I get asked all the time what I give my kids for snacks at home, in the car, or at church. This post gives ideas of healthy snacks for kids in all situations.
Last week I had someone ask me what I give my kids for snacks. “Do you really not buy them fruit snacks?!?” I really don’t! The only fruit snacks I ever buy them, and I only purchase these as a special treat a couple of times a year, are the YUMEARTH organic ones at Costco. They don’t have artificial colors or flavors and my kids love them. So every once in a while I get them (typically during the Organic sale at Costco).
I used to buy fruit snacks when my oldest two girls were smaller. Then I realized what was in them, and that food dyes were something I wanted to stay far away from. Besides that, I felt like I was throwing money away because I would buy them and suddenly the box would be gone!
Now I have found some better alternatives my kids love, and they are none the wiser that these aren’t “treats.” I don’t buy juice boxes or granola bars. But there are lots of great healthy snacks that kids will love!
Let’s break this list down into things I ALWAYS have on hand, and things I buy for special trips (when we go to Canada) or for a fun treat!
My must-have all the time snacks:
- Apple sauce pouches. My kids all love these, and they are mess-free and easy to take in my bag anywhere we go. They are quiet for church, and only contain apples and water. I should have stock in these, I buy them so much! The best price by far is at Costco where you can get a box of 24 for $7.99
- Raisins. I buy the organic if they are on sale, but otherwise just get the regular boxes. I also buy the big bags of organic raisins from Costco and if we are at home my kids get those in a small bowl instead of a box.
- Justin’s nut butter pouches. I love these and so do my kids. They can get a little messy for the younger ones, so they aren’t great for the car, but they love them at home or when I can help them with it. Chocolate hazelnut, honey peanut butter, and maple almond butter are our favorites.
- Lara bars. I always have these and my kids can have them if we are on the go, or are planning a little picnic outside. They aren’t an every day snack (price-wise that would get crazy), but are perfect for trips to town. We love lemon and apple pie.
- Sweet potato crackers. While I don’t buy regular “crackers” I do buy the sweet potato crackers from Costco and we use them in place of crackers and chips. Everyone in my family loves these. They are perfect with guacamole!
- Nuts. My kids love almonds, and I always have some in the pantry. They are an easy snack to take along, mix up into your own trail mix, or just grab a few during the day to tide them over between meals.
- Fruit leather. I buy these from Costco as well, because they are a great price. Once again, it’s something all of my kids will eat and they are easy to grab for the car. They can get a little sticky/messy depending on who is consuming them, but they only contain fruit and are worth it to me!
- Happy Tot Sweet Potato/Carrot pouches. Two of my children really like these – my baby boy and my picky 5 year old! So I keep buying them, because they are more filling than just an apple sauce pouch. They have often been on a good sale at Costco so I stock up when they are.
Snacks for special occasions:
- YumEarth organics fruit snacks. I have to hide these when I do buy them, or my kids ask for them constantly. I bust them out during church sometimes (but am trying to shift away from snacks during church as my kids get a little older), but mostly in the car. They don’t get these just at home, they are for convenience and a treat while we are out and about.
- Veggie straws. My children are very hit and miss with these. Sometimes they seem to love them, others we have a huge bag of them sitting around FOREVER and no one wants them. I don’t buy them that often, mostly when we are planning a trip somewhere.
- Rice rollers. I noticed these at Costco months ago and then kept seeing Shannon from Clean Eats Clean Treats putting them in her daughter’s lunch box. I bought some and my kids loved them. They are messy, so we take them outside if we are on our way out to play. Or at the kitchen table!
- Fig bars. The ingredient list is pretty good, and I don’t mind giving these to my kids. They think they are getting something extremely special with these because they are pretty much a cookie! I buy them at Costco and hide half the box for later. We eat these at home for snacks, and in the car.
- Mamma Chia squeeze pouches. I can only find these online or at Target. The closest Target to me is 1.5 hrs away, so I don’t get them often. Everyone in the family loves them so they disappear quickly. With a family of 6, one box of 8 is suddenly gone a day after I buy them! But they are fun and squeaky clean so I love to get them when I can.
When we are home and my children want a “3 o’clock snack” as we call it, they can have a piece of fruit (apple, banana, orange), or carrots, nuts, a piece of bread, etc. If you make food fun, kids will eat it. If it’s available and ready, they are more likely to want it. If I hand my kids an apple, they don’t eat the whole thing. But if I cut it up into slices or rings, they love it. If I peel a carrot for them, they will devour several of them!