When kids come home from school, they are ravenous. Whether it’s hours before dinner or they’re heading out to an after-school activity, your kids need a snack. Because of picky eaters, coming up with snack ideas is hard for many parents. Many easy, ready-made snacks are available on the shelves, but they are often filled with excess sugar and salt. These may be fine in a pinch, but not for every day.
And if your child is sucrose intolerant, these processed foods will likely never work for you. Luckily, many parents have shared their snack ideas, so that you can find something that suits your child’s dietary restrictions and satisfies their hunger without a lot of sugar.
Keep in mind that some sugar is naturally occurring, so you may need to adjust items accordingly; but with 50 different, low-sugar snacks for kids, you’ll have a great rotation. Here are a few ideas to get started and then you can substitute items that work for you:
Veggies with ranch dip.
If your child has a lactose intolerance or dairy allergy, you can make your own ranch dressing using a nondairy substitute such as coconut cream, which is a thicker, creamier option similar to sour cream, rather than subbing in almond milk. Making your own dressing helps to control the ingredients since bottled and premade dressings tend to have a lot of additives.
Cheese and meat plate
Look for nitrate-free brands like Applegate or hit up Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Some kids may be more likely to enjoy this protein-packed snack if you roll up the cheese and meat slices. You can secure the roll with a toothpick depending on how much you trust your kids not to injure themselves.
Top a corn tortilla with tomato paste and cheese and pop it under the broiler for a quick minute until the cheese boils. Using tomato paste instead of tomato sauce helps prevent the tortilla from getting soggy and messy. Using a corn tortilla helps make the pizza low in carbs.
If you have leftovers from the night before or even from breakfast, they can be the perfect snack for when there’s not enough to feed the whole family for a second full meal. Combine meatballs with veggie sticks or roasted chicken with hardboiled eggs to create new versions of things that your kids will love.
Fruit and nuts
Depending on your child’s intolerance, try combining fruit such as apples, peaches, or bananas with nuts or peanut butter for a fun snack. For kids with nut allergies, look for sun butter as an alternative.
Veggies and hummus
Hummus is dip made from chickpeas and is high in protein to keep your kids going until dinner. It is often served with pita slices, but you can substitute veggies like carrot and celery sticks or bell peppers for a healthy boost. Olives are another healthy way to add fat and keep kids further satisfied.
Plain full-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt with DIY toppings
Flavored yogurt is super high in sugar, whether or not your kids have an intolerance. Skip the pre-flavored yogurt and let your kids make their own toppings by pairing berries and stone fruit with yogurt. They can make their own parfait or dip fruits.
Top these with cream cheese, peanut butter, or almond butter.