“I’m hungry” are words every parent hears several times a day, and sometimes dreads. Instead of reaching for those expensive and unhealthy pre-packaged snacks your child may beg your for, make these easy snacks that will get their mouths watering.

Fruit Pursuit

While fruit can be a sweet and healthy treat, kids can get bored with the same kinds every day. Try to add a twist with some of our ideas.

Kabobs: Cut a variety of fruit into bite-sized pieces and add them to a skewer or fancy toothpick. Include fruits your child might not normally eat and see if the new presentation encourages him to try something new.

Dips: Nothing is more fun to a preschooler than playing with his food! Give him the opportunity to try a variety of dips with his fruit. A dab of yogurt, flavored cream cheese or whipped cream make eating fun!

Variety: Try some tropical fruits you don’t normally have around the house, like kiwi, pineapple, papaya and melon. Talk about where the fruit comes from and how it’s grown to pique your child’s interest.

Toothpick Art: Allow your child to create a sculpture using rounded toothpicks and chunks of fruit. He can build a car, a dinosaur, a person, or anything he loves.

Fruit Sandwiches: Sneak a little fruit inside your child’s sandwich for a yummy variation. Peanut butter or cream cheese goes great with apples or bananas. Be creative and see what specialty sandwich you can create together.

Veg Out

Wouldn’t it be great if children actually asked for vegetables as a snack? With a little creativity, you can make them more appealing than ever.

Presentation: Changing the appearance of veggies may make them more tempting. Shave your carrots, dice your cucumbers or make celery stick fans by cutting several crisscross slices at the end of each celery stick and placing it in cold water until they fan out.

Dips: Try a classic ranch, honey mustard or thousand island and find one your child really likes.

Fill ‘Em Up: Fill the inside of celery stalks or cucumber slices with peanut butter or flavored cream cheese to make mini sandwiches. Use two different veggies together for a mixed veggie treat.

Veggie Art: Allow your child to create a mosaic or picture using veggies. A celery stick man with carrot stick arms and broccoli hair would sure be more fun to eat than a pile of vegetables.

Pass the Protein

A little protein can keep the hunger away, so add a protein rich snack to stabilize your child’s blood sugar and mood!

Eggs: Try them scrambled, hard-boiled, poached or basted. Hard-boiled egg shells can be decorated before they are eaten and scrambled eggs can be colored “green” and paired with ham!

Cottage Cheese: Delicious with a little bit of fruit, like pineapple, pears or strawberries. You can also spread on crackers for a change.

Cheese: Tired of string cheese or American slices? Give your child the opportunity to try a variety of flavors with a cheese tasting party. Everybody likes a different kind of cheese, so he may surprise you with his preferences!

Cream Cheese: It comes in a wide variety of flavors these days and can be used in many different ways. Sweet flavors are great on toast or sandwiches. Your child may also enjoy the honey nut or onion and chive variety. Try them on crackers, with fruit or maybe on a mini bagel for a delicious snack!

Sometimes a snack slump just requires a little creativity in the kitchen. Spend some time making healthy snacks with your child and maybe you’ll even be nurture a future chef!