Snack Ideas

Over on our Facebook page, we asked teachers, caregivers, and parents to share the most popular healthy snacks and special treats among the children in their lives. We got so many great responses that we thought we’d compile the ideas into a list that might serve as inspiration the next time you’re in a snack rut. Fair warning: you might not want to read it if you’re hungry — they all sound so delicious!

HEALTHY

Fun

Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter or cream cheese and raisins)

Fish Bowl (add blue food coloring to cream cheese and top with Goldfish crackers and sliced veggies to look like aquarium vegetation)

Fruit

“Kids love it when we serve a variety of cut-up fruit”

“Fruit of any kind”

Sliced apples

  • “Apple slices with peanut butter makes them happy every time!”
  • Apple slices with raw almond butter
  • Apple slices with yogurt

Fruit with yogurt (this was a popular response!)

Bananas

Blackberries

Frozen grapes, cut in half

  • “Icy grapes are a textured treat the children love and a special treat. Many children don’t like the texture of grape skin, and peeling grapes is a huge problem. Freezing them transforms the texture.”

Banana slices with milk

Clementines

Frozen orange juice

  • “It reigns supreme year round, especially with the pulp. Our children on the Autism spectrum love this icy treat, and it’s a great transition reward.”

Veggies

Veggies with ranch dressing

Celery and carrot sticks

Broccoli and ranch

Cucumber slices (this was a popular response!)

  • “Many of the preschoolers reject cooked veggies, but the cucumbers disappear quickly. They love the crunch.”
  • “Believe it or not, my three-year-olds love cucumber slices”
  • Cucumber slices with Laughing Cow cheese

Crackers, Grains

Chicken salad on wheat crackers

Graham crackers

Rice cakes

  • Cream cheese on rice cakes

Goldfish crackers

Animal crackers with raisins

Granola bars

Big pretzel sticks

Cereal

  • “The most popular snack with my two-year-olds is Cheerios in milk!”

Dairy, Nuts, Protein

Hard boiled eggs

Cheese

String cheese

Nuts and trail mix

  • Make-your-own trail mix (“I offer Cheerios, raisins, and peanuts, which children can serve as much or as little as they want, and then I give them one tablespoon of chocolate chips”)

SPECIAL TREAT

Kinder Surprise eggs

“Some kind of vegan dessert”

Cookies that the children help bake

“Adding marshmallows to just about anything makes it their favorite treat”

“Fresh juice popsicles that children help make them in the morning and enjoy in the afternoon”

Birthday cake

Rice Krispie squares

Cheese balls

Cupcakes

Yogurt push pops

Gummies

Fruit snacks

Crushed ice with fruit flavors

Ice pops

Frozen fruit cups

Ice cream

“Buttermilk berry muffins that we bake ourselves—healthy and a treat!”

Fruit roll-ups

Puppy chow (rice- and corn-square cereal with peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar)

For more snack inspiration, check out The Early Sprouts Cookbook and Cooking Is Cool: Heat-Free Recipes for Kids to Cook.

Tell us: What snack is guaranteed to be a hit among the children you care for or teach?

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