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If you’re like most moms, you’re always looking for healthy and easy snacks for your kids to take to school. That’s why, as a Registered Dietitian and fellow mom, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite healthy snacks that are perfect for packing in a lunch box. From fresh fruit and veggies to whole grain crackers and cheese, there’s something here for everyone! So whether your child is a picky eater or has a hearty appetite, I have the perfect snack for them. So check out this list and start packing some delicious snacks today!
25 healthy school snacks list
- Whole grain crackers | Peanut butter
- Unsweetened applesauce | Whole grain English muffin
- Yogurt (regular or plant based) | Granola topping
- Hummus | Baby Carrots
- 1/2 Ham and Cheese Sandwich | 1/4 cup dried apple slices
- Dry cereal | Milk (cow or plant based)
- Fruit and vegetable Smoothie
- Granola bar | 1 string cheese
- Cottage cheese | Halved peach
- Apple slices | Nut butter
- Tuna salad | Whole wheat crackers
- Carrot sticks | Ranch dressing
- Pretzels | Turkey ham slices
- Pear slices | Cheese cubes
- Homemade Trail mix: nuts, dried fruit, dry cereal
- Guacamole | Tortilla chips
- Ritz crackers | Mozzarella cheese sticks
- Berry salad | Greek yogurt
- Cheese and Spinach Mini Quesadilla
- Canned fruit (in 100% juice or water packed) | Pita Chips
- Unsalted Nuts | Banana
- Mini English Muffin Pizza with diced Choice Veggies
- Fresh Cutie Oranges | Granola bar
- Graham Crackers | Milk (cow or plant based)
- Whole grain muffin | Almond butter
You can customize these snacks to your child’s individual tastes. For example, if they’re not a fan of pears in one of the options, you can substitute apples or peaches. If they don’t tolerate/drink cow’s milk, you can use any plant based one, like soy or almond.
Would you like more ideas for easy snacks for kids to take to school? Subscribe to the Fad Free Nutrition Blog email list and get a FREE Healthy Snack List for School PDF with ✨50 ✨ examples of healthy snacks for kids. You can print it out and have it nearby for when you need some snack inspiration. You can also check mark ✔ the snacks you’ve already prepared that week in order to offer more variety. Neat!
FAQs on what should kids snack on?
As a dietitian, these are the questions my clients that have kids as me more frequently. Let’s check ’em out!
Why are snacks important for kids?
Young children, especially if they’re school aged, are going through a period of physical growth that requires sufficient calories and nutrients. Energy is also needed in order to stay alert and concentrated during the learning process. This is where the importance of snacks come into play.
Since children have smaller stomachs than adults, they tend to fill up faster, so they usually eat smaller amounts of food. Therefore, kids tend to experience hunger more frequently. Snacks during the day act as “mini meals”, providing kids with those necessary calories and nutrients in amounts that are easily tolerated.
Snacks are also a great opportunity to include food groups such as fruits and vegetables in a fun way. These food groups are of particular importance for kids, but this population doesn’t seem to favor them very much. If we were to present them in snack form as geometric shapes, faces, or just paired up with other foods they like, acceptance of these groups would surely increase. Food creativity is a must with little ones!
How often should my kid snack?
Generally speaking, it is recommended that kids and teens eat every 3-4 hours. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the following:
- Small children need three meals and at least two snacks daily.
- Older children need three meals and at least one snack daily. If they’re very physically active or going through a growth spurt, then they may need two daily snacks.
The Academy also recommends offering snacks a few hours after a main meal, and from 1-2 hours before the next meal. This way, it’s less likely that your child will refuse a main meal due to being “too full” from snacking.
What are the best snacks for kids for school?
This is a question I get asked frequently. And not just with respect to kids. Lots of adults also have difficulties choosing snacks that are not only satisfying, but healthy as well.
Most parents know the drill: you send your kid off to school with a nutritious breakfast and lunch, only to have them come home complaining of hunger. If you’re looking for easy snacks for kids to take to school, you’ll want something that’s easy to pack, is shelf stable and doesn’t require (much) refrigeration.
A good rule of thumb is to choose snacks that are high in protein and fiber, as these will help keep your child’s energy levels up throughout the day. Some easy options include hard boiled eggs, nuts and seeds, nut butter and fruit bars, or even a small container of yogurt.
If you’re looking for something a little more special, you could also consider making your own trail mix with your child’s favorite ingredients. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something your kid will actually eat – there’s no point in sending them off with a healthy snack if they’re just going to leave it uneaten in their lunch box!
Additional Recommendations for Healthy Snacking
- Remember that snacks are mini meals. They help curb hunger between meals and provide necessary energy, but they should not interfere with main meals.
- Including your child in meal preparation increases the probability that they’ll eat it. This is also a great opportunity for kids to learn simple ways to prepare food, a skill I personally believe is beneficial for all.
- Have prepared snacks ready for when you’re on the go (pre-portioned and stored in Ziplock bags). It’s also useful to have fresh fruit on hand, like apples, bananas, pears, for a quick, fiber and nutrient rich snack.
So, there you have it! Twenty-five easy snacks for kids to take to school. These recipes are tasty, nutritious, and most importantly – easy to make. With a little preparation, your child can easily bring one of these snacks with them to school each day. From homemade trail mix to simple sandwiches, we’ve got you covered. What’s your favorite healthy snack for kids?
Hi! I’m Melissa, Registered Dietitian and mother of two dragons. When I’m not talking nutrition you can find me rolling around the floor with my kids, sewing, crafting, cooking or missing the 90s (seriously, music just isn’t the same). Read More…