Nutritionist’s guide to vegan snack for kids:
As a nutritionist and mother, I want to share with you my top healthy vegan snacks for kids. I try to feed my twins healthy wholesome and nourishing vegan toddler snacks that are mostly homemade. But I know sometimes life gets a bit too busy and kids go from not being hungry to being starving in about 1 second without any warning! I try to diversify their healthy vegan snacks so they get a variety of nutrients as part of their veggie snacks and it keeps it interesting for them. Diversity is key for a healthy vegan diet for children.
Fruits: fruits are nature’s best snacks! Fruit are of course the best healthy and vegan snacks for kids. They are also the best when it comes to practical vegan snacks that kids love. Bananas even come in their own wrappers! My toddlers usually either have banana, strawberries, blueberries or apples. I limit their fruit intake to 2 servings a day so they don’ t just fill up on fruit. Most often during their morning or afternoon snack or in a smoothie for breakfast. They also like cut up watermelon, melon, mandarines, raspberries and pineapple. Pick fruits your children like and that are in season.
Seeds and Nuts:
(Careful as nuts can be chocking hazards). Nuts are such a healthy nourishing vegan snacks for toddlers. High in protein, minerals and fats. My twins don’t have nut allergies so they sometimes have raw almonds, cashews, brazil nuts (good in selenium for thyroid health), pepitas, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds and more. If I don’t give them in their whole form I add them to bliss balls or as a spread/ nut butter on bread or rice cakes for a more filling vegan snack for kids.
My kids love vegan bliss balls! I make them full of nuts, seeds, oats, a few dates or goji berries and chia seeds, cacao, nut-butters and they are a great nourishing snack for little ones. I have a few recipes in my Healthy Little Tummies Recipe cookbook including a nut-free recipe suitable for school lunchboxes. Or check out this recipe of bliss ball as an example of a healthy vegan snack for kids.
Dried fruits: In moderation sultanas and other dried fruits like dried figs and dried apricots also make a great vegan toddler snack. They are nutritious and some are high in iron and other vitamins and fibre. I try to be mindful of the portion size when giving them dried fruits as their vegan snack as they can pack up a lot of sugar. I usually limit it to 10 sultanas or 2 dried figs or 2 dried apricots each and something else with it such as seeds or veggie sticks.
Crackers: crackers are always loved by children for a quick and easy vegan snack for kids! I give them puffed rice cakes or brown rice crackers with no nasties. They like them and it makes them happy and it makes my life as a mum a lot easier! I try to limit them to every few days as I feel like they would just eat crackers all day everyday! To make them more nutritious add avocado, hummus or nut butters on them. And try to find oil-free or low salt type of crackers with more wholegrains.
Legumes: Chickpeas or edamame beans. This might be a very weird snack but my kiddies love plan cooked chickpeas and enjoy snacking on them straight from a can (drained and rinsed!) ! I offer them this as a healthy vegan snack when I know they have not had much protein in their meals. Try them with your kids next time and you can even add seasoning (paprika, cumin) or roast them to make them crunchy and turn them into the most delicious healthy vegan snack for kids!
Since I do so much healthy vegan baking they have healthy vegan muffins or cookies here and there as vegan snack. I have so many recipes on my page but these mini lemon muffins and chocolate donuts are a bit hit! Try these mini vegan brownie bites too! My kids love them for a healthy vegan snack for kids or school!
Hummus and veggie sticks: We often share a savoury grazing platter for our afternoon snack. This often includes hummus, veggies sticks and wholegrain rice crackers or homemade socca crackers (recipe in my cookbook). I prefer doing this snack at home as they get messy dipping in the hummus!
PB sandwich: when they are very hungry, sometimes it is best to almost give a small meal like a sandwich as a healthy vegan snack for kids. I give them a peanut butter sandwich on wholemeal bread. Having 1 bigger snack packed with carbs and protein/ good fats is helpful to avoid snacking every 10 minutes.
Smoothies: I am a big fan of giving them smoothies as a vegan snack for kids. Smoothies can be so nutritious packed with calcium-fortified-plant-milk, some vegetables (kale/spinach) and seeds or nuts. They are great as a vegan snack after school too!
If your child tend to snack a lot and is not hungry at meal times it is possible that he or she over snacks. Try limiting snacks 2-3 hours before a meal to make sure they are hungry again when it is meal time. Grazing can be unhealthy if they fill up on nutrient-poor snacks.
More vegan nutrition posts:
If you like this post on healthy vegan snacks and are interested in children’s vegan nutrition check out these blogposts:
- what plant-based milk to give to children
- A day in the plate of my plant-based children
- Iodine for vegans
- Omega-3 on a vegan diet
- Protein on a vegan diet
- Nourishing Plant-based kids – my ecourse! This is my self paced online course for parents raising children on a vegan or plant-based diet.
Leave me a comment below if you have a question regarding vegan snacks for school or vegan snacks for kids.
For recipe ideas on healthy snacks check out these: