e are all aware of the benefits of eating healthy food. But convincing your little one to eat nutritious food seems to be the most difficult task. The picky eaters love to indulge in sugar-laden and deep-fried foods. However, you cannot allow your children to get away with their unhealthy eating habit. Fortunately, with simple culinary tweaks, you can easily make the nutritious foods delectable for children.
Snacks are an important component of children’s diet. As children cannot eat a large variety of foods at one time, snacking ensures that they receive the nutrients that are essential for their growth. Snacking is also a good way to maintain the energy level of children between the meals. It helps them to stay active, and learn and concentrate in school.
Here is a list of nutritious snacks that kids love to eat. Even adults hooked on fast foods would love to replace the refined carbohydrate and unhealthy fat loaded foods served in the fast food restaurants with these delicious homemade healthy snacks.
- Healthy Snacks for Kids
1. Fruit Smoothies
If you can’t force your little one to eat a variety of fruits, fruit smoothies can come to your rescue. Yogurt, the most important constituent of smoothies is rich in calcium and provides good bacteria that are good for the digestive health. To enhance the health benefits of the smoothie, sweeten it with honey.
½-cup plain yogurt
½-cup orange juice
¾-cup fresh fruits
One tablespoon honey
You can use a single fruit such as banana, strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, or combine different types of fruits.
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the mixture is smooth.
2. Banana Pops
This healthy treat could be a nutritious alternative to ice-cream.
Four large bananas (Green Tipped)
One teaspoon cocoa powder
One cup unsweetened, toasted coconut flakes
Two tablespoons honey
½-cup almond butter
Eight Popsicle sticks
To make the banana pop, first remove the peels and halve the bananas crosswise. Take a Popsicle stick and insert it through the cut end of the halved banana. In the same way insert the Popsicle sticks in the other halved bananas. Put the cocoa powder, honey and almond butter in a blender and blend to make a smooth mixture. Empty the mixture in a bowl. With a waxed paper line a rectangular airtight plastic container. Roll each banana pop first in the cocoa, honey and almond butter mixture and then coat it with coconut flakes. Place the banana pops on the plastic container. Cover the container and leave it in the freezer. Freeze the banana pops at least for two hours. 
3. Vanilla Strawberry Leather
Fruit leather is a healthier alternative to the sugar rich candies.
Two cups fresh strawberries
One tablespoon honey
½-teaspoon pure vanilla powder
Chop the strawberries. Put the chopped strawberries and the other ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. On a baking sheet spread the mixture. The strawberry mixture layer should not be too thin. To dry the mixture, place it in an oven. It usually takes 3 to 4 hours to dry the fruit leather. Cut the strawberry leather into strips and store in an airtight container. 
4. Roasted Broccoli
To encourage your little one to eat broccoli, serve the child delicious roasted broccoli.
Four cups of raw broccoli florets
¼-cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
One tablespoon olive oil
½-teaspoon garlic salt
Place the broccoli florets in a bowl and sprinkle olive oil. Add garlic salt and toss the broccoli florets. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the broccoli florets on it. Roast the broccoli florets for 15 minutes in an oven preheated to 425-degree Fahrenheit. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the roasted broccoli and serve hot. 
5. Spinach and Artichoke Cups
To make vegetables more appetizing, give your children spinach and artichoke cups.
10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach
6 ounces of roughly chopped artichoke hearts
1 garlic clove, finely minced
¼-cup plain Greek yogurt
½-cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼-cup softened cream cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and combine them. Take a mini cupcake cup and line it with wonton wrapper. Spoon a tablespoon of the vegetable mixture into each cup. In an oven preheated to 350-degree Fahrenheit bake the vegetable cups for 10 minutes or until the mixture become golden brown.
6.Baked Root Vegetable Chips
Instead of eating fried potato chips encourage your child to eat baked sweet potato or beetroot chips.
Two sweet potatoes or peeled beetroots
¼-teaspoon ground black pepper
Use a mandoline slicer to slice the root vegetable of your choice. Each vegetable piece should be about 1/16-inch thick. Remove the excess liquid from the vegetables by pressing the sliced vegetables with a paper towel. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet. Spray a small amount of cooking oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on the vegetables. Place the baking sheet in an oven preheated to 375-degree Fahrenheit. Bake the vegetables for 10 minutes and then remove the baking sheet from the oven. Leave the baking sheet outside the oven for 5 minutes and again place it in the oven and bake the chips for 4 to 8 more minutes. Allow the chips to cool for 5 minutes. 
7. Kale Chips
Kale chips are another healthy alternative to potato chips.
One bunch kale
One to two tablespoons olive oil
Tear the kale leaves into bite-size pieces. Spread them on a baking sheet. Evenly coat the leaves with olive oil. Sprinkle salt. Place the baking sheet in an oven preheated to 275-degree Fahrenheit. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the kale chips become crisp. 
8. Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets
Broccoli and cheese nuggets are not only a healthy alternative to the deep-fried chicken nuggets. They can lure your little one to eat more vegetables.
One pound broccoli florets
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Three large eggs
One cup breadcrumbs
One teaspoon Italian seasoning
Lightly steam the broccoli florets so that they stay slightly crisp. To stop the cooking process, immediately rinse the steamed florets with cold water. Place the steamed broccoli florets in a food processor and pulse them. Transfer the finely chopped florets in a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and cheese. Break the eggs and mix them with the broccoli mixture. Take a small amount of the broccoli mixture and with your hands shape it like a nugget. Preheat an oven to 375-degree Fahrenheit. Place the broccoli nuggets on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Turn over the nuggets after 15 minutes. 
