I am not a mom who bakes my own granola bars, dehydrates fruit snacks or cuts my kids’ fruits and cheese into fun shapes. But I am a mom who likes to send my kids off to school without too many pre-packaged snacks and things my kids will actually eat. Since Hannah started bringing her lunch to school four years ago, I have been on the hunt for healthy snacks for kids that require minimal prep, are nut-free and have a short list of natural ingredients. Here are our family’s top 10 favourites, aside from the obvious fresh fruits and vegetables:
Even though she doesn’t have any allergies, Hannah’s go-to granola bar is gluten-free, vegan and organic and quite delicious actually. Made from oats, agave nectar, crisp brown rice and vegetable extracts (shh!), among other ingredients, we buy these bars in bulk at Costco and have recently sampled some of their other products including Crispy Squares and Granola Minis.
For a few months I attempted to make my own chocolate chip cookies weekly for Alex but it didn’t last long. So I was thrilled to discover these super-convenient pre-packaged bags that are perfect for a lunch box. They are also allergy-free, making them school safe. I’ve been known to steal a pack for myself from time to time!
While this two-in-one snack sometimes comes home with just the pretzels eaten, Hannah usually gets her dose of protein from the classic chickpea hummus. This is the epitome of healthy snacking on the go with a resealable package if she’s not able to finish it all. Be on the lookout for a club pack of these at Costco too.
Little kids are used to cheese crackers in a non-bunny form but this healthier alternative is made with organic wheat and 100% real cheese. And really, can you deny them a classic childhood snack?
I originally bought these for Leo when he was a toddler but Hannah usually ends up polishing off the box before he can get to them. She may think they are sweet gummies, but I know that they’re made from organic fruits and don’t contain any added sugar. Note: we’ve only found these snacks in the States.
For a kid who doesn’t love fruit, these are the perfect substitute for Hannah. Freeze dried apples, pears, strawberries and more without any added sugar. They maintain all of their nutritional value in the process and are packaged in a sleek, easy-to-open single serving bag.
I would have never in a million years thought that my kids would eat chia seeds but these crackers are so tasty, they don’t even notice how good they are for them. Made from a blend of organic seeds and grains they are perfect for popping on their own or smearing with some dip.
After learning of the dangers associated with the chemicals in microwave popcorn bags I needed to make a switch. Skinny Pop was my first choice and my kids love it. With no artificial ingredients it is a go-to in our house. The pre-packed mini bags (available at Provigo) make packing lunches in the morning super easy, without a mess. While we can only get the amazing chemical-free pop up bags in the states, they’ve become a staple item for movie night.
Leo and my husband are fans of these stone-ground whole wheat bars that come in flavours like apple cinnamon, raspberry and, of course, fig. They’re a healthier, more filling version of the classic Fig Newton without any artificial colours or high fructose corn syrup. These are also on our Costco shopping list.
Here’s my one homemade snack that I keep stocked in the pantry and usually need to refill on a weekly basis. If your kids aren’t salt and vinegar fans, Angela from Oh She Glows has a plain version as well. Either way, they’ll be popping the protein with every crunchy bite.