Nothing makes me feel more like I have my life together than those weeks when our fridge is stocked with our favorite healthy snacks for kids to bring to school. A little prep time over the weekend is well worth the saved time and mental energy throughout the week. And having all of our kids’ snacks planned and prepped also prevents those afterschool meltdowns when I’m frantically searching our pantry for something that’s not deep-fried or expired.
Creating healthy meals and snacks for our kids is certainly daunting but not impossible. Start with classic kid-favorites like yogurt pouches or Goldfish crackers and health-ify where you can. Here are 50 of our favorite ideas to get you started.
Our Ultimate List of Healthy Snacks for Kids at School
How to Pack School Snacks
Now that you’ve got your list of healthy snacks that your child will actually eat, it’s time to make a packing plan. Rather than blowing through an entire bag of Ziploc bags in a week, here are some reusable (and less expensive) options.
Reusable snack bags are a great place to start. They can hold sandwiches and dry snacks and most are dishwasher-safe. We love the fun patterns on these sandwich bags ($14). A variety pack of different sizes ($15) is also a great investment.
Bento boxes are another easy way to pack snacks or school lunches for kids. The small compartments prevent the snack components from mixing together, and kids love having a variety of small snacks. Grab this unicorn one ($30) for a fun lunch surprise or this pack of three ($22) for the entire family. Search Bento Box lunches on Pinterest for some fun, new kids lunch ideas!
Finally, invest in a great insulated thermos (like this one) to pack cold smoothies and pasta salads or warm mac and cheese.
Smart Tips for School Snacking
So you’ve got your back-to-school recipes ready to go; here are a few final tips for the easiest snacking ever.
- Go nut-free: Even if your school allows nuts, it’s a good idea to skip them. This way, if your child trades or shares, you know everyone will be safe.
- Include your kids: Our kids are more likely to try new things when they’re involved in the preparation. Add snack-packing to your child’s chore list and give them a few healthy options to choose from.
- Prevent waste: If your child consistently brings her uneaten snack home, explain that it will then become her afterschool snack. This usually has a way of motivating kids to eat it at school!
Looking for meals your kids will love? These kid-friendly dinners are perfect for weeknights.
Tired of cooking? Don’t miss these healthy snack box subscriptions that deliver to your door.
1 / 40
Mini Zucchini Pizzas
Looking for low carb? This simple snack recipe is a fantastic way to satisfy your pizza cravings while skipping the usual carb-filled crust. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to Recipe
Double-Berry Quick Bread
Healthy, fast and easy! This bread is a favorite of mine when prep time is tight and I have small amounts of different kinds of berries to use up. — Jennifer Coduto, Kent, OhioGo to Recipe
Homemade Peanut Butter
We eat a lot of peanut butter, so I decided to make my own. My homemade version is easier on my wallet, and I know what ingredients are in it. It’s also a lot tastier! —Marge Austin, North Pole, AlaskaGo to Recipe
Berry Smoothie Bowl
We turned one of our favorite smoothies into a smoothie bowl and topped it with even more fresh fruit and a few toasted almonds for a little crunch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks
These grain-free, cheesy cauliflower breadsticks are made with vegetables instead of flour. Serve them with your favorite marinara sauce.—Nick Iverson, Denver, ColoradoGo to Recipe
Garlic-Herb Mini Quiches
Looking for a wonderful way to impress guests? You’ve got it—and you need only five ingredients to make these tasty apps! —Josephine Piro, Easton, PennsylvaniaGo to Recipe
Garbanzo-Stuffed Mini Peppers
Mini peppers are so colorful and are the perfect size for a two-bite appetizer. They have all the crunch of pita chips but without the extra calories. —Christine Hanover, Lewiston, CaliforniaGo to Recipe
Orange-Berry Yogurt Muffins
These are my husband’s favorite muffins so I love to keep them on hand. They freeze and reheat beautifully. Just warm them in the oven for 30 seconds and you’re ready to go! —Amber Cummings, Indianapolis, IndianaGo to Recipe
This lovely appetizer is almost too pretty to eat! Sweet watermelon cubes hold a refreshing topping that showcases cucumber, red onion and fresh herbs. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to Recipe
Elvis Banana Bread
As a toddler, my son loved bananas, so we always had them in the house. We didn’t always eat them all before they were too ripe, so we experimented beyond basic banana bread. That’s how we came up with Elvis bread! —Liz Somppi, Greenfield, WisconsinGo to Recipe
I needed a change from the standard guacamole recipe, so I added mango for more sweetness. It really complements the heat from the chili pepper, and it looks beautiful, too! —Adam Landau, Englewood Cliffs, New JerseyGo to Recipe
Chicken & Bacon Roll-Ups
My children like these so much that they ask for them every day for lunch during the summer. Whenever I have leftover chicken or turkey breast, this is a delicious way to use it up. —Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, CaliforniaGo to Recipe
Best Ever Breadsticks
Present these delicious breadsticks alongside an Italian favorite like lasagna or spaghetti. They’re an attractive and edible addition to the table setting! —Carol Wolfer, Lebanon, OregonGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini
I made a healthier spin on my favorite celebrity chef’s recipe by subbing in vegetable broth for some of the oil and going easy on the cheese. To top crostini, use this recipe for a pastelike pesto. For use on pasta, add more broth for a saucelike consistency. —Amber Massey, Argyle, TexasGo to Recipe
Healthy Greek Bean Dip
This crowd-pleasing appetizer is healthy to boot! Folks will love to eat their veggies when they can dip them in this zesty, fresh alternative to hummus. —Kelly Silvers, Edmond, OklahomaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
This recipe is just like any other Asian wrap but with more flavor, a healthy twist and the convenience of a slow cooker. Instead of ordering Chinese, try making these yourself. —Melissa Hansen, Ellison Bay, WisconsinGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Zucchini Pico de Gallo Salsa
