Finding the right balance in snacks can be a challenge, especially when catering to picky eaters. However, incorporating high protein snacks for picky eaters into their diet can be a game-changer.
This post provides a variety of tasty and nutritious options that are sure to please even the most selective taste buds, with high quality protein.
Read on to learn more!
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Snack time tips for picky eaters
Kids refusing certain foods or eating a limited range of foods is not uncommon. It can, however, make it tricky to ensure they’re getting enough protein, vital for growth and muscle repair.
Here are some strategies to encourage your picky eater to consume more protein:
1. Empower them with choices
Let your eater choose between hummus or cottage cheese with their veggies, or Greek yogurt parfait or a smoothie for their afternoon snack. This gives them a sense of control.
2. Have fun with food
Create fun shapes with protein-rich foods using cookie cutters or molds. Cheese stars, egg flowers, or turkey roll-ups can make snack time exciting. Put these fun shapes into a bento box container to make a mini meal at snack time.
3. Combine favorites
Add protein-rich foods to your child’s favorite dishes. A peanut butter sandwich or shredded chicken in pasta can be a hit. Blend cottage cheese into a smoothie to add creaminess and a protein boost.
4. Introduce variety
Gradually introduce different protein sources and cooking methods to change up the texture and flavor. Continue offering food choices as the more they try different foods, the more likely they will find something they like.
5. Stay positive
Celebrate small victories when your athlete tries new foods. Focus on the benefits of eating protein, like feeling strong and energetic.
Ideas for high protein snacks for picky eaters
Now that we’ve covered some strategies, let’s dive into some snack ideas. These snacks are perfect for any time your child needs a nutrition boost.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Peanut butter, a staple in many households, is a fantastic source of protein and pairs nicely with the sweet flavor of jelly. This classic combination isn’t just for kids; it’s a quick and satisfying snack for anyone.
Edamame are not only a protein powerhouse but also a fun and interactive snack, especially if you steam them still in the pods. They’re perfect steamed and lightly salted, offering a combination of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins.
Edamame are a great high protein snack for picky eaters who enjoy a bit of hands-on eating and a salty mellow taste. For a crunchy and salty snack, you can also find dry roasted packaged options.
Low fat Greek yogurt is a versatile high protein snack that can be sweet or savory. It’s a great base for mix-ins like fruits, granola, nuts, or even a drizzle of honey.
Offering calcium, probiotics and a creamy texture, yogurt is a top choice for a nutritious, protein-rich snack.
A twist on traditional sandwiches, turkey rollups are a fun finger food. Using lean turkey slices wrapped around cheese or veggies, they make a convenient and protein-packed snack.
These rollups are a hit with picky eaters due to their simplicity and finger-food nature.
Hummus is a smooth and savory spread that pairs well with almost anything. It’s a fantastic dip for veggies, crackers, or pita, making it a versatile high protein snack for picky eaters.
Plus, with various flavors available, there’s an option for every palate. You can also buy shelf stable packs for easy grab and go options.
Cottage cheese with fruits
Cottage cheese is a best kept secret in the world of high protein snacks. When paired with fresh fruits like berries or peaches, it becomes a sweet treat.
This snack is not only rich in protein but also offers the creamy texture and sweet flavor that can win over picky eaters.
Hard-boiled eggs are a protein-rich snack that’s both simple and versatile. They can be eaten plain, seasoned with a pinch of salt, or turned into deviled eggs for a more flavorful twist.
This snack is a convenient option for high protein needs since you can buy ready to eat hard boiled eggs too.
Tuna salad on crackers
While some picky eaters don’t like tuna, tuna salad can be a game winner for some. Tuna, a lean protein source, makes for an excellent high protein snack when mixed into a salad.
Served on whole-grain crackers, it’s a satisfying and nutritious choice for picky eaters who enjoy a bit of crunch.
Almond butter on apple slices
Almond butter is a nutritious alternative to peanut butter and pairs wonderfully with apple slices. This snack provides a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and the natural sweetness of fruit.
Simple high-protein smoothie
Smoothies are a fantastic choice for picky eaters needing a high-protein boost. Start with your preferred milk, high protein milk, or a milk alternative, such as soy milk, as the base. Blend in a ripe banana for natural sweetness and a smooth texture.
Add a heaping spoonful of peanut butter or protein powder for a protein kick and a touch of nutty flavor. This simple, tasty combination creates a smoothie that’s not only protein-rich but also appealing to those with selective tastes.
Perfect for a quick breakfast or a nourishing snack, it’s a surefire hit for anyone looking for a delicious, protein-packed treat.
Convenient packaged high protein snacks
If you’re short on time or need snacks on-the-go, there are plenty of packaged options available. Just remember to check the nutritional information to ensure they’re a healthy choice.
Roasted chickpeas and fava beans
Roasted chickpeas and fava beans are a crunchy, savory treat, perfect for picky eaters. These snacks are not just high in protein but also a good source of fiber. They make a great alternative to chips, offering a satisfying salty crunch without the guilt.
Individual hummus packs are a convenient and healthy snack option. These small packs are ideal for dipping, compatible with everything from veggies to crackers.
With their high protein content and creamy texture, hummus packs are a delicious and versatile choice for a quick snack.
Yogurt squeeze sticks
Yogurt sticks are a portable way to enjoy Greek yogurt. They’re a great source of protein and perfect for picky eaters, especially kids. These sticks are a fun, on-the-go snack, offering a cool, refreshing treat that’s both nutritious and enjoyable.
Protein bars come in a variety of flavors and textures, offering a convenient and satisfying high protein snack option. They’re perfect for on-the-go eating and can cater to different dietary preferences, including gluten-free and vegan.
Greek yogurt popsicles
Greek yogurt popsicles are a fun and refreshing way to enjoy a high protein snack. They often come in fruity flavors and can be a great way to entice picky eaters who want a sweet treat.
Nut and seed mixes
Pre-packaged nut and seed mixes offer a crunchy and protein-rich snacking option. These mixes can include almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and more, providing both variety and a high protein punch.
Cheese crisps are a portable snack that combines the savory flavor of cheese with a satisfying crunch. They’re a high protein alternative to traditional chips and are often well-received by picky eaters.
High protein snacks for picky eaters don’t have to be elaborate or unfamiliar. By focusing on simple, well-liked foods and incorporating protein-rich ingredients, you can create snacks that are both appealing and nutritious.
These choices ensure that even the most selective eaters can enjoy a variety of tasty and healthy options.
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Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND has over 22 years of experience in public health and nutrition. As a performance registered dietitian nutritionist, Stephanie specializes in sports nutrition and provides simple and actionable information so that athletes can be well fueled for high performance on and off the field. Stephanie has a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and is a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.