Preparing healthy treats for kids can be a challenge. Picky palates seem to prefer junk over wholesome, natural and healthy treats, but even the pickiest kids may find a treat among this list of healthy treats for kids that suits their liking. Many of these are stand-by healthy treats for my family: figs stuffed with almonds, raw cheese and apples while others like strawberry milkshakes (they're good for you, promise!) and frozen bananas we eating only occasionally. So give up the gogurts, the little debbies, the fruit leathers and handisnacks for these tasty and healthy treats for kids.
Healthy Treat #1:
Frozen Bananas Rolled in Walnuts and Coconut
Replacing frozen ice cream pops, we love frozen bananas rolled in walnuts and coconut as a delicious and healthy treat. They're super simple to prepare and pleasantly sweet with mouth-pleasing crunchy coating.
It's simple, grab a few chopsticks, skewers or popsicle sticks and thread a banana on to it. Next, melt a bit of coconut oil and prepare bowls of crushed walnuts and unsweetened shredded coconut. Slightly coat the banana in coconut oil and sprinkle it with walnuts and shredded coconut, then set it on a baking sheet greased with coconut and allow it to freeze overnight.
Bananas are rich in potassium, and prebiotic compounds that nourish the intestinal flora that helps to keep you and your little ones healthy. Walnuts are a source of the amino acid L-arginine which is critical in maintaining a healthy circulatory system. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors and may upset the digestion, so take care to eat walnuts that have been soaked overnight in clean water slightly salted with sea salt and subsequently dehydrated.
Healthy Treat #2:
Strained Yogurt with Dried Fruit & Nuts
Consider this healthy treat before feeding your kids sugar- or high fructose corn syrup-sweetened yogurts and puddings. Rich in probiotics, protein and wholesome fats, strained yogurt or greek-style yogurt is a fantastic treat for kids. We frequently serve it with raisins or currents and pecans, walnuts or even crushed almonds. Some kids may find that real yogurt - plain yogurt - is too sour for their liking so consider mixing a few tablespoons of maple syrup or raw honey into the mix - decreasing it ever so slightly until they're taste preferences become accustomed to yogurts natural sour flavor.
Healthy Treat #3:
Popcorn with Butter & Nutritional Yeast
A favorite healthy treat of ours is popcorn with butter, nutritional yeast and sea salt. If your kids are craving something salty, this is a great treat and it's super easy to make. We don't do microwave popcorn around here (or microwave anything for that matter) partly due to the carcinogens present in the packaging. Simply heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil over medium heat, and add a kernel or two of popcorn. When the corn pops, add about ⅓ a cup of kernals and place the lid over your pot. Agitate the pot over the flame until the sound of popping slows, then remove it from the heat. Pour the corn into a bowl and top with plenty of melted butter (a great source of vitamin A and CLA). Toss in some unrefined sea salt and as much nutritional yeast as your kids care for. Nutritional yeast is a great source of those B-vitamins that we all need.
Healthy Treat #4:
Creme Fraiche with Fresh Vegetables
Kids love the animation and interactivity of dipping foods - perhaps because it's the closest you can get to playing with your food without getting in trouble. By preparing wholesome dips, like this creme fraiche dip you can serve them food they enjoy that is also wholesome and nourishing. creme fraiche, like yogurt, is rich in beneficial lactic-acid producing bacteria and the vegetables provide an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Try this creme fraiche dip recipe and serve it with celery sticks, carrots, sliced salad turnips and radishes.
Healthy Treat #5:
Ditch the handisnacks and powdered puddings in favor of a wholesome, natural custard sweetened only with a touch of honey. The mildly sweet custard is easy to prepare, and rich in fat-soluble vitamins. It's definitely a favorite in our home during springtime when both cream and eggs are plentiful and easy to find.
Healthy Treat #6:
Another favorite in our household are caprese salads. The wonderful flavors of summer: beautifully ripe heirloom tomatoes and brightly flavored basil leaves combine with fresh mozzarella, unrefined sea salt and unrefined extra virgin olive oil for a delicious treat that both children and grown-ups love. The basil and tomatoes provide plenty of antioxidants while the unrefined olive oil supplies natural vitamin E. Stack them into towers for extra fun.
Healthy Treat #7:
No child should be deprived of the delicious, creamy richness of a strawberry milkshake. Fortunately, you can ditch the factory farmed milk and refined sugar for a wholesome, but equally delicious treat. The milkshake is rich in nutrients and wholesome fats, which kids need, as well as the vitamin C and antioxidants that strawberries are known for. Combine 1 ½ cups whole, raw milk with 1 cup frozen, hulled strawberries and a tablespoon of raw honey in a blender and blend until smooth and well-combined.
Healthy Treat #8:
Figs Stuffed with Almonds
Dried fruit and nuts always make for a good treat. In this version, we combine dried figs with raw almonds for a sweet treat with a nice, satisfying crunch. Figs are rich in soluble fiber, vitamin K, manganese and potassium while almonds represent a good source of vitamin E and riboflavin. All you have to do is slightly pierce the skin of dried fig and insert a raw almond into its center. A bag full of these is a great snack to bring to the park or on long road trips.
Healthy Treat #9:
Sweet Potato Chips
Instead of packing snack bags filled with crackers or potato chips, try preparing sweet potato chips at home in your dehydrator. With a nice, midly sweet and salty flavor these sweet potato chips pack a great nutritional punch: they're loaded with beta-carotene a known cancer fighter. Take two or three sweet potatoes or garnet yams and slice them as thinly as you can manage. Toss them with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and a bit of unrefined sea salt to taste before setting them on a mesh screen in your dehydrator. Allow them to dry at about 105 º until they're thoroughly crisp.
Healthy Treat #10:
Raw Milk Cheese with Sliced Apples & Pears
Lastly, we love raw milk cheeses with their fantastic flavors that vary from sour to salty paired with ripe apples and pears. The fruit provides carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals while the cheese provides protein, fat, vitamins and food enzymes for good digestion. This is a much more nutrient-dense and much more delicious version of that classic kid's treat: processed cheese and crackers.
So there's our top 10 healthy treats for kids. What are your household standbys?