Sweet tooths are a fact of life.
Which is why it’s important for parents to have a wide selection of sweet treats for their kids to choose from to deal with those cravings as they come.
But when we talk about sweets, don’t think we mean snacks that are loaded with sugar. No no.
We’re talking more about sweets that have the taste of sugar-y goodness without any of the health consequences.
There’s a difference.
It is for this reason we’ve put together a list of 6 sweet snacks that both your kids will enjoy for their rich, deceptively (sweet) taste without the overabundance of processed sugars.
We’ve tried to include a variety of delicious snacks that will appeal to the most stubborn of palettes.
But if you have any personal favorites, feel free to share in the comments below.
1. PEANUT BUTTER SUBSTITUTES
Lots of kids love the rich taste of peanut butter.
Unfortunately, the PB of PB & J, at least the common shelf varieties tend to have a lot of added sugars.
But thankfully, there are several alternatives that offer much more nutritional benefits to your kids.
These include everything from nut butters, such as almond, coconut, and hazelnut-based peanut butters, to seed butters; which are made from cashew, pumpkin, tahini, etc.
As for snacks, anything peanut butter can do, alternative butters can do, as well.
Tahini, for example, which is a sauce made from toasted ground sesame, pairs well with unsalted crackers. Either nut or seed butter pairs well with jam, as well.
Note also that on average, these alternatives also tend to have a decent chunk of protein, as well.
2. FRUIT PARFAIT YOGURT
Image Source: Wholefood Bellies
It’s hard to resist the sweet taste of fruits.
That’s because they are full of natural sugars, which make them every bit as addictive as they are good for you.
But make no mistake about it, fruits are an excellent addition to every diet; they are full of Vitamin C, dietary fiber (which aids in digestion), Folic Acid, etc.
Pairing fruit with layers of greek yogurt, coconut flakes, oats, dried fruits or nuts, will be your kid’s new go-to cold serve in no time.
Image Source: Nerdy Mamma
Smoothies are one of the easiest grabs there are with kids. Whether you have a toddler or a teen, these creamy delights will win over the most stubborn of them.
The best thing is you can add virtually an unlimited amount of nutrition via fruits, milk (regular or substitute types), nuts, etc. For example, Flax or Hemp Seeds, can be added in for a boost in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
You can also throw in the previously mentioned condiments - nut or seed butters, for additional flavor and health benefits.
4. ALMOND DATE TRUFFLES
Image Source: Sprouted Kitchen
Like vegan energy balls, these homemade treats use a variety of fresh ingredients that will have you forgetting about the snack aisle of your grocery store.
The key nutrient in this snack comes from the protein from the almond butter. It is used as a replacement for the commonly processed elements in chocolate truffles; making this treat just a bit more wholesome.
- Almond butter
- Shredded Coconut
- Natural Cocoa Powder
- Sea Salt
- Toasted Almonds
- In the food processor add vanilla and dates. Run in the processor till a chunky paste is formed.
- Add the butter and continue the running for some minutes.
- Add sea salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder & coconut and pulse for a few more minutes.
- Pulsing should stop when the mixture appears tad crumbly.
- Press the mixture between fingers to feel the texture of mixture. If the mixture is too dry, a splash of water or almond butter should be added.
- For the mixture being very wet, more shredded coconut should be added. Use a tablespoon to heap mixture to your palms.
- Roll up to form a ball.
- Continue heaping and rolling to form balls when ensuring to set them apart.
- Chopped almonds are then put in a bowl. Each truffle is rolled in the bowl of chopped almond ensuring to apply some pressure to ensure the almonds stick to the surface.
- The almond truffles are then put inside a refrigerator for a minimum of one hour. You can keep the truffles covered for several weeks in your refrigerator so long as they remain covered.
5. ACAI BOWL
Image Source: Bakerita
Time and again this trendy favorite has shown us that you don’t need ice cream or banana splits or sundaes to satisfy your cravings for sweets. That is, if you know how to get creative.
Acai bowls are an antioxidant-rich dessert, full of the nutritional fruit: acai berries.
There are many ways you can make an acai bowl. It is a vegetarian cuisine which can be taken as a snack or even as breakfast. The most common toppings include coconut shavings, dark chocolate chips, almonds, almonds, blueberries or blackberries and more.
They can easily be adjusted for vegan and gluten-free dietary lifestyles, as well.
PREPARATION for the Acai Puree (One method):
- Break the frozen acai puree pack in several places before putting in a blender.
- Peel the banana and put in a freezer for about two hours. This ensures an ice-creamy feel.
- All ingredients are added in a blender then left to blend for a smooth appearance. Garnishing is done based on personal preferences (Toppings such as fruits, nuts, etc).
6. PALEO BAKLAVA BARS
Image Source: Cotter Crunch
For the paleo version of Baklava, almond meal and nuts stand in as replacements for the dough of the normal buttery phyllo. The result is a snack that is more iron-rich than the original; deriving its benefits from walnuts.
There are also low sugar and carb levels which make the bars a great breakfast treat and snack for anytime during the day. The bars are moist and yummy and can be consumed by vegetarians.
INGREDIENTS for this paleo version are:
- Almond Meal
- Walnuts or Pecans
- Coconut Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Tahini or Almond Butter
- Coconut Flour
- Vanilla Extract
Chop the nuts to be used or purchase pre-chopped nuts.
- Use a pan or a skillet to toast the chopped nuts using coconut oil, salt and almond meal for a minimum of two minutes and a maximum of three minutes.
- You can just wait until the nuts are lightly coated.
- Mix with honey until bubbling occurs then remove the melted chocolate from the heat for it to cool for five minutes.
- Roasted nuts are then placed in a plate or bowl and mixed in the tahini or almond butter, coconut flour and vanilla extract.
- For cooling, spreading and flattening is done on an eight by eight dish.
- Refrigerate for thirty minutes.
- Square slices are made then each square is wrapped in a plastic foil or wrap so that it hold on to the texture.
- When toasting the nuts, coconut or other fruits (dried) can be added. Pistachios can replace hazelnuts but the pistachios are poor in binding, thus may not hold together the bars well.
Kids love sweets.
Just like making sure your kids know about proper dental hygiene, it’s also important to make sure they have access to the healthiest types of sweets for when they have their biggest cravings.
If you can’t always provide them with sugar free treats, limit the amount of refined sugars in their snacks by providing healthy twists to old favorites.
Getting your kids hooked on healthy snacks can have positive repercussions down the line when their long-term health conscious behaviors start to kick in. Curb these habits now by giving them access to healthy foods that also taste delicious.
Let them see how flavorful healthy foods can be so they’ll want to choose the healthier versions on their own.
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