Healthy No-Cook Snacks Kids Can Make Themselves

As a health-conscious mom, I’ve learned that making sensible food choices doesn’t have to mean compromising on flavor. I knew ice cream had lots of calories and fat, but I didn’t want to give up on dessert. Then, after taking one bite of the coffee chocolate chip frozen Greek yogurt, I never looked back. At the grocery store, I now breeze past the ice cream freezers and head straight to the healthier frozen treat awaiting me at the end of the aisle. At home, I teach my children that they too can make healthy food choices without sacrificing flavor. When my kids get home from school, they wriggle out of their backpacks and spill into the kitchen to scour the pantry for an after-school snack. In our house, gorging on fruit juice and cookies is not allowed. So, I wrote down tried-and-true recipes for no-cook snacks kids could make themselves.

No Cook Kids Snacks

Photo via Shutterstock

These recipes use good-for-you foods that we normally have in our kitchen and that require only a handful of ingredients. These recipes are also easy to make, as attested to by my 5th grader (the executive chef) and my 3rd grader (the sous chef). Most importantly, these healthy recipes use foods that my kids actually want to eat; you won’t find kale, hummus, or plain yogurt in these recipes because my children won’t go near the stuff. However, I encourage you to swap these ingredients in if your children will!

Here are five, healthy, no-cook snacks kids can make themselves after school or during a playdate.

1. Emoji-inspired rice cakes

If your kids are like mine, they love all things emoji. Enter this versatile Happy Face snack that is as fun to make as it is to eat. Whether using peanut butter or the allergy-friendly sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds), you can’t go wrong nutrition-wise.

Used in moderation, peanut butter is a good source of protein, heart-healthy fats, niacin, iron, potassium, and vitamin E. If your child is allergic to peanut butter, sunbutter is a great alternative. Sunbutter is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, zinc, and iron. Additionally, adding a handful of beneficial berries to a snack can reduce the risk of developing Type II Diabetes. Win!

No-Cook Snack - Happy Face PB or Sunbutter & Fruit Rice Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 plain rice cake
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter or sunbutter
  • 2 banana slices
  • 1 dried cranberry or raisin
  • 4 raspberries

Kid-Friendly Instructions

  1.  Place the rice cake on a plate. Spread peanut butter or sunbutter on the rice cake.
  2.  Add two banana slices for the eyes, a dried cranberry or raisin for the nose, and four raspberries for the smile.

 

2. Five-minute mashed banana

Made with only two ingredients, this flavorful spread consists of banana, a fruit rich in potassium and fiber, and cinnamon, an antioxidant-rich spice that helps control blood sugar levels. Paired with graham crackers, this spread is a satisfying and healthy treat.

No-Cook Snack - Mashed Banana and Cinnamon Spread

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon

Kid-Friendly Instructions

  1.  Peel the banana and place it in a bowl.
  2.  Use a plastic knife to cut the banana into slices. Use a fork to mash the banana.
  3.  Once the banana is completely mashed, stir in the cinnamon and blend well. Spread on graham crackers or other food of your choice.

 

3. Meat & cheese happy face

For meat and cheese-loving kids, this alternative Happy Face snack may make their taste buds jump. In this recipe, the cheese provides calcium and protein, and the chicken breast delivers an additional 5 grams of protein per slice. If you use turkey, the turkey breast provides 3.5 grams of protein per slice.

No Cook Snacks for Kids

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 plain rice cake
  • 1 slice of chicken breast or turkey breast
  • 2 cucumber slices
  • 1 dried cranberry or raisin
  • 7 round slices of string cheese

Kid-Friendly Instructions

  1.  Place the rice cake on a plate. Top with a slice of deli meat.
  2.  Add two cucumber slices for the eyes, a dried cranberry or raisin for the nose, and seven round slices of string cheese for the smile.

 

4. All ages fruit parfait

This colorful parfait is a treat that I serve at (grown up) dinner parties. It’s so easy to make, however, that my kids have adopted it as one of their own recipes. This snack tastes like a dessert while sneaking in fruit and protein. The berries in this snack are high in manganese and vitamins A, C, and K. No slouch itself, the Greek yogurt provides important nutrients such as calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, while having less sugar than other yogurts.

No Cook Snack

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 5.3 oz. container of vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¾ c. crumbled granola
  • ¾ c. mixed blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

Kid-Friendly Instructions

  1.  Layer the bottom of a tall glass or plastic tumbler (if you’re not allowed to handle glass) with granola.
  2.  Top the granola with a layer of Greek yogurt.
  3.  Top the yogurt with berries. Repeat the granola, yogurt, berries pattern until you reach the top of the glass or tumbler, ending with berries.

 

5. Adult-assisted watermelon popsicles

These frozen watermelon popsicles are a cool, all-natural treat. A staple of summertime desserts, watermelon is a low-calorie, hydrating fruit that is rich in lycopene and vitamins A and C.

For this recipe, adults should cut the watermelon into wedges. The wedges should be small enough for a popsicle stick to sustain, and the rind should be cut off so that a child can easily push the stick through the curved bottom of the watermelon wedge.

No Cook Snack for Kids

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • pre-cut, rindless watermelon wedges
  • popsicle sticks

Kid-Friendly Instructions

  1.  Arrange the watermelon wedges on a baking sheet. Push a popsicle stick into the middle of the curved bottom of each wedge. Be sure to push in until only half of the stick is showing.
  2.  Make as many popsicles as you’d like but make sure they aren’t touching on the baking sheet or else they can be hard to separate when frozen.
  3.  Place baking sheet in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours. Carefully unstick watermelon wedges from baking sheet and enjoy!

 


About the Authordolores

Dolores Smyth is a freelance writer who draws inspiration for her writing from everyday life. A perfect day for her includes running, reading, spending time with her family, and striving to make at least some of her bucket list a reality. Connect with her @LolaWordSmyth.


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