Kids love snacks. (We’ll pause a minute to let that impressive observation sink in.) From the time they wake up until just before bedtime, children are going to be begging for a snack almost non-stop.
We as parents must have a handle on this snack intake. After all, they’ll never be the one to choose a healthy snack for kids. They want the snack that tastes best, sugar and saturated fat levels be damned.
Part of this is the fault of us parents (yes, we can admit). After all, the crap we ate in the 1990s that qualified as snacks was all pretty unhealthy. (Those snacks tasted damn good, though.)
These days, we’re far more concerned about healthy snacks, including limiting calorie intake between meals. Beyond health benefits, it helps if they are easy healthy kids snacks to prepare, because we’re all pressed for time.
In our list, we’ll stick primarily with pre-packaged snacks, because they’re easy to throw in a handbag, backpack, lunch box, or storage compartment of the car, ready to go whenever the snack monster strikes. You certainly can have fresh fruit or vegetables ready to go too, but these pre-packaged snacks are less of a mess and take almost no prep work. As long as they’re healthy, we don’t mind pre-packaged options.
And if you’re the kind of parent who hates to see the kid waste any food, we know this means the parent eating the leftover kids snacks … and probably feeling guilty about it immediately afterward. So when you choose among our list of healthy snack for kids options, you at least can feel less guilty about finishing the snacks for the kids.
When you want a healthy snack for kids that also is free from common allergens, these packs of granola are a smart choice. These whole grain oats are organic, resulting in easy healthy kids snacks that are gluten free and free from common allergens like soy and nuts.
Each pack has less than 100 calories, but it’ll satisfy the kid’s sweet tooth for a mid-day snack or in a lunch box. These packs even provide a surprising number of vitamins.
Each kit contains 10 bags of chocolate chip granola snacks and 10 bags of mixed berry granola snacks. Sounds pretty good, right? You may want to throw an extra snack bag or two into your purse, so you can have one, too.
Ask kids whether they like vegetables, and you’ll probably receive 95% no answers. (Ask adults the same question, and you may receive 95% no answers too, but this is about kids being picky eaters, not we adults with sophisticated palettes.)
So the key to convincing children to use vegetables as healthy kid snacks for school is to make vegetables taste good and fun to eat. These Sprinkles do the trick, offering single serve packages of flavorful micro-grape tomatoes. Sunset also offers Qukes, which are tiny cucumbers.
Sunset created a fun package with the tiny tomatoes, convincing kids they can be fun to eat. Because they’re grape sized, you might even be able to tell picky kids that these are juicy grapes of weird colors, and they’ll eat them. After all, 95% of kids would say they love fruit. (It’s OK. Lying to kids about vegetables is perfectly fine and will not warp them in the future.)
Fruit leather may sound gross to adults, but it sounds great to kids. The Stretch Island brand of fruit leather has been around since the mid-1970s. This product has no added sugar and 1/4 cup of actual fruit per piece.
This variety pack gives you multiple flavors from which to choose. Each strip will have between 40 and 50 calories, so kids can even ask for seconds and you can feel comfortable giving them a second piece. (Just make sure that you don’t let them ask for ninths or tenths.)
Best of all, each strip of fruit leather is individually wrapped, so you won’t have a sticky mess. Always a plus when kids are involved.
Kids love applesauce, especially flavored applesauce, but the usual cups are not the best as an on-the-go snack. To make applesauce into easy healthy kids snacks, these GoGo snacks come in a squeeze pack.
This is unsweetened applesauce that’s gluten free and vegan friendly, so it’s a healthy snack for kids. There are only 70 calories per squeeze pouch, creating a great choice when you’re watching calorie intake. Should the child be unable to finish the entire pouch, you can reclose the cap, so it can be finished later. (You don’t have to finish it for the kid for a change … unless you want to.)
Now, you do need to keep an eye on the little monsters while they’re using the squeeze applesauce, just in case one of them decides that having an applesauce fight would be a fun idea. If you squeeze the pouch just right, you could shoot applesauce at your sibling. Fortunately, this is one of the better tasting kids snacks, so chances are the children will choose to eat it all, rather than wasting it.
Some kids “energy bars” have a ton of calories and not much nutritional value. Versus giving them a high-sugar energy bar, you’d probably be better off financially at snack time by giving them some fun size candy bars out of your secret stash of leftover candy from last Halloween and calling it good. (Or last Valentine’s Day or last Easter or whatever holiday you’re using as an excuse to hoard chocolate.)
The O Bar gives you a healthier option than most energy bars. It has some sugar, but it also delivers 7 grams of dietary fiber and only 130 calories per bar. These energy bars are good kids snacks for those with allergen sensitivity, as they’re dairy free, lactose free, and soy free.
You can pick from flavors like chocolate brownie, chocolate chip, and peanut butter. Don’t tell the children this is a healthy snack for kids, and they might think they’re eating a candy bar because it tastes so good.
For older kids who like a little bit of a spicy flavor in their kids snacks, these veggie puffs are pretty tasty. The variety pack has flavors like spicy cheddar and sour cream and onion, which may not appeal much to little ones … making older kids glad they don’t have to share with younger siblings. (They may have to share with mom and dad, though, because most adults will like the taste of these puffs too.)
At 160 calories per snack bag, it may be a little calorie heavy for the liking of some parents. But you receive 1.25 ounces of puffs per pack, so you receive a bit more food than with some other single serve snacks for kids.
Additionally, as a healthy snack for kids, it delivers 5 grams of plant protein and some dietary fiber in an all-vegetable ingredient list that has no artificial flavors, which is helpful for good nutrition.
