Healthy Snacks for Kids – Back to School Whole Food Snack Ideas
Check out my list of healthy snacks for kids to give your child easy, nutritious snacks for school this year. PS- They work for adults, too! These easy snacks for kids fuel them for the busy days ahead in school and beyond. Feel free to send these healthy snacks for school to soccer practice, choir rehearsal or after-care. They work all day long.
Another school year, another pep talk to myself to give my kids healthy, fun food to eat throughout the day. Cut to a month later when I’m barely getting carrot sticks into containers before tossing them in the lunch box. Well, no more! I’m bringing you healthy snacks for kids that everyone can enjoy. These easy snacks for kids will make your school days brighter, lighter and more energized. Plus, your little humans perform at their best when they’ve got fuel!
I not only make these healthy snacks for school for my kids, but I also enjoy them! Feel free to treat yourself while you also fuel your family.
Easy Snacks for Kids
When looking for items to fill the lunch box, I need it to be easy and tasty. Complicated works of art are not going to cut it when I’m trying to get my kids out the door early in the morning or when I’m up late prepping. Many of these ideas can be prepped ahead and made in multiple servings, so you can prep once and snack well all week long.
This category is pretty self-explanatory. These are snacks you can eat with your hands. No extra utensils are needed! Feel free to cut them into sizes your kid can manage, or double up if you know they need to extra energy.
When you need to go the extra mile, homemade granola bars are your BFF. I grew up on Nature’s Valley bars thanks to my dad, but I wanted to make my own version using my favorite plant-based ingredients.
These apple snacks have become a go-to snack thanks to how quick and easy they are to make. Get creative and have fun topping the apple rings with your favorite toppings.
Tamari, the deeper flavored cousin of soy sauce, goes splendidly with toasted almonds. Each handful will satisfy a craving for a salty, crunchy snack. One batch of tamari almonds is enough for the whole week, but feel free to make several batches to keep on hand for an easy, nourishing snack.
Snacking made delicious with these crispy avocado fries. These are a super fun side dish, snack or appetizer that will surely liven up your day.
Grab a friend and whip up these delicious bite-sized snacks. Chocolate covered banana bites are super easy to make, and oh so fun!
A fun bread the whole family can enjoy (and help make!). I love that this bread contains a whole cup of veggies, and that it’s vegan… though you can’t even tell!
This Rice Krispie Treats Recipe uses plant-based whole foods from brown rice to almond butter. Not only will you find more protein and fiber, but the flavor will blow you away.
These delicious, wholesome vegan protein bars will give you the energy to get stuff done while nourishing your body with plant-based protein such as good-for-you nuts and seeds.
My whole family adores these strawberry vegan muffins, but I definitely love them the most. These muffins bring back childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a sophisticated and more nutritious way.
Dips and Spoonable Treats
This next category focuses on recipes that make great dips or work for times when your kid is sitting. Nuts and seed butter pair great with fruits and veggies alike, caramel apple dip is a fun way to eat more fruit no matter the season and yogurt can be used with a variety of mix-ins. I often pack dye-free sprinkles, mini vegan chocolate chips or freeze-dried fruit when packing a dip or yogurt. My kids love a good topping as much as I do.
Nothing compares to the ultra creamy texture and flavor of homemade nut butter. Try these as an alternative to peanut butter to make sandwiches, sauces, dressings, cookies, and more. Or use as a luxurious, decadent dip for apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, pretzels, carrots, celery, or anything dip-able.
If you’re looking for a delicious recipe that is plant based, look no further. This fun, easy vegan yogurt recipe is great on its own, or turned into a parfait with the fruit compote and granola.
This gluten free granola recipe can be used as a smoothie bowl or yogurt topper, eaten as-is or enjoyed with a plant milk for a decadent cereal. Enjoy straight from the oven or store in an air-tight container to enjoy all week long!
Chocolate chia pudding makes the perfect snack, quick breakfast or unique brunch addition. Use it to top pancakes, inside a parfait or mixed with granola. You may need more than one spoon as it is entirely delicious and shareable!
Celebrate fall with this quick n’ easy protein-packed snack. Pumpkin Chia Pudding tastes great and is the perfect amount of sweet. Treat it like a dessert, a snack, or a light breakfast.
Hope you’re sitting down because this healthy caramel apple dip is going to blow your mind! Made with all-natural, plant-based ingredients and ZERO added sugar (no corn syrup!), this sauce is rawkin’. Use as a spread, dip, topping, sauce, filling, or just eat it by the spoonful.
Nut-Free Healthy Snacks for School
Many schools today require any homemade snacks to be nut-free, which can be hard. Other than fresh fruit, what can you bring? I actually brought my Vitamix blender to my daughter’s school one year and blended smoothies for the whole class. What a hit! Here are some more great ideas:
This fruit leather recipe is loved by kids and adults alike! Just 4 simple, whole food ingredients, make this fun, kid-approved treat. Follow my how to steps for the perfect weekend at home or school snack.
With this recipe on hand, you’ll never need store-bought hummus again! Along with iron-rich chickpeas, we’ve included loads of fresh, vibrant herbs to add extra vitamins, minerals to this herb hummus.
The classic fruit-filled snack/cereal bar transformed into a healthy breakfast bar recipe. The oat-studded dough is filled with lightly sweetened fruit jam and baked until golden.
The best green smoothie recipe is a tasty tropical treat packed with iron, potassium and vitamins galore. There’s no need to be scared of a spinach smoothie when it tastes like this.
Healthy Snacks for Kids FAQs
I’ve got 19 snacks that are kid-approved for school this year. Choose from sweet, savory and even nut-free to send your kid to class prepped for success and fueled with whole food ingredients.
Nut-free snacks can be hard to find! Try my fruit leather, homemade hummus, breakfast bars or the best smoothie recipe ever for a nut-safe alternative that the whole class can enjoy.
Small, gel ice packs are perfect in my kids’ lunch boxes. Just one small ice pack can help keep that snack cold until snack time or lunchtime, whichever comes first. Pro Tip: I use the plant-based ones that come in my Thrive Market boxes; just save them in the freezer until you need one!
Let me know which of these snacks you think your kid(s) would like or drop a comment with your favorite school snacks so we can all team up for the best snacks this year!
Tips for Storing Food
I’ll take all the tricks and tips when it comes to the food my kids take to school. Here are a few I’ve learned over the years:
- Pack frozen smoothies so they act as a cold pack AND thaw nicely for lunchtime without getting too warm.
- Prep! Seriously, I pick two or three recipes from the list above and prep them in advance. That way, I’ve got options for the week but I don’t have to try and come up with a new snack idea every night.
- Wash fruit and store in glass jars: I got this tip from an awesome Rawkstar. They wash all their fruit and then store it in glass mason jars with one paper towel. This keeps the fruit fresh and ready to grab for school all week.