9. Curried Beans Pasta
Instead of using pastas made with refined flour, use whole wheat pasta to prepare healthy snacks for your children.
Two cups whole wheat pasta
¼-cup soaked lima beans
One cup chopped tomatoes
¼-cup chopped onions
One teaspoon finely chopped garlic
One bay leaf
Two to three peppercorns
Two tablespoons tomato ketchup
One tablespoon butter
One tablespoon fresh cream
Cook the pasta. Remove the skin from the soaked lima beans and boil them in salted water until soft. Put the butter in a pan and add the bay leaf and peppercorns. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sauté them. When the onion turns translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for some time. Now add the beans, pasta and the remaining ingredients and mix them gently. Add salt to taste. Serve the pasta hot. 
10. Homemade Chicken Nuggets
To make the chicken nuggets a healthy treat for your kids use wheatgerm instead of breadcrumbs to coat the nuggets and bake them instead of frying.
Three boneless, skinned chicken breasts
3 oz wheatgerm
One egg white
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
90 ml water
In a bowl add the wheatgerm, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix them well. In another bowl, put the egg white and water and mix them well. Cut the chicken into small pieces. Dip the chicken chunks in the egg white mixture and then coat them with the wheatgerm mixture. Grease a baking tray and place the chicken pieces on it. Place the baking tray in an oven preheated to 400-degree Fahrenheit and bake the chicken pieces for 10 to 15 minutes. 
11. Tofu Bites
Tofu bite is a nutritious high protein alternative to the highly processed chicken nuggets.
One pound firm or extra-firm tofu
One teaspoon garlic pepper
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
Two teaspoons olive oil
Cut the tofu into small pieces. Mix the whole wheat flour and garlic pepper. Coat the tofu pieces with the flour mixture. Spray oil on a baking sheet. Arrange the coated tofu pieces on the baking sheet. Place the baking tray in an oven preheated to 425-degree Fahrenheit. Bake for ten minutes. 
12. Tortilla Wrap
This is a wholesome Mexican-style dish that children love with extra cheese or salsa.
Four 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
1/2 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon chili powder
Put a small amount of olive oil on a frying pan and heat over medium heat. Add the eggs and keep stirring until scrambled. Divide the scrambled egg into four equal portions. Add chili powder. Warm the tortillas. On each tortilla spread the scrambled egg. Add salsa and sprinkle cheese. Roll up the tortilla. 
13. Whole Wheat Vegetable Burger
Burgers can be made nutritious by replacing the refined flour buns and the fat rich meat cutlet with whole-wheat bun and vegetable cutlet respectively.
Six brown bread buns
1/2 cup broken wheat
3/4 cup finely chopped mushroom
3/4 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup grated cottage cheese
One tablespoon soya sauce
One tablespoon chili sauce
Two tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1½ teaspoon oil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the filling:
6 onion slices
12 tomato slices
12 cucumber slices
12 lettuce leaves
For about 15 minutes soak the broken wheat in a cup of hot water. Drain out the water and place the soaked broken wheat in a bowl. Add chopped carrot, mushroom, onion, cottage cheese, whole-wheat flour and salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients well. Divide the mixture into six equal portions. Flatten each portion with your hands to give it the shape of a cutlet. Put a small amount of oil on a pan and cook the cutlets until each side turns golden-brown. Lightly toast the buns. Arrange the fillings and the cutlet on one bun and cover with another bun. 
14. Tuna Quinoa Casserole
If you want your children to devour the nutritious quinoa, serve the grains with cheese, vegetables and tuna.
One cup dry quinoa
Two cups vegetable stock
One cup whole milk
One cup shredded mozzarella cheese
One cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2-cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Two tablespoons butter
Two tablespoons flour
One cup finely chopped broccoli florets
1/2 cup frozen corn
One can of tuna
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Add the quinoa to the vegetable stock. Bring the stock to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. In another pan, melt butter and add the flour. Slowly add milk and whisk the mixture until it thickens. Make sure that the mixture does not contain any lumps. Mix the cheeses in a small bowl. Add half of the cheese mixture to the butter, flour and milk sauce. Add salt, pepper and ground cumin and mix the ingredients. Add the cooked quinoa to the cheese sauce. Add corn, broccoli and tuna. Empty the cooked quinoa in a casserole dish and spread the remaining cheese on top of the mixture. Bake in an oven preheated to 350-degree Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes. 
15. Trail Mix
You can also encourage your children to make their own trail mix. In one bowl, mix dried apricots, dried pears, dried apples, dried cranberries and raisins. In a second bowl, combine different types of nuts such as walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans and peanuts. Put some chocolate chips in the third bowl. Combine the ingredients present in the three bowls. 
16 . Avocado Turkey Sandwich
This sandwich made with whole-grain bread is nutritious and tasty.
Two whole-grain bread slices
1/4 avocado, thinly sliced
Two slices of baked turkey
One slice Swiss cheese
Two teaspoons of mayonnaise
One teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup salsa
Combine the mayonnaise and mustard. On one side of both the bread slices, spread the mayo and mustard mixture. Arrange turkey, cheese and avocado on one bread slice and close it with the other bread slice. Serve the sandwich with salsa. To enhance the flavor of the sandwich, grill it for about 3 minutes on medium heat on one side, and then turn it over to grill the other side for another 3 minutes.