I don’t know about you, but in my house but one of the most dreaded questions I used to hear on a regular basis from my kids is “What can I have for
Seriously?! Just as I start to feel like I’m #winning at meal prep, they go and ask the difficult question. (Because I had put zero thought into snack time.) I’d wince and rummage through the pantry or refrigerator until we found a halfway healthy snack that also had a fighting chance at keeping my sweet little bottomless-pit children full until dinnertime.
I got to a point where this fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants method for snack preparation just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Snacks are as inevitable as breakfast, lunch or dinner. They also offer a wonderful opportunity to offer nutrition. What we put into our mouths offers an invaluable opportunity to nourish ourselves. Children, and adults alike, food has to be visually appealing AND taste good. Bonus points for making it fun.
As soon as I got to work with planning snacks in the same thoughtful and strategic way that I’ve planned our main meals, life has gotten easier! I feel like a better mom because I know that my kids are getting important nutrition they need. And my children are happy to have snacks prepped and ready to go on-demand, packaged in a fun way–making it not only a snack but an experience for them as well. Think Lunchable-style. What kid doesn’t love tearing into a Lunchable?! I know mine do! This provides all the fun with none of the preservatives or questionable ingredients.
Keep reading to get some quick-hitter snack ideas that are good for the whole family. These snack ideas pair healthy carbs with filling protein & fat. Additionally, I have an AWESOME printable that not only includes this list in a pretty PDF, but also snack foods broken down by category—and a template for you to create your own boxes, complete with shopping list!
Easy, healthy snacks
When it comes to healthy snacking, quality can be key. When you buy organic, non-GMO, free-range or cage-free and grass-feed/grass-finished options, you are investing in the health of you and your family for the long-term. I’ve found that, I spend more on healthy options but less on processed junk that does nothing for my family.
And, there are
These snack ideas can easily be converted into lunches as well! Check out my post on How to Create an Awesome Car Picnic—also great info for ready-made lunches—to get details on my favorite containers, and more!
- Banana or apple slices topped with nut butter. When it comes to nut butter, there is such a wonderful assortment available. Almond, Cashew, Peanut, Walnut, or my personal favorite—sunflower seed butter!
- Multi-grain crackers and cheese. If you’re a gluten-free or gluten-aware household, there are plenty of great gluten-free cracker options available as well.
- Veggies with hummus. Store-bought hummus is fine, but home-made is delicious and pretty easy to make!
- Veggies with ranch dressing. Opt for the dressing you find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store to find the healthiest and least processed options.
- Celery with nut butter or cream cheese.
- Berries and greek yogurt. Opt for yogurt from grass-fed cows for your healthiest option. Plain offers the best low-sugar yogurt choice. If one of your children or yourself has a dairy intolerance, check out the delicious dairy-free coconut yogurt options too!
- Apple slices paired with cheese (string cheese, cheddar cheese cubes, etc)
- Rice cake with nut butter. Add bananas for a little something extra! Rice cakes are naturally gluten-free, making this a perfect option for households watching their gluten intake.
- Olives and cheese. If you or your kids tend to go for the saltier snacks, this is the perfect snack!
- Chicken, tuna or egg salad on crackers. Multi-grain or gluten-free crackers make this a perfect choice for everyone. Take your chicken, tuna or egg salad one step healthier by using avocado mayo. I tried this in my house and even my skeptical husband loved it.
- Finger sandwiches. There are so many fun options here! Peanut butter and banana. Chicken, egg, or tuna salad. Turkey or ham…etc. Change it up with mini-pita pockets!
- Berries and almonds. If your kids are old enough to eat nuts, this is a great go-to snack. Berries provide the sweet and
nutsprovide the crunchy and a little bit of salty.
- Cottage cheese and fruit. Some of our personal favorites are Dole mandarin oranges or pineapple chunks, juice drained.
- Turkey or ham roll-ups (deli meat rolled up). This is so simple and kids love it. Simply take a piece of deli meat and roll it up! Add a little hummus or cream cheese to give it extra flavor.
- Quesadillas. It’s always a good idea to have some flour or corn tortillas on-hand. Add shredded cheese and some chopped chicken or black beans and a little salsa or guac on the side. Corn tortillas are naturally gluten-free.
- Unsweetened apple sauce and cheese. Another great salty/sweet combo that kids love.
- Oatmeal. Oatmeal doesn’t just have to be for breakfast! Check out my post, Easy Freezer Breakfast: Steelcut Oatmeal to learn how to create convenient, single serve portions of this American favorite. Add a little bit of almond milk, berries and walnuts for staying power.
- Trail mix. Buy a healthy, pre-made mix from Trader Joes, Whole Foods or even Costco—or buy your own nuts, dried fruit, and a sweet treat to create your own.
- Fruit smoothie blended with almond milk
- Blueberry pancakes. I like Kodiak Cakes because they are super easy to prepare, minimally processed and chock-full of healthy protein. We add blueberries to ours. I like to make an extra batch on the weekends when we’re making pancakes anyway—and freeze them for easy access during the week.
- English muffin pizzas. What kid doesn’t have a ton of fun making their own pizza? All you need is pizza sauce (keeps for a while, once opened, in the refrigerator), English muffins and mozzarella cheese.
- Avocado toast. Okay, in my house, this one is more for me than my kids—but it’s still worth putting on the list. ESPECIALLY if you’re one of the lucky ones who’s children like avocado! All you need is avocado mashed with a little bit of garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper, a piece of toast (whole-grain, gluten-free—whatever!). Add some extra protein with an egg on top (prepared hard-boiled & sliced or over-medium).
Hopefully, I’ve provided you with a few great snack ideas that you and your children can both get excited about! Be sure to download the Complete Healthy Snack Planning Guide from our Printables Resource Library. Sign up below to gain access to that, plus plenty of other helpful planning tools and printables!