Do your kids have the munchies? Here are some healthier low sugar recipes to make for your child’s snack time!
Rather than reach for the nearest crisp packet or biscuit tin (with all that added salt, sugar and refined ingredients), treat your kids (and yourself!) to these wholesome, healthier snacks. Here’s our pick of healthy recipes submitted by foodie writers and nutritionists. These snacks are all easy to whizz up with the kids (some don’t even require cooking!) so you can nibble something deliciously homemade with the family. And if you are looking for other healthy recipes check out our post on kids’ vegan dishes for Veganuary and our free downloadable for kids lunchbox ideas here!
Healthy snack recipes for kids and adults
Frozen fruit “Lollipops”
This treat makes an excellent alternative to ice poles (ice popsicles/lollies) on a hot day. You can make them with the kids and use whatever fruit you have in your fridge; grapes, apples etc. Eating fresh fruit is a great healthy alternative to store-bought popsicles with artificial flavours and added sugar.
8 Skewers (we used chopsticks for safety)
– 4 larger strawberries
– 3 tangerines
– 1 pack of blueberries
– 2 medium bananas
– 16 cubes of watermelon
1. Cut the fruit into large chunks and place in separate bowls.
2. Let the kids place the fruit they want on their lollipop on the chopsticks.
3. Place on chopping board and into the freezer for an hour.
COMO Shambhala Power Cookies
This recipe is submitted by COMO Shambhala Nutrition Advisor, Eve Persak MS RD CNSC CSSD. The recipe is one of 147 recipes from the COMO Shambhala cookbook, The Pleasures of Eating Well: Nourishing Favourites from the COMO Shambhala Kitchen (Clearview 2016).
“These crunchy, chewy, sweet and satisfying cookies are a welcome alternative to store-bought products, as they’re prepared from whole, raw, unprocessed ingredients. They’re free of any refined grains that predominate in many cookies. Rather than using table sugar, these treats derive their sweetness from dried fruits (high in fiber and micronutrients) and raw honey (antioxidant, anti-microbial, and probiotic benefits). Thanks to the nuts and seeds, these cookies offer ample plant-based proteins and heart-healthy non-unsaturated and anti-inflammatory omega 3 oils. In their raw, un-roasted form, the nuts and seeds remain rich in their essential vitamins (like vitamins B, E, and K) and minerals (such as copper, zinc, selenium and magnesium).”
– 75g/3oz (½ cup) raw cashews
– 40g/1½oz (½ cup) flaked almonds
– 50g/2oz (½ cup) walnuts
– 75g/3oz (½ cup) sunflower seeds
– 100g/3½oz (½ cup) pumpkin seeds
– 100g/3½oz (½ cup) dried figs
– 75g/3oz (½ cup) dried apricots
– 2 tablespoons raw honey (or pure maple syrup or coconut nectar)
– 2 teaspoons freshly grated coconut
– Sea salt, to taste
1. Place the nuts in a bowl, cover with water and soak for two hours then drain and rinse.
2. Transfer nuts to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and season with sea salt. Using the pulse button process until chopped.
3. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
4. Roll the mixture into 30 even balls and mould into round discs 2.5cm/1 inch in diameter using a small ring mould as a guide.
5. Place the biscuits on a Teflex or non-stick sheet on a dehydrator tray and dry on 48ºC/118ºF for 12 hours, turning over after 6 hours. Alternatively, dry in an oven heated on its lowest setting.
6. Cool and store in a sealed jar for up to 10 days.
Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas
“It’s healthy because chickpeas are high in protein and fibre. Most kids and adults love chickpeas and this is a great crunchy and healthy family-friendly snack idea using the humble can of chickpeas that most of us have lying around in the pantry! To flavour the chickpeas you can use red chilli, ground cumin, garam masala, turmeric, black/white pepper, rosemary etc. I used our brand new Indian Spicebox Tandoori blend!
– 1 can chickpeas
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2-1 tsp salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
– 1/2 tsp spice mix of choice (see note above)
1. Prepare the chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans). Drain out the can and wash the chickpeas thoroughly in water, removing the skins and rinsing well. I like to soak the chickpeas in water for 10 minutes or so. Then drain and completely dry out the chickpeas either using 2 thick paper towels or kitchen towels. Roll and replace the towels. Let the chickpeas sit out on a single layer till they are totally dry
2. Oil and season. Place the chickpeas in a bowl add in 1 tbsp high quality olive oil and 1/2 to 1tsp salt.
3. Mix the chickpeas, oil and salt together and place the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking tray lined with foil or baking paper
4. Place the chickpeas into a pre-heated oven (at 180 Celsius) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crisp!
