5 Vegan Snack Recipes Your Kids Will Actually Eat
Like most kids, my children love a good snack. And this has only intensified in the time of the pandemic when boredom is high, time is plentiful and the kitchen is within walking distance. I don’t totally limit what my kids consume—they know where the snacks are and are free to indulge within reason— but I do try to make sure that our supply is stocked with healthy choices. And making our own snacks is a full-proof way to ensure this. (It also helps occupy them for a solid half-hour, which is worth whatever mess can, and does, occur in the process.)
Homemade snacks generally need to check two boxes: They must be easy to make (no lengthy ingredient lists or special skills necessary) and ready to eat within a few hour's time. The following five recipes satisfy both of these requirements and they’re just hearty enough to keep your kids full for a couple of hours—before they start asking what’s for dinner.
Chickpea Cookie Dough Hummus
This dip, adapted from the blog Chocolate Covered Katie comes together in five minutes and really tastes like cookie dough! The chickpeas up the protein content considerably more than a traditional cookie, and the brown sugar adds enough sweetness to mask the bean taste.
- 1 ½ cups of chickpeas (you can use canned beans, but make sure you rinse them really well)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Just over 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup almond or other nut butter
- 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Add all ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, to a food processor and mix until very smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Serve with fruit, graham crackers, or just eat with a spoon.
Triple Berry Popsicles
I don’t know about you all, but we go through A LOT of boxes of popsicles in the summer. But making your own is so easy—and entertaining. With berries in abundance right now, this recipe from My Recipes.com was perfect for us. Plus, it calls for simple syrup and I’ve adjusted the recipe so that you’ll have leftovers to add to a cocktail for yourself later. Everyone gets a treat!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 cup raspberries
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- In a blender, puree the berries and lemon juice until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup of the simple syrup.
- Pour puree into popsicle molds, add sticks, and freeze until solid, at least four hours.
Apple and Nut Butter Nachos
Nachos don’t typically come to mind when browsing for healthy snack ideas, but this fruit-based version, from the blog, Begin With Nutrition, is mom-approved. Plus, it’s completely customizable, so feel free to let your kids choose their favorite toppings.
- 2 apples, sliced
- ¼ cup nut butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- 3 tablespoons mini vegan chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- Arrange the apple slices on a plate. Drizzle with nut butter, and then add toppings.
Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread
Who wasn’t baking banana bread during the pandemic? This version, from the blog Two Peas and Their Pod, has a cake-like texture, which kids will love. It’s also easy enough for them to take with you, or even on their own.
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 cup gluten-Free all-purpose baking flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 large ripe bananas about 1 1/2 cups mashed
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed meal and water. Let sit for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork. Add the melted coconut oil and stir until combined. Add in the coconut sugar, flaxseed mixture, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, don’t over mix. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of chocolate chips over the top of the bread. Bake for 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire cooling rack. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the bread and carefully remove it from the pan. Let the bread cool on the wire cooling rack. Cut into slices and serve.
Tofu Pizza Sticks
While tofu is not generally a food kids clamor for, everything tastes better with a little sauce and “cheese” on it. These pizza sticks, from the blog Veg Annie, are no exception.
- 1 block of extra firm tofu
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- A pinch of dried basil
- Drain tofu: wrap a block of tofu in a paper towel. Place a cutting board on top of the block of tofu. Apply even pressure to the top of the block by placing a cookbook (or something of equal weight) on top of the cutting board. Let tofu drain for about 15-20 minutes.
- While tofu is draining, preheat oven to 425F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut tofu into 16 thin pieces, and place on a baking sheet. Spread 1 teaspoon of marinara sauce on each pizza stick. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of nutritional yeast on each stick. Sprinkle basil over the tofu sticks, to taste. Bake for 27-30 min.