First, we feel the need to say that this is a real product. A product name like Frooze Energy Balls may seem like it comes from a Saturday Night Live skit, but it is real.
Children will love the packaging of these easy healthy kids snacks, as you receive five snack balls per pack. Trust us. If you’re a kid, it’s way more fun to eat a snack in the form of a ball than in a regular bar form.
You’ll receive multiple flavors in this variety pack, such as fudge, peanut butter, and lemon. The balls are made with only natural ingredients like nut butter, raisins, and peanuts.
If you’re watching calories, though, this may not be a good choice as healthy kid snacks for school, as each pack carries 250 to 300 calories. You may want to have two kids share the pack of five balls to cut down on the calorie intake. Understand that after eating two energy balls each, they’re sure to get into a huge fight over the fifth ball, so this may be a good time to teach kids the lesson of King Solomon’s wisdom.
There are quite a few things that non-parent people fail to understand about what it’s like to have kids. But one of the biggest is weekday mornings.
Preparing to go to work at the same time you’re trying to get kids out of bed and dressed and ready for school or day care is one of the closest things to a flat-out free-for-all melee that you can have in modern society. It’s terrifying to the uninitiated.
So if you’re looking for healthy snacks for kids that are made to provide breakfast on the go, these belVita biscuits are an excellent choice. They taste pretty good, and they provide the extra energy kids need for the school morning.
Each pack contains 120 to 130 calories and has some dietary fiber. These bites don’t have artificial flavors or sweeteners.
Trust us. In the madness that is preparing to leave the house in the morning, you could do way, way worse for a breakfast snack. God knows we have. (Who knew peanut butter smeared on a slice of cheese with six Cheerios stuck to it can be a breakfast food? Our kids. That’s who.)
These Bear fruit rolls have only natural ingredients, meaning they don’t give kids a bunch of added sugar. (Parents everywhere who have survived the highs and lows of over-sugaring will be rejoicing over this.)
Each fruit roll only has 60 calories, so you can feel good about giving the kids the whole pack, which includes two rolls. This fruit roll is gluten free, and it’ll fit in a vegan diet. There are other delicious flavors, too, like mango, apple, and strawberry. There are even sours.
The ingredient list for these Bear snacks is pretty simple, as the snacks only have fruits and vegetables. (If you’re into reading nutrition labels for your kids snacks, this one is going to be pretty boring for you, as you won’t have to Google search any ingredient names you cannot pronounce.)
When you want healthy kid snacks for school, fruit snacks are always a popular selection. Not all fruit snacks are made the same though, as some are loaded with sugar and God knows how many artificial colors and flavors.
So when you want to stay healthier with your kids fruit snacks, the organic choices from Annie’s work nicely.
These snacks have 70 calories per pouch, which is perfect when you want to keep a handle on calorie intake. These snacks are especially good because they use only organic materials with no artificial flavors. They provide 100% of the required daily value of vitamin C. They taste pretty good too.
In the tradition of Annie’s, each piece of these fruit snacks is shaped like a bunny. So if your kids are animal lovers who don’t feel right about eating something like animal crackers, they may feel a little uneasy snacking on these bunnies. But these fruit snacks taste so good that even animal lovers may want to close their eyes while eating them and make an exception.
Whether or not your kid eats fruit, trust us, they’ll eat these. Rind dried fruit snacks are just that — pieces of fruit that are dehydrated just enough to maintain their chewy, flavorful goodness. In addition to having no preservatives or added sweeteners, this snack’s claim to fame is that the rind and skin stay on, which is a major source of delicious nutrients. (Sound weird? We get it, but tasting is believing.)
One of the things we love most about this snack is that it’s easy and *relatively* mess-free for when you’re on the go. (Because let’s face it, kids can make a mess out of pretty much anything.) So stash ’em in your travel carry-on, purse, diaper bag, or your kid’s backpack or lunch box for a healthy treat that’s better ‘n candy! BTW, don’t be surprised when you become addicted, too.
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Have a teen that needs a protein boost? While lots of protein bars of filled with chemicals, sugar, and other questionable ingredients (to put it lightly), R.E.D.D.’s protein bars are ones you can feel good about giving your growing kid. These are plant-based, vegan, and low sugar; they’re also non-GMO and gluten-free. And instead of the junk, they’re packed with wholesome ingredients, adaptogens, prebiotics and probiotics, fiber, and of course, protein. Now, try to find that in your typical protein bar!
R.E.D.D. bars come in tasty flavors like peanut butter, mint chocolate, and salted caramel. In addition to stashing one in your kids’ backpack for after school, you’ll want to toss one in your purse, diaper bag, or suitcase.
Here’s a genius way to sneak a little more nutrition into your kid’s day. Lil Bucks are made with activated sprouted buckwheat, which is packed with fiber, protein, and all eight amino acids. Even better, they’re made with stress-busting adaptogens plus superfood flavors like cacao and matcha for added deliciousness. Complete with an addictive crunch, and you’ve got a tasty topper to dress up your kid’s favorite snacks.
These little bits are gluten-free and even paleo-friendly. Try using them anywhere you’d add granola (minus the excess sugar): On smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, on top of peanut butter and apple slices, in a bowl with milk, or by the handful. You can even put a sprinkle on your kid’s ice cream to give it a healthy boost (shhh)!
Hopefully, this list will help you satisfy the ravenous snack monsters that are small children with healthier options. And hopefully, having prepackaged snacks will help save you some time in preparing food. With all of your newfound free time, why not check out our other home and kitchen buying guides? Maybe you’ll find even more time-saving products there.