14 Paleo Snacks for Kids That You Can Make at Home Today
If you’re following the Paleo diet with kids in your house (or maybe you just want healthier snack ideas) this list is for you. Here are 14 Paleo snack ideas for kids (and grown ups too) that you can make at home today!
Does This Sound Familiar?
Kid: “Mom, can I have a snack?”
Mom: “You just had a bowl of crackers…you’re still hungry?”
Kid: “I’m STARVING.”
One big problem with the standard American diet is the HUGE carbohydrate load with almost every meal (and snack). Some carbs are good, but when we consume carbs without protein or fat, our blood sugar will spike and then crash fast.
That’s what’s actually happening in this conversation. It really feels like your kid needs more food, even though they just had a big bowl of crackers. An easy solution is to make sure you’re providing high protein snacks. Protein will keep them feeling fuller longer so you won’t be constantly handing over the goldfish.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is a way of eating that aims to re-train our bodies to eat in a way that’s “optimal”. The name Paleo comes from the “Paleolithic” era, and the basic idea is that when we eat like our ancestors used to eat, our bodies will function better and we’ll feel better too.
What’s in the Paleo Diet?
- Nuts & Seeds
- Fruit (in season and in moderation)
- Full fat dairy (if your body can handle it)
- Refined sugar
- Legumes (peas, peanuts, lentils,…)
Going Paleo With Kids
Telling your kids that they can’t have their goldfish anymore might just sound like the worst idea you’ve ever heard. You picture epic tantrums, yelling, crying, “but I love my goldfish, mom!” (said with the sad pouty sad face that gets you every time).
Changing eating habits can be hard. And it might just be the last thing you’re up for right now. But just think about it like this…if you can change your kids diet to be more in line with the Paleo diet (more protein and healthy fat, less sugar and carbs), they’ll actually have less tantrums. Yep, I said it. Less. Tantrums.
Because in my experience, 9 times out of 10…tantrums happen when my kids are:
- hungry (but with these snacks, the protein keeps them fuller for longer)
- tired (but with these snacks, your kids won’t have extreme sugar crashes!)
Without the sugar spikes from candy, store bought crackers, or other empty calorie foods, you’re kids will be happier (and so will you)!
Paleo Diet Snack Ideas
Here are some awesome Paleo snack ideas for kids (and grown ups) that you can make in your own kitchen today.
1) Protein crackers
Instead of the crackers from the store that have little (if any) protein in them, try whipping up a batch of these cheese crackers or these ranch crackers. It only takes 20 minutes and a few ingredients!
2) Fruit & almond butter
In order to combat the sugar rush (and then the crash), try serving the fruit along with some healthy fat. The fat will slow the absorption of sugar into your kids bodies and help them avoid those tantrums.
Try banana or apple slices with almond butter. The creamy almond butter and sweet fruit bite are a tasty combo.
3) Celery and almond butter
Cut up celery sticks, fill them with almond butter and top them with a few raisins! Yum! A crunchy and healthy snack your kids can help make this one, too!
4) Veggie chips
Slice veggies (sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, etc.) really thin (see how I do it here) and bake them in the oven with a little oil and salt. They’ll crisp up and give you that crunch you might be missing from giving up store bought chips and crackers.
I hope you try these because my kiddos (who do NOT like beets) LOVE beet chips. They beg for more at dinner. And I’m not sure there’s anything that makes me more proud (and surprised) than to see my kids begging for more veggies. Especially BEETS!
5) Fruit leathers
Fruit leathers are another healthy snack. They come in a variety of flavors and are made with 100% fruit (sometimes vegetables too). You can find these in the store, or make them with fresh summer fruit.
6) Hard boiled eggs
Eggs are a great Paleo snack. Hard boil a bunch and make deviled eggs, or just carry them with you for those times your kids are feeling snacky.
7) Applesauce with a slice of cheese
My kids LOVE applesauce. I think they could eat a bowl for every meal and still want more. We like giving them some fat to eat with their fruit so that we can avoid the sugar crash at all costs. Cheese or nuts are great options!
Ah, guacamole. Most of us are used to eating it with tortilla chips. To follow the Paleo way, you’ll need to eat your guacamole with some Paleo approved crackers (see #1 in this list), veggies, or just top your taco salad with a big scoop of this simple and delicious guacamole.
You can find popsicles made with 100% real fruit at the store (no added sugar). But you can also make your own! Just blend up some fruit and pour into a popsicle mold. You can even blend some greens in to give an extra nutritional boost. They make a delicious sweet treat for those hot summer days.
10) Make your own trail mix
Get a big container and add your kids favorite nuts (almonds, cashews, etc.) and dried fruit without added sugar. But remember peanuts are technically a legume and are on the “no” list. Our kids love dried mangos, raisins, dried apricots, and dried plums (prunes).
11) Healthy chocolate pudding
Have you heard you can make healthy chocolate pudding with avocados? You can. And it is amazingly creamy and chocolatey. It’s sweetened with honey and only has a few ingredients. Make a batch today. My kids LOVE this pudding (and really I do too).
12) Kale chips
Kale…chips? Yep. They’re so good. Cook kale leaves on a sheet pan with a little olive oil and salt for until crispy. Snack away on this healthy, delicious, and salty Paleo snack.
My kids seem to either LOVE avocado or not want it at all. Don’t ask me why, because I love avocado all day every day. But right now they’re LOVING it. Avocado has healthy fats that will help those kid bodies grow and develop.
14) Veggie sticks
Want a little crunch? Try veggie sticks. Carrots, celery, cucumber are all great healthy kid snacks. If your kids like dips, try guacamole (see above) or nut butter!
How to Make a Change With Kids
Be Prepared for Obstacles
Any time you’re changing eating habits, you’re bound to hit obstacles. With kids, even more so! But feel good knowing that you’re setting your kids up for success and teaching them to eat healthy food. For tips on overcoming obstacles with kids, read this post.
Healthy and Happy Kids
Here are a few tips when trying to get your kids to eat healthy food:
- Let your kids help you cook (check out these awesome kids kitchen tools)
- Start a garden with your kids and teach them where food comes from
- Let your kids pick out fruit and vegetables they like. Give them a little control over the meal and they’ll be much more likely to eat it.
Find more information on helping your kids eat healthy food in this post.
Have Grace with Yourself
Remember that perfection isn’t the goal…progress is. And if you’re making a big change, just take it one day at a time. Make these Paleo snacks for your kids and you’re well on your way to experiencing a tantrum-free home!
Megan shares simple, delicious and nutritious scratch recipes at Scratch to Basics. She’s passionate about helping home cooks confidently make healthy food from scratch for their families. Sign up for her FREE 5 day email course to help your family cut processed food and get your health back!