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Most kids enjoy yogurt, and it’s really good for them. Thus, it seems natural to use yogurt in healthy kids snacks for picky eaters.
As a parent, I know the struggle of keeping snacks exciting, yet healthy. My kids love yogurt and fruit, so most of these snack ideas combine both to boost the appeal to picky eaters, without lots of sugar.
Hopefully, you can add some of these ideas to your repertoire.
Health Benefits of Yogurt for Kids
Yogurt has so many health benefits for kids. Thus, it’s a staple at our house. My daughter absolutely loves eating yogurt daily, and my sons eat it regularly as well. So, incorporating yogurt into healthy kids snacks for picky eaters was a given.
Probiotics in Yogurt
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that are alive when you consume them. You’ve probably heard of the term by now, particularly if you keep up with health news. Kids can definitely benefit from eating probiotic-rich foods.
Some sources blame the modern diet for children’s poor gut health today versus in the past. Gut health has been linked to mood and behavior as well, so you may want to consider your child’s diet and gut health if you question your child’s behavior.
Even though our kids already eat pretty healthy, we are never opposed to increasing probiotic-rich foods in their diet.
Protein in Yogurt
Yogurt is a great source of protein. So many packaged kid snacks lack protein. That’s why I’m pretty liberal with allowing my kids to eat yogurt.
Eating one cup of Greek yogurt is equivalent to about 3 eggs in protein. Most kids won’t want to eat 3 eggs at a time, but will eat a cup of yogurt.
Calcium in Yogurt
Since kids are projected to need anywhere from 700 mg to 1,300 mg of calcium a day, incorporating yogurt is a great way to include calcium in healthy kids snacks for picky eaters.
Benefits of Using Plain Yogurt for Healthy Kids Snacks
We have always consumed plain, organic whole milk yogurt. Unfortunately, most flavored yogurts sold in stores have way too much sugar, including ones typically marketed for kids. With plain yogurt, you always have the option of adding a little sweetener if needed, and to keep the quantity under your control. (See our article, “What is the best alternative sweetener?“)
Thus, whether you are eating yogurt on its own or using it to make these healthy kids snacks for picky eaters, you should either buy low-sugar or plain yogurt.
As for the fat content in yogurt, unless you have a specific reason for restricting your child to reduced-fat or fat-free yogurt, whole milk yogurt has its benefits. Unfortunately, because of the past dietary fad of low-fat/fat-free diets, whole milk yogurt is less common in stores, but is easier to find in the plain, unflavored varieties.
(We tend to make our own organic whole milk Greek yogurt. If you are interested in making your own yogurt, you can read our Beginner’s Guide: Making Amazing Yogurt in the Instant Pot.).
5 Healthy Kids Snacks for Picky Eaters
#1: Yogurt Bark
- 2 cups of low-sugar flavored or plain yogurt
- Your choice of small fruits or fruit chunks, nuts, seeds, or coconut shreds
- Optional: stevia or other sweetener and almond/vanilla extract to add to plain yogurt
- If using plain yogurt, you can first lightly sweeten the yogurt and add vanilla or almond extract to taste.
- Pour the yogurt onto a baking sheet lined with parchment/wax paper and spread it around until the thickness is about ¼ inch.
- Place your fruit or other toppings onto the yogurt.
- Freeze the yogurt sheet for 2 hours, or until hard.
- Break up the pieces and serve. Store any leftovers in the freezer.
#2: Yogurt-Covered Fruit Bites
- Low-sugar flavored yogurt or plain yogurt
- Your choice of small fruits or fruit chunks (berries, bananas, and grapes work well)
- Optional: stevia or other sweetener and vanilla/almond extract to add to plain yogurt
- Optional: dark chocolate (to melt and drizzle)
- Put yogurt in a bowl that you can easily dip fruit into. If using plain yogurt, you can lightly sweeten the yogurt and add vanilla or almond extract to taste.
- Dip small fruits or fruit chunks into the yogurt. You can either use a toothpick or skewer to dunk the fruit or at a time, or submerse multiple fruit pieces at a time to then pick out.
- Place the dipped fruit onto a baking sheet lined with parchment/wax paper.
- Freeze the fruit for 2 hours, or until the yogurt shell is hard.
- If you’re feeling indulgent, you can drizzle a little bit of melted dark chocolate over the fruits and then put them back into the freezer until the chocolate hardens.
- Enjoy! Store any leftovers in the freezer.
Note: You can pour the yogurt and put fruit pieces into fun, shallow shape molds instead.
#3: Yogurt Nut Butter Fruit Dip
Yield: about 1 cup of dip
- ½ cup of plain yogurt (preferably Greek and not too tangy)
- ½ cup of peanut butter (preferably creamy)
- ½ tsp. of cinnamon
- ½ tsp. of vanilla extract
- Optional: 1 tsp. of maple syrup or honey, or alternative sweetener to taste (e.g. stevia drops)
- Thoroughly mix yogurt and peanut butter together in a small mixing bowl.
- Mix in the vanilla extract, then the cinnamon.
- Mix in your sweetener choice to taste.
- Enjoy as a dip for apples or other fruits. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
#4: Frozen Yogurt Pops
Yield: about 2 cups of popsicle liquid – adjust according to your total popsicle mold volume
- 1 cup of plain yogurt
- ½ cup of heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup of fresh or frozen fruits (frozen cherries or berries work well)
- 1 tsp. of lemon juice
- Optional: stevia drops or other sweetener
- Blend yogurt and heavy whipping cream in blender or food processor.
- Add fruits and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. You can leave unblended fruit chunks too or instead.
- If the mixture is not sweet enough for your liking, feel free to add natural or alternative sweeteners.
- Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze for 4 hours, or until fully frozen. Enjoy!
#5: Yogurt Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
Yield: about 2 cups of dip
- ½ cup of plain yogurt (preferably Greek)
- ½ cup of full-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup of fresh or thawed frozen fruit (strawberries, mango, or pineapple work well)
- Optional: honey or alternative sweetener
- Add your yogurt and cream cheese to a food processor (or blender). Blend.
- Add your fruit and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy as a dip for your favorite fruits! Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Note: If you don’t want fruit-flavored dip, you can omit the fruit and add 1 tsp. of honey, a couple drops of stevia, or a different sweetener instead.
Please Comment on Our 5 Healthy Kids Snacks for Picky Eaters
Since our family makes and eats so much yogurt, I geared these 5 snacks around using yogurt. If you have other healthy kids snacks for picky eaters that you would like to share, I would love to hear them! Also, if you try any of these recipes or have questions about them, please comment below.