17 Delicious Vegan Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Love
- Vegan snacks provide a variety of nutrients that are needed for healthy growth and development.
- Be careful to choose vegan snacks that use real ingredients you can pronounce.
- Items like trail mix or dried fruit will stay fresh longer and can be made for a few weeks at a time.
Several times in my life, I’ve switched to vegan eating to improve my health. Each time I’ve done this, I’ve had more energy and felt great. Fruits and vegetables are truly amazing food sources that can help fuel our bodies.
For this reason, I’m always on the hunt for ways to incorporate more vegan foods into my kids’ diets. I’ll often do green smoothies for breakfast, chickpea pasta for lunch, or sweet potato bowls for dinner. However, snacks have always had me a little baffled.
My kids grow tired of having plain fruits, vegetables, or nuts for snacks. I need to offer vegan, organic snacks that are creative and keep them from complaining. Through the years, I’ve compiled a list of snacks that are filling, vegan, and keep my kids happy.
If you’re looking for vegan snack ideas that will please picky eaters, you’re in the right place. These vegan snacks for kids are full of nutrition and fun to eat. Move over boring vegetables—these fun vegan snack ideas are here to stay.
What Makes a Kids Snack Vegan?
If you’re new to vegan eating, you’ll find there are several types of vegetarian diets. Which diet you follow will determine what you can eat. These types of diets include:
- Lacto-vegetarian (Excludes animal products but allows dairy.)
- Ovo-vegetarian (Excludes animal products but allows eggs.)
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian (Excludes animal products but allows dairy and eggs.)
- Pescatarian (Excludes animal products but allows fish.)
- Vegan (Excludes all animal products.)
With these definitions in mind, a vegan snack will exclude all animal products. This includes dairy, eggs, and fish.
Are Vegan Snacks Good for Kids?
Vegan snacks have the ability to be very nutritious. If parents are careful about choosing the right vegan snacks, they can provide their children with a large variety of vitamins and minerals during snack time.
Do Vegan Snack Options Help Support Healthy Growth and Development in Kids?
Vegan snacks do provide a variety of nutrients that are needed for healthy growth and development. However, there are some nutrients that are harder to get from plant sources.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics11. Patel, L., & Millstein, A.. Plant-Based Diets: Are They Good for Kids? HealthyChildren.org. 2020. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Plant-Based-Diets.aspx, a vegan diet will need to maximize the sources of B12, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin D. If you include a variety of sources for each nutrient, your child can safely continue a vegan diet.
How Do I Choose the Healthiest Vegan Snacks?
To choose the healthiest vegan snacks, include a variety of whole foods. Though processed vegan snacks are convenient, they are often high in calories and low in nutrients. Fresh is always best.
Including all the colors of the rainbow in each week’s snacks will also ensure your child is getting enough nutrients. Aim for a variety of colors and textures from plant-based foods. Finding vegan protein snacks for kids will help keep them full until the next meal.
Health Benefits of Vegan Snacks for Kids
Vegan snacks can offer a variety of benefits for your child’s health. Especially if they follow a plant-based diet for all or the majority of their meals.
A 2013 nutritional update22. Tuso, P. J., Ismail, M. H., Ha, B. P., & Bartolotto, C.. Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. The Permanente Journal. 2013;17(2), 61–66. https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/12-085 published in The Permanente Journal by Tuso MD, et al., found that benefits for those eating a plant-based diet include “reducing the number of medications they take to treat a variety of chronic conditions, lower body weight, decreased risk of cancer, and a reduction in their risk of death from ischemic heart disease.”
How to Prepare Vegan Snacks for Kids at Home
If you want your kids to have fresh, easy vegan snacks at home, preparation is key. I like to prepare snacks at the beginning of the week. I then place the snacks in a basket in the pantry or fridge.
When kids know where to find their snacks, they can easily access them when they’re hungry. This simple trick keeps my kids from standing in front of the pantry and begging for chips all day.
What Are Some Important Things to Consider When Preparing Vegan Snacks for Kids?
Some fresh, vegan snacks will go bad quickly. You’ll want to prepare snacks for one week at a time so you don’t end up with waste. Items like trail mix or dried fruit will stay fresh longer and can be made for a few weeks at a time.
What if My Child Has Food Allergies?
Nut allergies and other food allergies in kids are common. Thankfully there are a variety of healthy alternatives. Here are my favorite substitutes for common allergens:
- Wheat bread: Rice flour bread or other gluten-free bread
- Wheat pasta: Lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, or rice pasta
- Peanut butter: Sunflower butter or WowButter
- Soy milk: Almond milk or oat milk
17 Yummy and Healthy Vegan Snacks for Kids
Brown Rice Cake Animal Faces
Kids will love creating happy animal faces during snack time. Simply serve them brown rice cakes smeared with the nut butter of your choice. Place sliced fruits on the side for them to use as the eyes, nose, ears, etc.
