It always seems like my children want to eat constantly. Just when I've finished washing the dishes from their last meal, they're asking for something else. At times it can be frustrating, but I also know that it's normal, and even beneficial, for kids to eat several small meals throughout the day.

Fortunately, I've compiled (mostly thorough trial and error) lots of great snack ideas that are healthy for kids to eat and easy for parents to prepare.

1. Peanut Butter Balls

Combine peanut butter, cream cheese, dry milk powder, and honey and form the mixture into balls. Roll in coconut, wheat germ, or cocoa powder, and store in your refrigerator.

2. Hummus

Buy it from the store or make your own by combining chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the blender. You can also add tahini to the mixture to make it more authentic. Serve hummus in a pita pocket, or as a dip with chips or veggies.

3. Trail Mix

Many store-brought varieties are coated with sugar and hydrogenated oils, so try making your own. Combine healthier foods like cereal, pretzels, nuts, and dried fruits, and then add sweet extras like chocolate chips or M&M's. (Hint: Sometimes the secret to getting kids to eat a healthy snack is to mix in something a little less healthy that you know they like.)

4. Yogurt Sundae

This is a good example of combining something healthy with something a little less healthy. Scoop strawberry or vanilla yogurt (preferably a low-fat and low-sugar variety) into a bowl, and then top with strawberries, bananas, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. To be truly decadent, you could even add whipped cream and a cherry and call it a banana split!

5. Banana Bread with Cream Cheese

Banana bread isn't always healthy, but if you make your own, you can use whole wheat flour and control the amount of sugar. You could also choose pumpkin bread, which is just as delicious with cream cheese and provides a healthy dose of Vitamin A.

6. Edamame

These green vegetables that resembles snap peas are also known as soybeans. To prepare them, boil the pods in lightly salted water for a few minutes, drain, toss with sea salt, and then use your teeth to "pop" the beans out of the pods. Parents love these because they're healthy; kids love them because they're so much fun to eat.

7. Kale Chips

The popularity of kale appears to have skyrocketed lately, because recipes for kale chips are everywhere. I've made these once and they came out a little chewy, but I'm told that they should come out crunchy like a potato chip and that a lot of kids love them. Kale is insanely good for you because it's loaded with vitamins and nutrients, so try this recipe for yourself and you might just find one more way to convince your kids to eat their greens.

8. Apple Slices

Mix peanut butter and caramel sauce with canned pumpkin for a protein-packed dip that includes a healthy dose of Vitamin A. Remember, apples are on the "Dirty Dozen" list of produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues, so try to buy organic ones if you can.

9. Nut Butters

Peanut butter is a classic kid favorite (unless you have to contend with allergies, but almond butter and cashew butter can almost always be substituted without a fuss). Serve nut butters with apple or banana slices, smear them on crackers or muffins, or mix them into smoothies and milk shakes for an added protein punch.

10. Smoothies

You can toss just about anything into the blender and call it a smoothie. Fresh mango, spinach, and coconut milk is one of my favorite combinations.

11. String Cheese

String cheese is a favorite among kids because it's fun to eat. It's also great for parents because its a good source of protein, and no preparation is required.

12. ZBars

ZBars are designed specifically for kids. They are made without preservatives, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, or high fructose corn syrup, and contain "twelve essential vitamins and nutrients that kids need every day." More importantly? There's a chocolate brownie flavor so I get to be superstar mom every time I buy them.

13. Corn Chips With Fresh Salsa or Guacamole

Most kids like corn chips, and a lot of kids who refuse to eat avocado will happily dig into a bowl of guacamole. Fresh salsa is also packed with nutrients, and even many store-bought varieties of salsa are a decent source of Vitamin C.

14. Whole-Grain Oatmeal or Peanut Butter Cookies

Even cookies can be a decent snack if they're made with nutritious ingredients and not loaded with fat and sugar. Oatmeal cookies and peanut butter cookies are good choices because oatmeal and peanut butter are both good sources of many nutrients. If you're baking from scratch, you can also add a scoop of wheat germ or ground flaxseed to your batter to boost the nutritional value of your cookies even more.

15. Granola Bars/Balls

Instead of buying granola bars why not try making your own? It's cheaper than buying them six to a box, and you can control the ingredients. This recipe from a peek inside the fishbowl gets rave reviews. I like to shape them into balls instead of bars and add chocolate chips (because chocolate makes everything better).

16. Milkshakes

How many kids will say no to a milkshake? It may not be a plate of spinach, but an occasional milkshake doesn't have to be a bad thing. Combine lowfat frozen yogurt with chocolate syrup for a chocolate shake, or add strawberries, bananas and other fruit for a fruit-flavored one.

17. Mini-Muffins

Mini-muffins seem to be more fun for kids than regular-sized muffins, and you can easily make blueberry, apple, pumpkin, or banana muffins with real fruit instead of the artificial flavoring used in so many store bought varieties. Also consider using whole wheat flour, or substituting half of the white flour in your recipe for whole wheat. And remember, muffins freeze well and thaw quickly in the microwave.

18. Veggies With Dip

Vegetables are a lot more fun when they're served with a delicious dip. Ranch dressing is a popular choice among kids, or for a healthier option, mix up your own. For example, slices of red pepper and cucumber are delicious with this easy yogurt dip. Cutting veggies into fun shapes can also encourage kids to give them a try.

19. Hard-Boiled Eggs

Easy to make and easy to keep on hand, hard-boiled eggs are a source of high-quality protein and they also contain many vitamins and minerals.

20. Baked Cinnamon Chips With Fruit Salsa

Fruit salsa is a great way to get kids to eat a variety of fruit. You can leave out fruits your children don't like, or mix them in and hope they don't notice. At my house, the cinnamon chips are the biggest hit, so my rule is that if you're going to eat the chips, you also have to eat the salsa that goes with them!

This post was included in the Fit Foodista March Food, Health and Wellness Blog Carnival.