Inspiration with child-friendly snacks from around the world
Updated: Jun 22
My 10 top healthy snacks from around the globe to make your kid's snack time fun and interesting.
I know it is easy to fall back on our “tried and true” snack options, but I try to travel out of my comfort zone once and a while. I want to share with you my favorite child-friendly snacks from around the world.
I hope you will be inspired by these ideas and give your child a healthy and fun alternative to their usual snack.
These kid-friendly snacks and recipes are nutritious (or are healthy versions of classics), but are also easy to make at home. Let your child roll up their sleeves and help out in the kitchen. While they help out, you can tell them something about the country where the food is from.
Here are #10 snacks from around the world that your child will love (I know mine do):
1. Mexico: Paletas (popsicles)
Paletas blow regular popsicles out of the water! The word paleta roughly translates to “little stick” and is made from whole ingredients like fresh pureed fruits, herbs, spices and nuts.
Begin by blending your child’s favorite fruits, such as strawberries, bananas, kiwi, pineapple or mango. Mix it with water, milk, coconut milk among others to open a whole world of flavor possibilities.
Finally, if your child is very adventurous, have them add other ingredients for a twist. Try coconut, chia seeds, basil, lime or nuts. Freeze and enjoy! For more inspiration click here.
2. Japan: Edamame (soybeans)
Edamame is a tasty Asian bean that’s packed with vitamins, iron, as well as fiber and antioxidants.. Edamame beans are whole, immature soybeans, sometimes referred to as vegetable-type soybeans. And they could not be easier to make!
They are usually found in the freezer section and you just need to microwave or boil them and add a bit of salt. They are often used as an ingredient in stir-fries or salads, but they also make a great snack on their own.
3. Belgium: Chocoladevla (chocolate custard)
Although fries, chocolate and waffles might first come to mind when you think of snacks from Belgium, there is a healthier snack option that’s enjoyed by children and grownups. Children in Belgium love vla as an after-dinner “toetje”. A custard treat, usually chocolate or vanilla, that’s made of milk, eggs and sugar.
This chocolate custard recipe is a healthier version and contains no added sugar. It’s naturally sweetened with banana and is dairy-free. You should give it a try… eet smakelijk (enjoy your meal)!
4. India: Wortel Halwa (gajar ka halwa)
If you have battled to get your child to eat their carrots then this treat is a must to try. This sweet pudding is made from grated carrots, milk (or milk substitute), nuts, dried fruits and kid-friendly spices.
Traditional carrot halwa contains sugar, but in this recipe you can leave that out and sweeten it naturally with dates. Kids won’t be able to resist this veggies-as-dessert — and with so much fiber, Vitamin A, and beta-carotene, you’ll feel great about serving it, too.
5. Canada: Fruit leather
I grew up enjoying this sweet and chewy snack, which is just dehydrated fruit puree. Readily found in supermarkets in Canada but you can also make it yourself with fruit you probably around have in your house.
Here are some of the best fruit to use:
A tasty snack to have on hand when you need something on the go and it’s much healthier than the pre-packaged option which has a lot of added sugars and artificial color.
6. Australia: Vegemite on Bread
Vegemite is a dark spread that Australian children love to eat on bread. Nutritious and rich in Vitamin B, Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract and various vegetable and spice additives.
Just be aware that Vegemite is high in sodium so a little goes a long way. You only need a small amount to enjoy its taste and reap the health benefits.
7. Lebanon: Chickpea hummus
This is a well-known chickpea dip. We have all probably eaten hummus at one time or another but did you know how easy it is to make yourself? Whip up a batch of homemade Lebanese Hummus Recipe and keep it for snacking throughout the week.
It is healthy and packed with protein, pairing perfectly with pita bread or vegetables. I also like to use it on sandwiches and wraps in my child’s lunchbox!
8. Vietnam: Summer rolls
Summer rolls comprise a mix of seafood, vegetables and herbs wrapped in rice paper. Unlike Chinese spring rolls, which are usually deep fried, summer rolls are low-fat and high in protein.
There are plenty of recipes online, but here’s a simple one you could try.
On nights when I am too busy to cook dinner, I place all the ingredients on the table and let my girls make their own. It sometimes gets messy but they have so much fun. Plus they love to be able to pick their own foods to roll in it.
By the way, I have noticed that they eat more veggies when they choose themselves.
9. Mozambique: Grilled corn
It’s a common site to find roasted corn grilled on coals on the streets and in the markets of many African countries. In fact, many countries around the world have their own recipes for this sweet summer vegetable.
It’s a great way to make corn more exciting and get your child interested in eating it more often. Unfortunately, many kids in Mozambique are deprived, not only of this delicious snack but of many nutrients that would help them grow healthy.
Mozambique is one of the countries facing the most severe child malnutrition in the world with about one in every two children under the age of 5 malnourished, according to UNICEF.
I’m proud to be part of Moqqi and help fight malnutrition in Mozambique and other places with Moqqi's donation of part of its revenue to kids that don't get sufficient food.
10. Brazil: Pão de Queijo (cheese bread)
This one is even gluten-free, using tapioca flour instead of wheat. Cheesy and moist, your kids won’t eat just one. They are not the healthiest one, but good to give it a try.
Our Moqqi veggie snacks were inspired by these tasty snacks but made extra healthy and colorful with the addition of beetroot, tomato, carrot and spinach and an upgrade in the ingredients. Don’t miss the chance to treat your kids to this delicious snack, and they are super easy to prepare.
So, these were the top healthy snacks from around the globe you can offer to your child to keep their diet fun and interesting.
If you have more recommendations, please comment below, we’d love to hear from you!