Fresh Berries and Coconut Whipped Cream
Coconut whipped cream is easy to make and a healthier alternative to store-bought whipped cream. Find your favorite recipe and feel free to use something like maple syrup to sweeten it with instead of sugar. Serve it alongside sliced strawberries or whole raspberries for a healthy snack your kids will think is a dessert.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seed pudding is a popular and delicious snack among vegans. Using a base of dairy-free milk and chia seeds, you can add in flavors to create a variety of pudding flavors your child will love. My kids especially like lemon vanilla chia seed pudding.
Hummus and Carrot Sticks
Hummus is a popular food in vegan diets. Pair it with carrot sticks and other vegetables for a filling afternoon snack that will fuel your child’s body. We like it with whole-grain crackers as well.
Cookie Apple Slices
Okay, they aren’t actually cookies. But your child will love decorating circle apple slices topped with nut butter and a small handful of treats. A few topping ideas include a few raisins, chocolate chips, or sprinkles.
Kale Chips and Dip
Kids love to dip food in condiments. Make kale chips more exciting by serving them with a dipping sauce like ranch dressing, hummus, or seasoned olive oil. Let your child try a variety of dips to see which they like best.
Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas baked in the oven turn out delicious. You’ll find a variety of recipes online that offer flavor variations. Chickpeas are a great source of iron and will keep your child full.
Ants on a Log
This is a classic choice for after-school snacking. Take a piece of celery, smear the inside with sunflower seed butter or nut butter, and top it with raisins in a line. Your little ones will think it’s equally fun and delicious.
Trail mix is a great snack that you can make ahead. This junk food alternative provides protein and essential nutrients with a bit of something sweet. Try mixing together items like almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut shreds, dried fruits, peanuts, or chocolate chips.
Two Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies will leave kids happy and full without loading them down with sugar. Using just mashed bananas and oatmeal, you can make this delicious treat in no time. There are plenty of vegan recipes for these cookies that include add-ins as well.
Coconut Milk Popsicles
I’ll often make a batch of popsicles for a cool afternoon snack. Using just a can of coconut milk, maple syrup, and fresh fruit, you can make a variety of healthy popsicles. This is also an easy snack for kids to make with you in the kitchen.
Blend dairy-free milk with frozen strawberries in a blender. Add in peanut butter for protein or banana slices to make it sweeter. You can also try adding hemp seeds or flax seeds for more nutrients.
Veggie Pinwheel Sandwiches
Make these fun vegan sandwiches by spreading hummus or vegan cream cheese on a whole wheat tortilla. Fill the tortilla with fresh vegetables like tomato slices, cucumber sticks, or baby carrot shreds, and add spices like everything bagel seasoning. After rolling, slice the wrap so you have perfectly round sandwich pinwheels.
Guacamole and Tortilla Chips
Guacamole is a delicious dip that tastes great with blue corn tortilla chips. As an alternative to potato chips, I like to offer this to my kids when they want something crunchy. Avocados are a powerful food for your child’s diet and are rich in many nutrients.
Coconut Date Balls
Healthy snacks don’t have to taste bland. This snack combines nuts, dates, and coconut shreds in a food processor. When all ingredients are mixed, you roll them into balls and then pop them in your mouth.
Make a simple quesadilla using a whole wheat tortilla and vegan cheese. Slice it into small pieces so they are just big enough for a snack. My kids eat these with salsa or guacamole.
Vegan Snack Board
When you’ve run out of creative snack ideas, try this: Cut up whatever fruits and vegetables you have in the fridge and arrange them on a try. Add in dips, whole-grain crackers, olives, and nuts, and watch your kids dig in.
What are some ways to involve my child in the preparation and selection of vegan snacks?
As your child is learning about food that’s healthy, it’s important to get them involved in the kitchen. Have your child assemble a salad with pre-chopped veggies or pour almond milk into the blender. You might even let them snack on extra ingredients as you cook.
Your child is never too young to start helping in the cooking process. Each time you allow them to play with and taste new foods, you’re helping them develop a healthy relationship with food.
Are there any concerns about providing packaged or processed vegan snacks to kids?
Processed and packaged vegan snacks save time in the kitchen. However, they aren’t always the best choice. Be careful to choose vegan snacks that use real ingredients you can pronounce.
If there are many ingredients that are hard to pronounce, the snack is likely full of preservatives. Simple is always better. Find bars and crackers that have only a few ingredients and provide a variety of nutritional benefits.
- Patel, L., & Millstein, A. (2020, June 2). Plant-Based Diets: Are They Good for Kids? HealthyChildren.org. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Plant-Based-Diets.aspx
- Tuso, P. J., Ismail, M. H., Ha, B. P., & Bartolotto, C. (2013). Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets. The Permanente Journal, 17(2), 61–66. https://doi.org/10.7812/tpp/12-085
Feeding and Eating
These No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Cups make a great after-school snack or after-dinner treat! They’re easy to make ahead of time and have ready to grab in the fridge.