a filling to your liking. All you need to do is take two slices of bread and spread a filling such as mashed avocado, tomato slices, hummus, mashed beans and so much more. Once you have spread the filling, cut your sandwich into triangles and serve your kids with a fun healthy snack.
Veggie Sushi Rolls
All my kids are huge fans of sushi. We like to make our own sushi, as then the kids can choose what they want in theirs. Veggie sushi is a great option to make for lunches or snacks. Our favourite veggies include avocado, julienned carrots, cucumber, and peppers. Sunshine likes loading her sushi rolls with everything, while Jade doesn’t like avocado. The mix of crunchy veggies in soft rice gives a satisfying mouthful of food.
Chips and Guacamole
Served with chips and vegetables, guacamole is easy to make and is a great addition to many dishes. Guacamole is made with creamy avocados, tomatoes, red onions, and spices. Again, if you make your own, you can adapt the recipe to suit your child’s tastes (mine aren’t fans of red onions, but I am!). Or you can buy guacamole at your local grocery store to be ready for school lunches or quick snacks (without worrying about avocados ripening too fast in your kitchen).
Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites
Fruits, in general, may not be as appealing as a snack. But kids won’t be able to resist frozen chocolate banana bites. These bites can be a healthy dessert or a fun after-school snack for kids that is full of fruity flavor and easy to make.
Vegan Yogurt with fresh fruit
Vegan yogurt is widely available in the market today and it is an excellent snack as well as a dessert. It is packed with nutrients that are important for your child’s nourishments. Choosing a healthy yogurt is important as it has zero added sugar and you can substitute the sugar with some fresh fruits according to what your child likes the best. We like to mix our yogurt with frozen berries or chopped apples.
Frozen Yogurt Berry Bark
In the summer, frozen yogurt berry bark is one of the kids’ favourite treats. It’s easy to make and pop into the freezer, and makes a healthy snack on a hot day. There are antioxidants, protein, vitamins and just so much nutrition in a this bark! You can use your favourite yogurt and top it with your kids’ favourite fruits or berries. Drizzle it with honey or maple syrup for some extra sweetness.
Veggie and Fruit Smoothie
The best way to sneak some healthy snacks into your child’s diet is fruit and veggie smoothies. Apart from fruits, you can even add veggies that are important in having a healthier eating lifestyle. My favourite veggies to sneak into smoothies are avocado (makes the smoothie very creamy), spinach or kale (in a berry smoothie so that the dark berries and seeds hide it), and celery. Add some plain unsweetened yogurt for flavour and then water or non-dairy milk. With the sweetness of the fruit present in the smoothie, your kid may not even realize the vegetables are in there.
If you haven’t already, use these inspirations to reset your snack ideas for your children with healthy, vegan, nutrient-rich snacks.
What are your favourite healthy vegan snack ideas for kids?