Ask just about any vegan parent about the challenges they face with their kids’ everyday nutrition, and the subject of vegan snacks for kids is bound to come up.
It’s tricky enough to put together a daily menu of vegan breakfasts, lunches and dinners that’s both nutritious and appealing to picky eaters. Add to this the between-the-meal snacks, and we parents often feel like we’re putting together a never-ending food-themed puzzle.
Thankfully, finding the perfect vegan snacks doesn’t have to be complicated. My list of 40 kid-friendly vegan snacks below offers a variety of snack ideas and recipes that are both delicious and healthy. Even the pickiest of eaters will find something to their taste!
Looking for vegan food ideas for kids who are even younger? See my post about 7 homemade vegan baby food recipes that are appropriate for kids from 6 months and up.
And if you’re new to vegan parenting and aren’t sure where to start, check out my list of 20+ vegan parenting resources for both parents and kids, from nutrition guides and books to helpful websites, forums, etc.
40 Vegan Snacks for Kids
1. Hummus and pita triangles/bagel chips/fresh vegetables. This versatile chickpea-based dip is packed with flavor, yet it’s mild enough to appeal to kids. It’s also easy to make at home! If your child isn’t a fan of garlic or some other ingredient in hummus, just skip it when making it at home.
2. Hummus “quesadillas”. No need for cheese when making this plant protein-packed snack! Spread some hummus on a small tortilla, then put another tortilla on top and cut it up into triangles or quarters. If your kid doesn’t mind green vegetables, feel free to sneak in some spinach or spring mix salad greens between the tortillas.
3. Salsa with pita triangles/bagel chips. Salsa makes a refreshing dip any time of the year, but in summer it can be especially amazing when made with ripe fresh tomatoes. Make your own salsa at home to control the level of spiciness (most kids will appreciate leaving jalapeños out), or buy your favorite brand at the store.
4. Guacamole with tortilla chips or fresh vegetables. Kids can be finicky about hummus and salsa, but guacamole is much more likely to be a hit. Once again, making it at home will let you skip ingredients that your kid doesn’t like. Pressed for time? See my easy guacamole recipe that takes only about 5 minutes to make.
5. Mini-nachos made with tortilla chips and various toppings like guacamole, salsa, black beans, chili, shredded vegan cheese or cheese sauce, etc. Spread a handful or two of tortilla chips on a plate, then add any toppings you have on hand. If using a meltable cheese like Daiya or Follow Your Heart shreds, feel free to pop the nachos into a microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese.
6. Chickpea salad pinwheels. These are really easy to make – and your kids can help! Make chickpea salad (see my easy chickpea salad sandwich recipe for reference), then spread some of it on a large tortilla. Toss some greens like spinach or arugula on top, then roll up the tortilla tightly. Pin the roll with toothpicks at 2 inch intervals, then cut it into individual rolls. These were a big hit with adults too at my vegan baby shower.
7. Hummus and veggie pinwheels. Make these the same way as chickpea salad pinwheels above, spreading a layer of hummus on a large tortilla and tossing some sliced veggies on top – think avocado, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc. Alternatively, slice a zucchini very thinly lengthwise, spread hummus on each slice, and roll it up.
8. Roasted seasoned chickpeas. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas, spray them with cooking oil, then add whatever seasonings your kid enjoys (cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano, garlic powder, etc.). Spread the chickpeas in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet and pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 F. Shake the pan a couple times during cooking. The chickpeas will get harder and crunchier as they cool.
9. Kale chips. This hippy-dippy snack is a great way to get some greens into your kids’ bellies. Wash and thoroughly dry a few leaves of kale, then remove the thick stem. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces. Spray them with some olive or avocado oil spray, then toss with salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, or leave them plain. Arrange into a single layer on a large baking sheet, then bake at 300 F for 8-12 minutes, checking often to prevent burning.
10. Mini-bagels with vegan cream cheese. This is pretty self-explanatory. However, you can take this snack to the next level of deliciousness by topping the bagels with sliced strawberries or fruit jam (use plain bagels and plain cream cheese if adding fruit).
11. Vegan Cheez-its. Like veggie nuggets, vegan cheez-its make a great snack for kids who just recently switched to a vegan diet. You can find some premade vegan cheez-its like these from Earth Balance on Amazon, or make your own crackers following recipes like this one from Vedged Out.
12. Avocado toast squares with nutritional yeast and/or Everything Bagel seasoning. Avocado is a more nutritious alternative to butter. Spread some soft avocado on a piece of toast, mash it into a chunky paste, then top with the seasoning of your kid’s choice. This also makes a great breakfast.