5. Remove from tray and season with the additional optional spices. Enjoy this healthy snack while it’s nice and warm! These crunchy chickpeas can also be added into salads and onto soups as healthy croutons!
Homemade Kefir Ice Cream
If you can get your hands on some kefir grains and start culturing your own probiotic-rich kefir milk, this recipe for gut-friendly kefir ice cream is an easy way to get kids to eat their good bacteria! It makes a refreshing afternoon snack when it’s hot outside, too. We bet you mamas will be licking the bowl clean 😉
– 1 cup full fat fresh milk
– 2 cups frozen fruit (bananas, raspberries or/and mango are good)
– 2 Tbsp honey (leave out if your child is under 12 months)
– 1 tsp milk kefir grains
1. First make your kefir by putting the milk kefir grains in the full-fat fresh (not UHT) milk. Cover the jar with a muslin cloth and ferment for 12 -24 hours on your counter top until the mixture has thickened like a yogurt (if you leave it too long it will separate into whey and curd – you can still use but better to make before this happens).
2. Remove the milk kefir grains saving grains for next batch of kefir milk.
3. Blend the fermented kefir milk with the other ingredients until smooth (taste for sweetness – it should be a little sweeter than normal as sweetness is reduced by freezing).
4. Eat immediately for very soft serve ice cream or place mixture in pre-chilled container in freezer for a few hours and then re-blend to soften ice crystals and serve. These work great as ice pops too or style as a smoothie bowl with lots of fresh fruit toppings (as pictured).
Healthy Snickers Energy Bar Recipe
Healthy Snickers Energy Bar by Sam Rice, author of The Midlife Kitchen @midlifekitchen
“Who doesn’t love a Snickers bar? But they are so packed with sugar it’s not something we want our kids to be eating on regular basis. So instead, I have borrowed the flavours (peanuts, salt, chocolate) to create what I think might be the most delicious, healthy snack bar ever. And the best thing – you don’t even need to cook them!”
– 75g roasted, salted peanuts
– 50g raw cashews, unsalted
– 100g oats
– 8 Medjool dates, pitted
– 10g sunflower seeds
– 10g chia seeds
– 2 tbsp coconut oil
– 2 tbsp date syrup (or susbtutue honey/maple syrup)
– 75g good quality chocolate chips
1. Roughly chop half the nuts and set aside.
2. Put the rest of the nuts and the oats into a blender or food processor and blitz to a breadcrumb texture. Add the dates and blend until fairly uniform in appearance (no big lumps).
3. Place the mixture in a large bowl, add the chopped nuts and seeds and combine well.
4. In a small saucepan gently heat the oil and date syrup until runny and then pour into the nut mixture. Combine well and leave to cool (can pop in the fridge to speed this up).
5. Now add the chocolate chips and stir through to distribute evenly.
6. Press into a tin (15x20cm approx) lined with a strip of baking parchment, leave the ends poking out so it’s easier to lift out of the tin later. Place the tray in the freezer for an hour or so to firm up, remove from the tin and cut intobite sized squares. Place the squares in a Tupperware, with baking parchment between the layers to stop them sticking together. These are best eaten straight from the freezer.
Tahini Cookies: No Oil/Fat Recipe
Tahini Cookies by Bonnie Rogers, Lifestyle and habits coach, The Nutrition Clinic
“We love these healthy cookies because they don’t use any sugar besides the banana- we find a lot of recipes, although ‘healthy’ options rely on a lot of dates, raisins, coconut sugar or maple syrup. My baby and husband love these and because of the good fats profile – it’s a great snack that actually keeps us full.”
– ½ cup tahini
– ½ cup unsalted almond or cashew butter
– 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons warm water, blend and set for 15 minutes
– ½ mashed banana
– 2 tablespoons coconut flour
– ¾ teaspoon baking soda
– ¼ teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 180 and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
2. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. (Perfect for kids).
3. The mixture will be sticky and firm- roll into balls and place on the baking sheet.
4. Flatten with your hand or a spoon to make a round cookie shape.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, and cool for 10-15 minutes.
Raw Veg/fruit and Nut Butter
This is not really a recipe, more an idea for healthy munchies. Cut raw vegetables or fruit up (apples and cucumber work well, or try red pepper, carrots and pear etc) and serve with a tablespoon of peanut or any nut butter. The raw fruit or veg provides a tasty crunch, lots of vitamins and nutrients, and a way of scooping up the nut butter which has protein and healthy fats to keep you full until your next meal. If your kids need a little extra, serve the nut butter on crackers with fruit and veg sticks.
