Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Actually Want to Eat

Packing a lunch has never been easier!

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
July 26, 2019
Related To:

If you are regularly packing a lunch for your child, you know what a struggle it can be. You want to include foods that are nutritious and filling that don't taste too “healthy.” But finding items that check both of these boxes isn’t always easy.

One thing that makes the whole process a little easier is having ready-to-go snacks already in your fridge or pantry. In order to help you navigate the overflowing snack aisles at your local grocery store, we asked four registered dietitians to share the snacks that they would actually buy for kids. The options below are a mixture of salty and sweet, and most can be stored at room temperature.

Stock up on a few of these healthy choices before school starts back up, and you’ll never find yourself struggling to pack lunch again.

From Target

BUY IT: Target, $3.79

In these single-serve squeeze packs, "applesauce has been upgraded for the better," says Shamera Robinson, MPH, RDN. "These Simply Balanced pouches use real fruits and vegetables, with no added sugar. With flavors like apple-spinach and apple-carrot, these lunchbox-friendly snacks give the same great applesauce taste with an even bigger nutrient punch."

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $5.33

If you’re looking for a healthy, crunchy snack that won’t totally bore your kids, try popcorn. "This whole grain snack is low in saturated fat and high in fiber, making it a great swap for traditional potato chips," Robinson says. "The popcorn even comes in portioned 'snack pack' bags for easy grab-and-go fuel." Or, you can buy large bags and portion it out into smaller containers yourself.

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $16.13 for 6 bags

"Keeping it simple goes a long way when feeding growing bodies," Robinson says. "Bare apple chips have no added sugar, no preservatives and only one ingredient – apples. The apples are baked to crunchy, sweet perfection, which makes them a lunchroom hit." If your kids are adventurous eaters, Bare also makes carrot and beet chips.

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $6.49 for 6 cups

"These creamy hummus singles are rich in protein and make a great partner for baby carrots or sliced cucumbers," Robinson says. If vegetables are a tough sell, whole grain crackers or pita chips are also great dipping options. The individual cups are sold in a pack of six, which means you can buy them once and be set for a whole week.

BUY IT: KIND Snacks, $19.43 for 30 mini bars

"Surprisingly, many granola bars can have just as much added sugar as candy bars," Robinson says. Not KIND bars, though. "With flavors like dark chocolate nuts & sea salt, KIND minis satisfy that sweet-salty craving with just two grams of added sugar."

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $2.99

These whole grain crackers make for a, "quick, non-greasy, salty snack," says Kamaria Mason, MS, MPH, RD. "Full of rich cheddar flavor, these little crackers pair nicely with Honeycrisp apple slices." They’re relatively low in sodium for a savory snack, too.

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $14.47 for 10 snack packs

“This mix is indeed simply the best,” Mason says. “Packed full of protein and fiber, and low in sugar, these sweet individual snack bags are a lunchbox must-have in our family.” They’re great for hikes or field trips, but also perfect for throwing in backpacks on hot days, since nothing will melt.

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $13.88 for 2 bags

Simply put, these veggie-based crisps are “like a cross between snap peas and Cheetos,” says Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, founder of Real Mom Nutrition and author of The 101 Healthiest Foods For Kids. They’re low in sodium and baked instead of fried. They do taste a little bit healthier than traditional potato chips, but your kids will love how much fun they are to eat.

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $14.99

These are “a dead ringer for Larabars,” Kuzemchak says, but a little bit more affordable. The apple pie flavor is super kid-friendly, and great for lunchboxes or on-the-go car snacks.

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $13.87 for 2 bags

For gluten-free kids, Kuzemchak recommends these pretzel sticks that taste an awful lot like the real thing. Add them to a lunch box alongside a hummus cup for dipping.

From Borden

BUY IT: In-Stores, $3.99

“These single serve cheese snacks pack a nice protein and calcium punch,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, founder of Essence Nutrition. “Oddly, the concept of peel-able string cheese freaks some kids out, so this is a great find.”

From Amazon

BUY IT: Amazon, $26.94 for 6 bags

“These come in so many fun flavors and are a high fiber high protein alternative to crackers and chips,” Moreno says. The rockin’ ranch and barbecue are both great, kid-friendly options that don’t pack much added sugar.

Related Content:

Next Up

Healthy Snacking at Work

You'll be able to resist the snack machine if you stock your office with healthier snacks like popcorn, frozen grapes and nuts.

6 Healthier Packaged Foods

The recent Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo in Houston showcased an array of good-for-you foods that are new to the market. Here are six worth checking out.

Healthier Homemade Cheese Pretzels

You can find soft pretzels in airports, malls and carnivals nationwide. The problem is, these mass-made pretzels are often loaded with calories and salt.

Healthy Diet Excuses and Solutions

We asked top nutrition experts from around the country some of the most popular weight loss excuses they’ve heard over the years. Do any of them sound familiar?

Robin's Healthy Take: March Madness Munchies

So what if your bracket is busted? You can still cheer along your favorite teams, old and new, with these snacks by your side.

Katie’s Healthy Bites: My Smarter Snack Picks

Some people think too much snacking can lead to weight gain, but the key is nibbling on the right things in the right amounts. Here are a few of my favorite choices.

Food News: Minibars, Vending Machines Offer Healthy Alternatives

Hotel mini bars and vending machines are now offering healthier snack options, since sales of nuts and trail mix are higher than the traditional junk food.

Healthy Snacks for a Day at the Beach

Heading out for a day of sun, sand and surf? Fill your beach bag with the right snacks so you're not tempted to answer the call of the ice cream man.

Class Act: Healthy Snack Ideas to Bring to School

Help your little ones and their classmates snack smarter this year.