13. Rice cakes with mashed avocado and nutritional yeast. Rice cakes make a crispy alternative to toast, plus they remind kids of popcorn. Make sure your child has good chewing and swallowing skills though because small bits of popped rice can be a choking hazard to younger kids.
14. Fried tofu “fingers” with hummus/salsa/vegan bean dip, etc. My daughter has been a big fan of fried tofu as a snack or a part of her meals. To make it, I follow the instructions in my tofu banh mi sandwich recipe, then cut the tofu rectangles into smaller finger-sized sticks.
15. Chickpea flour omelet “fingers” or squares. Chickpea flour omelet makes another way to add some plant protein and veggies into your kids’ diet. See the instructions to making it in my post about easy vegan baby food recipes. After the omelet is done, just cut it up into finger-sized sticks or small squares.
16. Falafel with tahini dip. Store-bought or homemade, falafel makes a nutritious and fun alternative to other dipping foods like chips or crackers. Baked falafel tends to be less greasy than fried.
17. Seaweed snacks or nori sheets stuffed with rice (add sesame seeds, avocado slices, cucumber sticks, etc. if you’d like). If your kids like sushi or other Japanese-inspired foods, they’ll love this delicious snack! Seaweed is a great source of iodine, a nutrient that vegan diets can be deficient in. The idea for this snack came from The Smart Parent’s Guide to Raising Vegan Children – a vegan parenting book by Eric C. Lindstrom that I reviewed over here.
18. Veggie nuggets – store-bought or homemade. Vegan fake meat brands have really upped their veggie nugget game lately. Some store-bought vegan nuggets are unbelievably similar in flavor in texture to those other, non-veggie nuggets that a lot of us loved in our pre-vegan days. My daughter loves the new vegan Morning Star brand nuggets.
If you believe that store-bought nuggets are too processed and unhealthy, feel free to make your own veggie nuggets at home! You can find lots of recipes online – these ones from The Kitchn look quite interesting.
19. Edamame, with or without salt. Edamame makes a healthy and fun snack for kids. Microwave a handful of store-bought frozen edamame for 60-90 seconds, top with a dash of salt (or not), and have your kids enjoy opening each pod to get to the delicious beans.
20. Rice cakes with hummus. A crunchy and savory snack that resembles popcorn, yet delivers more plant protein and flavor. If your kids are adventurous eaters, feel free to top each rice cake with fun seasonings or leafy veggies like arugula.
21. Mini sandwich triangles with savory fillings. Spread your kids’ favorite veggie spread or sandwich filling between two slices of bread, then cut the resulting sandwich diagonally into triangles. Great filling ideas: hummus and tomato slices; peanut butter and jelly; mashed beans with nutritional yeast; mashed avocado with Everything Bagel seasoning; chickpea salad, etc.
22. Apple slices with nut butter. Few kids (or adults) will pass up this classic healthy snack. Peanut butter is king here in my opinion, but any other nut butter will do just as well. If your child is allergic to nuts but does ok with seeds, use seed butter or tahini.
23. Apple and nut butter “nachos”. A festive and delicious take on the classic apple slices and nut butter – see an example recipe on Begin with Nutrition blog. These “nachos” take a little more effort to put together, yet look and taste even more appealing.
24. Banana slices with peanut butter (or any other nut butter). Bananas and peanut butter are a match made in heaven, in my opinion, and my toddler agrees. Bananas can be sliced into medallions or finger-sized sticks (or any other shape your child may fancy). Nut butter can be spread over each slice or served on the side as a dip.
You can also make round mini-sandwiches by stacking two banana medallions with some nut butter spread in between. Or take the visual appeal to the next level by cutting out fun shapes with mini cookie cutters like these on Amazon.
25. Frozen chocolate-covered bananas. This snack is as delicious as it is easy. Cut a peeled banana into 3 or 4 segments, and insert a toothpick into each segment popsicle-style. Freeze the bananas on a parchment-lined sheet until they harden, about an hour or two.
Melt some non-dairy chocolate chips with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Dip each frozen banana into the chocolate, shaking of excess. At this point you can dip them into various toppings like crushed nuts, shdredded coconut, sprinkles, etc., or leave the bananas plain. Allow the chocolate harden for a few minutes before letting your kids dig in. Yum!
