20 Healthy Snacks to Feed Hungry Kids Who Play & Swim All Day

Mandy Velez | Jul 25, 2019 Food & Party
20 Healthy Snacks to Feed Hungry Kids Who Play & Swim All Day
Image: @donya.gjerdingen via Twenty20

@donya.gjerdingen via Twenty20

Everyone loves snacks, but kids especially love snacks. There's an entire 15 to 30 minutes dedicated to eating them at school and often afterward. And for good reason. Kids expend lots of energy throughout the day and need the energy to keep them going. But not all snacks are created equal. While it's up to moms to decide what snacks to feed her family, she has a lot of brands and kinds to choose from. It's certainly fine for kids to have chips and sugary treats, aka "junk food," in moderation. But should parents want some snacks that are energy- and nutrient-focused, they are out there! And there are lots of general healthy food trends out there to get inspiration from.

For one thing, guacamole is amazing. And avocado toast doesn't have to just be for millennials. Peanut butter is a snack staple, or almond butter for those with food allergies. Kale chips are all the rage, as are chia seed smoothies. These treats may already be part of snack time for the family, so it shouldn't be too difficult to introduce them to the kids. Given that it's hot out, and they're busy burning energy running and playing outdoors or at camp or the pool, they'll need solid summer snacks. We've curated snacks perfect for this time of year that aren't just yummy, but serve a purpose. They make sure the child eating it gets something from it to get him through the day. Even if mom's snack shelves are already stocked up, we found a few new ones to add to the pantry. Take a look at the options below -- including snacks to make at home as well as some to eat on-the-go -- and choose the ones that work best for those little energy-burners. 

Psst: If purchasing an item on this list, CafeMom may receive a small cut. Each item and price is up to date at the time of publication; however, an item may be sold out or the price may be different at a later date.

  • Cauliflower Crisps


    Cauliflower crisps are a healthier alternative to salty potato chips. Plus, the veggie can be seasoned with pretty much anything and taste amazing.

    Hippie Snacks Cauliflower Crisps ($4, Thrive Market)

  • Abby's Chocolate Chip Cookies


    Healthy snacks don't have to be only fruit and veggies. Allow kids to be kids with these healthier chocolate chip cookies. As the site describes, "these nut free cookies are made from the highest quality clean ingredients and whole grains but without artificial ingredients, trans fat or high fructose corn syrup."

    Abby's Chocolate Chip Cookies ($15, Safe & Fair)

  • Fruit-to-Go Snack


    This fruit roll-up alternative will make kids super happy. The fruit-based snacked is made with real fruit and has no added sugar.

    SunRype Fruit-To-Go Snack ($23 for 25, Amazon)

  • Sunflower Seed Bites


    Seeds and nuts are smart snacks because they have protein and are filling. These sunflower seed snacks come as crunchy nuggets for even more fun and flavor.

    Somersaults Sunflower Seed Bites ($4, Somersaults)

  • Crunchy Sweet Potato Grain Free Puffs


    Sweet potatoes are a classic fry alternative and the veggie tastes great in other forms, too. These "crunchy sweet potato puffs" make a yummy and fun-to-eat snack that has cheese puff vibes, but healthier.

    Jackson's Honest Crunchy Sweet Potato Grain Free Puffs ($3, Thrive Market)

  • Avocado Crisps


    Avocados are healthy and contain filling fats that also taste amazing. Why not make them into crisps? They're easy to eat or pack for little ones on the go.

    Hippie Snacks Avocado Crisps ($4, Thrive Market)

  • Fruit Popsicles

    Fruit popsicles
    @lena_otvo via Twenty20

    It's not summer without popsicles. Make healthy versions by placing the fruit of choice in a food processor or blender and then freeze. Here's a recipe to get started.

  • Banana Chips

    Banana Chips
    @tyler via Twenty20

    Bananas are delicious at breakfast time, but they make a sweet snack, too. Buy them in chip form or make them from scratch to really know what goes in them.

  • Popcorn

    @donya.gjerdingen via Twenty20

    Popcorn is a classic snack. It's light and filling but can be dressed with toppings. Plus, it isn't calorically dense, making it the perfect nighttime nosh. 

  • Apples & Peanut Butter

    Apples and Peanut Butter
    @sweetdulcelife via Twenty20

    Peanut butter and apples are another classic and delicious snack. The apples bring sweetness and the peanut butter brings the protein and energy.

  • Cottage Cheese Grape Cushions

    grapes and cottage cheese
    @Apolonia via Twenty20

    Cheese is always a good idea, which works for kids who usually can't get enough of it. Dip grapes into cottage cheese then dip in pistachios for a fancier dessert. Bonus: This also makes a fun party dish.

  • Fruit Smoothies

    @nina_p_v via Twenty20

    Smoothies aren't just for adults. Kids can have them, too, at home or on the go. Here's a recipe made especially for tiny humans from Martha Stewart.

  • Fruit & Oat Bar


    These fruit and oat bars are a healthy snack because they include no added sugar and more natural ingredients than many other energy bars. These ones are gluten-free and have no preservatives.

    Happy Kid Fruit and Oat Bar ($27 for 30 bars, Happy Family Organics)

  • Kind Minis Nut Bar Variety Pack


    Kind bars have a reputation for being healthy. The still have sweet and salty elements without extra sugars. These minis fit perfectly in backpacks and lunchboxes.

    Kind Minis Nut Bar Variety Pack ($20 for 32 bars, Boxed)

  • Kale Chips


    Kale is a "superfood" and it's super important for kids to get the vitamins they are packed with. With kale chips, making sure this happens is easier than ever.

    Kale Chips ($8, Mercato) 

  • Veggies & Hummus

    veggies and hummus
    @makenamedia via Twenty20

    Who says kids can't have a typical adult appetizer? Veggies are much yummier with a dip, and hummus is delicious to all ages.

  • Turkey Avocado Rolls


    Give kids energy-boosting healthy fats and protein in the form of bite-sized turkey avocado rolls. The small size makes them perfect for snacking or a treat on-the-go.

  • Rice Krispy

    Rice Krispy
    @billyves_12 via Twenty20

    Rice Krispy treats are sugary, but when made with healthier ingredients, they can make the best snacks. Here's a whole wheat, marshmallow-free recipe from the Beaming Baker.

  • Ants on a Log

    Ants on a Log
    @reinasierra via Twenty20

    Ants on a log is featured in almost every kids' cookbook and has been for forever, but we can't deny that it's the perfect snack. There's a vegetable for vitamins, peanut butter for protein, and raisins for a touch of sweetness. 

  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    oatmeal raisin cookies
    @lynnemitchell via Twenty20

    Back to cookies, because they're amazing. Oatmeal raisin cookies get a bad rap, but they're healthy and yummy. Live Well Bake Often has a soft and chewy recipe to try out on the kids.

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