Healthy cookies are the best of both worlds! A snack the whole family will love and a better for you treat you can feel good about serving. Healthy cookies for kids are the easiest compromise to get kiddos a sweet treat without sacrificing their health.
Confession: I love cookies. I will choose them over cake almost every single time. When I was in college living in a dorm, we bought each other big cookies you can slice instead of “traditional” cakes.
Healthy Cookies to the Rescue
The thing is, how can you not adore them? Small enough to be just a few bites of perfect sweetness. It’s the best option for taming a sweet tooth without the sugar hit.
Add to the fact that most freeze well so I can enjoy 2 or 3 rather than an entire batch and you’ve got a major win in my opinion.
This is why I find myself making more and more healthy cookies. Options with less sugar, more healthy fats, and whole grains.
From fruit based to dairy-free to gluten-free, we live in a fabulous time where healthy choices are more and more common.
Just as delicious as their decadent counterparts, these good for you versions are here to help you indulge guilt free.
What to look for in healthy baked goods
What makes a healthy cookie, you ask? Thing is, your idea of healthy is probably at least a little bit different than mine! While it can obviously be super subjective here are somethings you might want to look for.
- Whole grains – simply subbing AP flour for whole wheat can make a cookie healthier. I like recipes that use whole wheat flour, oat flour, or whole oats. Learn how to easily make oat flour at home here!
- Less sugar – There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar in a cookie. But, when looking for a healthy recipe, I like to look for low sugar cookies.
- Natural sugars – Find a recipe that uses primarily, if not all, natural sugars from fruits, or sweeteners like maple syrup or honey.
- Healthy fats – Healthy fats like nut butters or coconut oil are the perfect addition! Try subbing something like coconut oil for butter.
- Super food add-ins – just like with my hidden veggie smoothies, adding super foods like chia seeds or hemp hearts to healthy cookie recipes is a great way to boost nutrition.
30 + Healthy Cookie Recipes to Treat Yourself With
- Healthy Banana Cookies – All the taste of banana bread with whole grains and packed with healthy banana.
- 4-Ingredient Chocolate Chia Delicious and only 4 ingredients? Yes please!
- Orange Chocolate Chip Oat I love the combination of orange and chocolate – I would have never thought to add it to a cookie!
- Matcha Green Tea Almond Shortbread These are such a pretty color – I love that these shortbread cookies are while also being healthy!
- Double Chocolate Banana Double chocolate? Can you go wrong with healthy double chocolate cookies?!
- Healthy Cut Out Sugar These would be so fun for a healthier holiday baking tray!
- Zucchini Bread Quinoa Breakfast I love grating zucchini and adding to baked goods – it makes things so moist and decadent while adding a veggie twist!
- Lemon Honey Oatmeal I’m a huge lemon lover and I love that this one uses the addition of honey to sweeten.
- Pumpkin Snickerdoodles Why does pumpkin need to stay in the fall? Add it to these snickerdoodles all year long!
- Zucchini Breakfast Cookies A favorite in my house, the mini chips add sweetness while the oats and zucchini make it something you can feel good about!
- Almond Joy Oatmeal My dad is a huge Almond Joy fan – I’m totally making him these healthy cookies for his birthday next year!
- Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies these are packed with seeds, vegetables, and craisins – a serious winner in my house!
- Cookie Dough Stuffed Whoopie Pies You guys. if I told you COOKIE DOUGH STUFFED whoopie pies were healthy, would you think I’m insane? No, really, it’s true, and these look AMAZING.
- Skinny Lemon-doodles Lemon treats are one of my favorites, so these health lemon-doodles look absolutely delicous.
- Double Chocolate Healthy and chocolate should always be in the same sentence.
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal What a fun recipe to make after a long day of apple picking!
How can I make my cookies healthier?
Simple substitutions in traditional recipes can give you come awesome healthy cookies. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Try using a more natural sweetener – even if you don’t want to go as far as using all honey or maple, try unrefined sugar, cane sugar or a coconut sugar.
- Use more grains. I love switching out 1/4 of the flour in a recipe for oat flour – learn how to make oat flour in this post.
- Use dark chocolate. If you’re adding chips or drizzling chocolate, use dark chocolate for the lower sugar content and more antioxidants.
- Sub fruit. Subbing some oil for mashed banana can add fruit and reduce the fat and calories!
- Breakfast Whoopie Pies my boys love these breakfast whoopie pies – you can sub any kind of protein or nutrient powder you’d like.
- Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip These don’t even look healthy! Just more proof that you can’t judge a cookie by it’s look!
- Strawberry Oatmeal As a kid, I loved those packets of strawberry oatmeal – these sound like those in cookie form!
- Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Peanut butter banana is a match made in heaven – these sound so, so good.
- Healthy Samoa Every Girl Scout Cookie lover will adore this healthy version!
- Cinnamon Sugar These look like a delicious, crisp snickerdoodle. Yum!
- Coconut Almond I love that these are dipped in chocolate for a sweet bite to a healthy cookie.
- Healthy Avocado Chocolate I would have never thought to add avocado to a cookie, but the healthy fats are so smart!
Healthy Thumbprint Cookies with Chia Seed Jam Have your kids help with these and push their little fingers to make the thumbprint.
Paleo Chocolate Almond Butter How are these paleo?! They look like decadent reverse peanut butter cups.
Healthy Monster These cookies look absolutely irresistable – Use dark chocolate chips to reduce the sugar.
Maple Almond Butter I love maple syrup, and these sound like a fun way to get that fix.
Gluten Free Oil Free Oreos If you’re like me, you can go through a sleeve of Oreos in no time flat. You can do it with a little less guilt with this.
Carrot Cake Breakfast Carrot cake cookies add grated carrot to make – you guessed it- cookies for breakfast!
Sweet Beet Chocolate Crinkle We all know I love me a good hidden veggie recipe – the beet in these is a fun addition!
Healthy Chocolate Cookies. These are stupid decadent and you’d never know they’re good for you!