26. Peanut butter and jelly burrito. Time for the classic PB&J to move over!
The classic kids’ snack made with less bread and more flavor – what’s not to love? Spread a small flour tortilla with jelly and nut butter of your choice, then roll the whole thing up. That’s it!
27. Peanut butter and jelly “quesadillas”. This different take on the peanut butter and jelly burrito is great for sharing with friends. For these “quesadillas” you’ll need two small flour tortillas instead of one.
Spread one of them with peanut butter (or nut butter of choice), and the other one – with jelly. Put one tortilla on top of the other, and cut the whole thing up into triangles like pizza.
28. Rice cakes with peanut butter and/or jelly. Rice cakes make a lighter and crunchier alternative to bread. Use plain unsalted rice cakes if you’re planning to top them with sweet ingredients like jelly or jam.
29. “Ants on a log” – celery stalks with peanut butter and raisins. No vegan snack lineup will be complete without this good ol’ pal from the past. Spread some peanut butter on celery sticks, and place a few raisins on top.
30. Vegan yogurt with fresh fruit. As wholesome as it gets! There’s an abundance of vegan yogurt types and brands on the market today. Let your kids try a few to figure out which type of yogurt they like best. Fruit-flavored yogurts can contain a lot of sugar, so plain yogurt is a more wholesome option. I’m partial to the unsweetened cashew yogurt made by Forager, which is perfect for mixing up with fresh berries or jam.
31. Vegan yogurt/non-dairy milk with granola. This snack also makes a great breakfast! Once again, plain unsweetened yogurt or non-dairy milk make a better option because they contain less sugar. If you don’t trust the ingredients of store-bought granola, you can always make your own. My tropical banana-orange granola is naturally sweetened with whole foods and is really easy to make.
32. Fruit and veggie smoothie. This is a perfect ways to sneak in some veggies and less than popular fruit into your kids’ diet. You can go as simple or as complicated as you’d like by experimenting with various ingredients.
- – “Can’t go wrong” ingredients: frozen bananas; fresh or frozen berries; fresh or frozen mangoes and peaches.
- – “Amp up the nutrition” ingredients”: torn baby kale, broccoli, spinach.
- – “Add plant protein” ingredients: frozen peas; peanut butter (or any other nut or seed butter); whole raw nuts or seeds (they’ll break down during the blending process).
33. Healthy chocolate-zucchini muffins. My healthy vegan chocolate muffins make a delicious treat for chocolate lovers, adults and kids alike. They are made with all plant-based ingredients without added oil. To add scrumptious moisture to every bite, I use finely shredded zucchini, but even veggie-haters won’t notice that.
34. Energy balls made with dried fruit, nut butter, and/or chocolate. Homemade energy balls can pack a lot of nutrients and flavor. You can find lots of vegan recipes online (I recommend searching Pinterest) or in various cookbooks.
35. Vegan rice pudding with dried fruit – raisins, apricots, cherries, chopped dates, etc. You can find vegan rice pudding in grocery stores or make your own – this rice pudding recipe by Fit Foodie Finds is quite simple. Dried fruit adds nice pops of flavor and color, but feel free to skip it if your kid isn’t a fan.
36. Applesauce. A cup of applesauce with a few whole-grain crackers will get you child going happily until the next meal. Go for no sugar added variety if possible.
37. Homemade fruit popsicles. A delicious and refreshing way to get some fruit into your kids’ bellies. Store-bought popsicles may taste delicious but often feature a laundry list of ingredients. Try making your own at home with fun popsicle molds and plant-based popsicle recipes – see this impressive popsicle recipe roundup on Running on Real Food blog.
38. Mixed fruit skewers. Have you noticed that eating a few pieces of different fruit at the same time is always more delicious? Fruit skewers can deliver that in a simple, easy-to-make package. Better yet, putting them together is a fun kid-friendly activity!
Use toothpicks or bamboo skewers to put these together. If using bamboo skewers, make sure to trim the sharp ends before serving these to kids.
39. Fruit salad cups. No skewer sticks – no problem! Fruit can just as easily be served in cups for a quick and healthy snack. It doesn’t matter how many types of fruit you have on hand – even one or two types will work.
40. Vegan granola bars. When all else fails, a stash of granola bars in the pantry will always come to the rescue. A lot of brands offer purposefully or accidentally vegan granola bar flavors (check ingredients before buying): Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, GoMacro, LÄRABAR, CLIF Bars, Luna Bars, Kashi, etc.
If you try any of these vegan snacks for kids and your children love them, I’d love to hear about it! Tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or comment on this post below.
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