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Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

How to Help Your Kids Choose Healthy Snacks

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Making sure that kids eat healthy snacks can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are several ways to help your child choose healthy and appetizing options.

One of the best methods is to have healthy snacks readily available in your home. You may notice that brownies, cookies, and chips are all easily accessed, or come in ready-to-eat single serving bags. Stocking up on easy to grab healthier options that are ready to eat will help your kids avoid the junk and reach for the healthy snacks instead.

What are easy items to keep in the fridge?

For refrigerated items, you can designate one of the crisper drawers to healthy snacks, or place a basket in the fridge so that your kids know exactly where to look to grab their healthy snacks. Some examples include:

  • washed grapes in single serving bags
  • cut up carrot, jicama or celery sticks
  • apple slices
  • single serving packets of peanut or almond butter
  • individual containers of hummus for dipping veggies or crackers
  • yogurt
  • low or reduced fat cheese sticks
  • crunchy prewashed sugar snap peas
  • small containers of low-fat milk
  • home made kale chips

What are healthy snacks to keep in the pantry?

You can also designate a healthy snack basket in your pantry instead of cookies and chips, include:

  • baked blue, red or yellow corn chips
  • dried fruit
  • whole grain cereal –aim for cereals with <6 grams of sugar per serving
  • 100% crackers –see Melissa’s Cracker Guide
  • cereal or granola bars
  • unsalted nuts
  • air popped popcorn with olive oil –sold at Trader Joe’s
  • individual bags of trail mix

What are the right portion sizes?

When preparing your own single serving bags, it’s best to measure the portions according to the serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts Label.  In addition, to learn what counts as a one Cup serving of fruits or vegetables, and one ounce of grains, you can visit: and click on the individual food group links under the MyPlate tab.

Now that you’ve stocked up on healthier options, how do you get your kids to actually eat them? Make sure you serve as a good role model and eat healthy foods! Remind your kids that there are ready-made snacks you’ve prepared for them. Don’t bring junk food into the house. Keep track of what they like and dislike and restock accordingly. Get 50 more healthy snack ideas your kids will love.

Test Your Knowledge -True or False: 

  1. Stocking up on easy to grab, ready to eat healthy options will help your kids avoid junk foods.
  2. When preparing your own single serving bags, it’s best to measure the portions according to the serving size listed on the Nutrition Facts Label.

Answers: both are true.


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About the Author

Picture of Heather Hargrave

Heather Hargrave

Heather is a graduate from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics.

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