By Breanna Woods, Contributing blogger
The holidays bring many opportunities for treats. Instead of stressing out about your kids running on sugar for the next month, try some of these healthy holiday snacks.
If your kids enjoy crafting and baking during the holidays, they will love making these festive snacks! Share these yummy, healthy snacks at classroom parties or during family gatherings. Or, keep them on hand during the holiday break from school.
1. Celery Reindeer
Image courtesy of Family Fresh Meals
Think “ants on a log” for this snack, but a lot more festive. These reindeer are so cute, they even make celery exciting for kids! Celery is exciting for parents, too. It provides vitamins A, C and K and is naturally low in sodium. Peanut butter adds protein to make this healthy holiday snack filling as well. Place goofy, edible eyes, pretzels for ears and M&Ms as the reindeer nose.
Tip: Try using Nutella in place of peanut butter for a chocolate version of this holiday snack.
2. String Cheese Snowmen
Image courtesy of Family Fun Crafts.
This is a great holiday snack for school parties. String cheese is a great source of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Plus, it’s a healthy alternative to sugary snacks that often show up at holiday parties!
Be sure to leave the string cheese wrapped for this activity. First, start decorating by cutting top hats out of construction paper using a stencil. Alternatively, you could buy pre-cut hats from a craft store. Then, glue or tape the hats at the top of the cheese and tie a ribbon scarf about halfway down the cheese. Have your kids draw the snowman face and buttons with a marker. They will love seeing those friendly snowman faces when they reach into the fridge at snack time!
3. Grinch Kabobs
Image Courtesy of Momables.
This snack is the sweetest Grinch you’ve ever seen! Have your little ones help build these festive fruit kabobs and then keep a tray in the fridge for snack time. Plus, the extra dose of vitamin C will help ward off winter germs.
Use either a toothpick or a thin pretzel stick as a kabob. Simply stack the marshmallow, strawberry, banana, and grape to complete the look! This snack would be extra tasty dipped in yogurt or marshmallow fruit dip. Remember to cut grapes into quarters before serving to children under 4 who might enjoy this snack!
4. Watermelon Trees
Image courtesy of Healthy Little Foodies.
Transform this summer fruit into a festive winter treat! Cut watermelon slices into tree shapes using a cookie cutter. Next, fill an icing bag with yogurt and let your kids get decorating! Use sprinkles, dried fruit, coconut or chocolate chips as extra decoration.
5. Veggie Pizza Trees
Image courtesy of Betty Crocker.
If you struggle to make veggies appealing for your kids, try this holiday snack! This snack time activity will encourage your child to experiment with different veggies. As a result, your little one might be more willing to try veggies they normally refuse.
The sauce on these pita trees is a combination of fat-free sour cream and guacamole. You could also use guacamole on it’s own, pesto sauce, or even pizza sauce (for the less adventurous eaters). Pretzel sticks serve as the tree trunk. To decorate, offer a variety of finely chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and carrots.
6. Rudolph Sandwiches
Image courtesy of This Grandma Is Fun.
Jazz up your kids’ peanut butter and jelly with this festive snack. This reindeer PB&J is perfect for kids who prefer to skip the crust. Start with your basic PB&J. Next, cut the sandwiches into hearts using a cookie cutter. Pretzels become adorable antlers, and kids can shape facial features using candy.
Use whole-wheat bread to pack extra vitamins, minerals and fiber into this snack.
7. Healthy Reindeer Food
Image courtesy of Super Healthy Kids.
If your child turns up his or her nose to trail mix (except for the M&M’s of course), try calling this recipe “reindeer food.” Set up a snack bar including bowls filled with a variety of red, green and white ingredients. Here are some ideas:
- Red: dried cranberries, dried or freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries
- Green: pistachios, dried kiwi, pumpkin seeds
- White: yogurt covered raisins, coconut, banana chips, dried apple
Give your kids a jar or bag and let them mix their own reindeer food. The nuts and seeds pack plenty of nutrition, while the dried fruit gives a healthy touch of sweetness.
8. Bagel Ornaments
Image courtesy of Fork and Beans.
Even your pickiest eater will be tempted to try the veggies on this holiday snack. Lay out some sliced, toasted mini bagels, whipped or softened low-fat cream cheese, and a colorful variety of cut veggies. Try to choose veggies with different shapes to help your kids bring extra creativity to the table.
Spread each bagel with cream cheese. Then, use small skewers or pretzel sticks with a slice of cucumber or zucchini at the base to create the top of each ornament. Finally, let your kids decorate their ornaments and of course, eat!
9. Snowy Chocolate Trees
Image courtesy of Handmade Charlotte.
This holiday snack is almost too pretty to eat! Almost.
Begin crafting your winter wonderland with a pretzel stick to support the tree. Mold a nut butter mixture around the pretzel, roughly shaped like a pine tree. Then, use the nut butter to glue cereal pieces on the tree to resemble branches.
These festive pine cones are made with high-fiber cereal, which is great if your little one struggles to eat enough fiber-rich fruits and veggies. Fiber is important for gut health, and makes a snack more filling. Don’t forget the dusting of powdered sugar “snow” before you and your little one dig into this holiday snack!
Remember, balance is key.
Making healthy snacks available as well as involving your kids with preparing them are great ways to build healthy habits. However, it’s important to remember that an occasional treat during the holidays won’t hurt. Have fun crafting these healthy snacks with your kids, and eating them too!