12 Recipes and Tips for Healthier Snacking

Looking for ways to snack smarter? Follow these tips and easy, delicious, snack-satisfying recipes to help you (and your kids) through those mid-day cravings.

Ask any parent sheltered at home with kids right now and they’ll tell you how tired they are of the words, “Can I have a snack?” Plenty of grown-ups are grappling with the urge to snack all day, too.

It’s not surprising given the giant shift in routine, underlying stress of the situation, and the fact that snacks are within arm’s reach at any time — day or night. And while snacks can be a nourishing way to keep your brain and body energized (especially for littler tanks that need regular fuel), excessive snacking isn’t the best way to keep you sane (or healthy).

6 Tips for Healthier Snacking

Below are tips and strategies so that your snacking doesn’t spin out of control. You’ll also find 12 healthy recipes to make snack time something to look forward to.

  1. Don’t use your kitchen as an office or school room. Space limitations may make this hard, but if possible, find another place for you to work and your kids to study besides the kitchen. Having the pantry within sight can be a constant trigger to reach for a snack, even when you’re not hungry.
  2. Establish scheduled snack times. Set specific times for snacks and stick to it. This is particularly useful for kids, who are accustomed to having a schedule at school. Be firm when the kids ask for snacks outside the schedule, reminding them when they can expect their snack.
  3. Create a daily snack box. Every morning, assemble a snack box with two snacks and a full water bottle for each child. Put it within reach in the pantry or fridge. Older kids can decide when it’s snack time, younger ones may need help spacing things out. Side note: there’s no reason adults can’t use this strategy, too.
  4. Assemble a container of fruits and veggies. Take a few minutes in the evening or on weekends to cut up crunchy vegetables and/or slice fruits and keep them at eye level in the fridge. This makes it easy to choose healthy snacks for yourself and to offer them to the kids when they report being hungry.
  5. Keep an eye on portions. Rather than sitting down with a whole bag of peanuts, portion out a small amount and put the bag back in the cupboard. You can also pre-portion popcorn, trail mix, dried fruit, crackers, and other snacks into small containers or bags and store them in the pantry.
  6. Find healthy options. If you have something to look forward to, it may help your resolve to hold off until snack time.

Below are 12 snack recipes to get you started. You might also find the smart snacking tips in this post helpful, too!

Recipes
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Mom's Baked Apple Slices

These tasty apples are basically like the tender insides of a pie. They cook in no time in the microwave and can be eaten straight up or spooned over plain yogurt.

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Banana Smoothie with berries on countertop

A frosty, creamy smoothie is an easy fix for a healthy snack. This one works with fresh or frozen berries and any leftovers can be poured into popsicle molds.

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Strawberry Yogurt Pops

Speaking of pops, here’s a recipe to carry you through spring right into summer. The yogurt adds calcium and protein, which make them more filling than an all-fruit pop.

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Fruit Leather

This is an excellent cooking craft project to make with kids that will transform practically any fruit into a tangy sheet of fruit leather.

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Date almond butter coconut balls

This is a good fix if you’re looking for a sweet treat, but don’t want a sugar hangover. They whirl up in no time in the food processor and will last for weeks in the fridge and even longer when frozen.

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Skip the store-bought bars and make your own instead. Bring the kids into the kitchen, since this is a fun one to make family-style.

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perfect popcorn recipe

When the mood for something salty and crunchy strikes, nothing beats homemade popcorn. It also happens to be a whole grain that’s better for you than most of what you’ll find in the supermarket snack aisle.

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Hard Boiled Eggs

Make a batch of these to store in the fridge and set out for snacks all week long. Peel and serve with salt and pepper or turn them into simple deviled eggs or egg salad to scoop up with crackers.

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avocado and Edamame Dip

A creamy kid- and grown-up pleasing dip that’s super nourishing. It’s packed with protein and healthy fats, which means it will hold everyone over until mealtime.

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Best Cucumber Salad

When you want something on the lighter side, this simple cucumber salad is a good bet. With just a few ingredients, you can make it in no time and it tends to go over well with kids, too.

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Easy Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries in a dish

Set out a sheet pan of these crispy sweet potatoes and watch them disappear in minutes. If you want to make it a little easier on yourself, don’t peel the sweet potatoes (which means more fiber in your fries, too).

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Broccoli Cheddar Bites

Make these nourishing bites in a mini muffin tin to enjoy warm or cold. Do up a double batch and freeze half for next week.

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Katie Morford

Katie Morford is the Nutrition Editor for Simply Recipes. She is a writer, registered dietitian, and author of three cookbooks: PREP: The Essential College Cookbook, Rise & Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings and Best Lunch Box Ever, which was nominated for an IACP award. Her work has been featured in Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens, Health, Real Simple, Oprah, Parents, Self, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Times, among others. Katie lives in San Francisco with her husband and three daughters.

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6 Comments

No Image12 Recipes and Tips for Healthier Snacking

  1. Sonia

    All looks good. I have put in my shopping list these ingredients to follow this week. Thank you

  2. wendy

    I do not see the nutrition information for these snacks.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Jackie

    Good ideas, but it would be nice to stop teaching children to use single-use water bottles. If you’re home and can put a water filter on your kitchen sink, why not do that.

    Show Replies (2)