I love veggies and fresh ingredients this time of year. I make big bowls of this salsa, which we eat with pretty much everything in the summer when tomatoes are bountiful. My kids love it, though I leave out the jalapeno when making it for them. —Amy Gattuso, Madison Heights, MichiganGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Sun-Dried Tomato Goat Cheese Empanadas
I created this appetizer because I entertain a lot and wanted something simple but special. People like these empanadas so much! I always make extra. —Lynn Scully, Rancho Santa Fe, CaliforniaGo to Recipe
Spinach and Turkey Pinwheels
Need an awesome snack for game day? My kids love these easy four-ingredient turkey pinwheels. Go ahead and make them the day before—they won’t get soggy! —Amy Van Hemert, Ottumwa, IowaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Yogurt & Honey Fruit Cups
This tasty combo of fresh fruit and creamy orange-kissed yogurt is guaranteed to disappear fast from your breakfast table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Rustic Oatmeal Scones
My family loves scones, but traditional recipes contain excessive fat and calories. After lots of experimentation, I came up with this alternative recipe. The effort is well worth the delicious flavor, amazing texture and nutrient density of these scones. —Gail D’Urso, Carlisle, PennsylvaniaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Tender, buttery crescents surround a delicious filling, making these appetizers a real standout. No one will guess that they’re light! —Jennifer Kemp, Grosse Pointe Park, MichiganGo to Recipe
Homemade Honey Grahams
The way my boys eat them, I would spend a fortune on honey graham crackers at the grocery store. So I decided to make a homemade version that is less processed—and less expensive. These are wonderful, although they still don’t last long. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, ColoradoGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Layered Hummus Dip
My love for Greece inspired this fast, easy Mediterranean dip. It is fabulous for parties and a delicious way to include garden-fresh veggies on your menu. —Cheryl Snavely, Hagerstown, MarylandGo to Recipe
Chocolate Chip-Cranberry Scones
My daughter started making these as a “healthy” alternative to cookies since we seem to like cookies of any kind. I’ve never been able to eat just one, so this recipe seemed perfect for us. —Nichole Jones, Idaho Falls, IdahoGo to Recipe
Grilled Pineapple with Lime Dip
Serve this dish as an appetizer or a dessert—the choice is yours! If desired, the pineapple spears can be rolled in flaked coconut before grilling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Thyme-Sea Salt Crackers
These homemade crackers are decidedly light and crispy. An addictive snack on their own, they also pair well with a sharp white cheddar. —Jessica Wirth, Charlotte, North CarolinaGo to Recipe
Fresh Corn & Avocado Dip
I alter my sister’s recipe by adding finely chopped jalapeno for a little heat. This is a different way of serving corn as a dip that can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until serving. —Pat Roberts, Thornton, OntarioGo to Recipe
Apple Spice Muffins
I came up with this recipe when I was out of my usual muffin-making ingredients. I improvised, and the results were terrific! —Beckie Lapointe, Abbotsford, British ColumbiaGo to Recipe
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Roasting pumpkin seeds is easier than it seems. Just hollow a pumpkin out, spice ’em and bake ’em for a fun snack. —Dawn Fagerstrom, Warren, MinnesotaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Broccoli-Cheddar Beef Rolls
My grandma’s recipe for beef rolls is easy to change up. Load them with ham, veggies, even olives — how ever you’d like. —Kent Call, Riverside, UtahGo to Recipe
My husband doesn’t like traditional Texas corn bread, so I came up with this recipe. This is the only kind he’ll eat. Yogurt makes this variation different from most. —Amanda Andrews of Mansfield, TexasGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Baked Elephant Ears
My mother-in-law handed down this recipe from her mother. They’re a special treat—even better, I think, than those at a carnival or festival. And (shh!) they’re baked, not fried. —Delores Baeten, Downers Grove, IllinoisGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Green & Gold Salsa
Edamame and corn give this unique salsa its unmistakable team colors. You can add a little salt if you like, too. A healthy alternative to creamy dips, it’s good for the extra point. —Maggie Lovat, Green Bay, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Ginger Pear Muffins
This wonderful recipe has been in my files for years. The chunks of fresh pear make each bite moist and delicious. —Lorraine Caland, Thunder Bay, OntarioGo to Recipe
Clever little meatballs deliver the flavor and rich sauce of a traditional tamale in a bite-sized portion. They’re a delightfully different addition to a holiday spread. —Dolores Jaycox, Gretna, LouisianaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Chewy Honey Granola Bars
There’s sweetness from the honey, chewiness from the raisins, hints of chocolate and cinnamon, and a bit of crunch. To save a few for later, wrap individual bars and place in a resealable freezer container. When you want a satisfying treat on short notice, just grab one and let it thaw for a few minutes. —Tasha Lehman, Williston, VermontGo to Recipe
Muffin-Tin Tamale Cakes
We needed snack inspiration beyond peanut butter and jelly. These muffin tamales have all of the flavor without the fuss. Pair with skewered fruit. —Suzanne Clark, Phoenix, ArizonaGo to Recipe
Kid-friendly and quick, these crunchy oven-baked chicken fries are coated with a mixture of crushed potato chips, panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip them in ranch dressing, barbecue sauce or honey-mustard sauce.—Nick Iverson, Denver, ColoradoGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Granola Blueberry Muffins
I wanted to put a new spin on muffins, so I mixed in some granola that contained lots of nuts, pumpkin seeds and shredded coconut. Then I brought a batch to work the next morning—success!—Megan Weiss, Menomonie, WisconsinGo to Recipe ⓘ