Sugar-Free Spelt Banana Loaf: Zero Sugar Recipe
Sugar free spelt banana loaf by Sassy Mama Editor Beate @flavourforager
“This is a super healthy banana bread for the whole family. As there’s zero sugar or honey involved, the sweetness hinges on the ripeness of your banana (the spottier and riper the better). If your kids aren’t used to unsweet “cakes” you can always add in 1-2 tablespoons of honey/maple syrup or leave out and see if they’ll love it regardless (you can always drizzle some sweetener on it at serving if needed). This loaf somehow tastes sweeter the next day – a lovely healthy snack or even breakfast slice.”
– 125g unsalted butter (soft at room temperature)
– 3 very ripe bananas mashed (plus 1 extra, to decorate )
– 1 1 ⁄2 cups desiccated coconut
– 1 cup spelt flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– shake of turmeric powder (optional)
– a pinch salt
– 3 eggs, whisked
– 1 cup chopped walnuts
– quick shake of ground cinnamon to garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix butter, mashed banana, dessicated coconut, spelt flour, baking soda, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and eggs.
3. Stir until combined then add in walnuts and mix.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared loaf tin. Peel and cut decorative banana in half lengthways and place top of loaf. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
5. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Turkish pastry (Gozleme)
These Turkish pastries submitted by food explorer Karni Tomer from Wok N Stroll are so easy to make – there’s no need for yeast to rise or baking powder. Karni holds food tours in Singapore and also online cooking classes via Zoom.
– 1 cup Greek yogurt
– 1.5- 2 cups of plain flour or fine spelt flour.
– Chopped fresh or frozen spinach
– One chopped onion
– Feta cheese
– Mozzarella cheese
1. Just mix together yogurt and flour until you have an elastic dough. if it’s still wet or sticky add some flour.
2. Next cook the stuffing. Fry the chopped onion in olive oil, add the spinach and fry until soft. Season and then place in a bowl, let it cool. Add some grated mozzarella, feta and salt and pepper. Check the stuffing and see if you need to add more flavours.
3. Cut the dough into 4-5 balls.
2. Roll each ball to a flat circle, try to make it thin.
3. Place some of the stuffing and fold the circle to a crescent shape.
4. Fry in a frying pan with olive oil. Cook until brown from each side.
Anzac Cookies Recipe
Anzac cookies recipe by cookery writer Ghillie James @ghilliejameswriter and author of The Little Growers Cookbook, dedicated to getting kids outdoors growing veggies sustainably and using them to create some delicious recipes!
“Freshly baked ANZAC cookies are a family favourite. This version is healthier than traditional recipes as it uses raw honey (higher in nutrients) and coconut sugar in place of the refined sugars that recipes often contain. The pumpkin and chia seeds add an energy boost and a delicious crunch. Oats are extremely filling so your kids will be less likely to tap you on the shoulder asking for the next snack!”
– 125g butter
– 2 tbsp raw honey
– 100g coconut sugar
– 1tsp bicarbonate of Soda
– 150g spelt or plain flour
– 100g quick cook oats
– 50g shredded coconut
– 2 tsp Chia seeds
– 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1. Melt the butter, honey and sugar in a pan.
2. Mix bicarbonate of soda with 2 tbsp water and stir into the butter mixture.
3. Mix with the spelt or plain flour, oats, shredded coconut, Chia seeds and pumpkin seeds.
4. Roll into balls (about 1 tbsp mixture each). Then place balls on baking paper and press down with a fork.
5. Bake at 160c/140 fan for 15-20 mins or till golden.
Notes: If you like you can add chopped almonds in place of the pumpkin seeds. For a special treat dip the biccies in dark chocolate before chilling.
Popping popcorn recipe
Pop your own popcorn from kernels – the kids will love seeing this in action especially if you have a clear lid! Flavour your popcorn with a little dash of salt or for sweet, cinnamon and honey. This is a much healthier alternative to crisps or the microwave version.
– 3 tablespoons coconut oil
– 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
– 1 Tbsp or more (to taste) of butter (optional)
– salt or cinnamon to flavour
1. Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan on medium high heat until hot. (Check by putting 3 popcorn kernels into the oil and if they pop it’s ready to go).
2. Add rest of popcorn kernels so they fill pan bottom in an even layer. Cover the pot, remove from heat and wait 30 seconds. (This kernels to reach a near-popping temperature all at once).
3. Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn will start popping all at once. Turn off the heat when the popcorn slows to several seconds between pops. Flavour with butter and slat or cinnamon.
Cashews make a delicious snack – they are so moreish though that you’ll have to watch out for third and fourth helpings! Cashews are rich in vitamin E and a good source of minerals, particularly magnesium and zinc. Cashews are high in fat, but rank highly for their healthy unsaturated fats.
1. Soak raw cashews in water with a teaspoon of salt for an hour.
2. Pre-heat oven to 180°. Drain and spread cashews onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, remove to flip and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.