25 Easy School Snacks Ideas for Kids
If packing lunches won’t do, packing separate snacks will
As a mom of four rowdy kids… I have a tendency to start the school year off strong with amazingly decorative and delicious school snacks and lunches for my kids. However, by say … er … three quarters of the school year through, I have entirely lost my motivation and my “go and get them” spirit. I pack whatever is closest to me on the kitchen counter and into my kid’s snack bags. Whole sleeves of cookies? An entire loaf of bread? A juice box and block of cheese? Sure, why not? That is why, in an attempt to be a “put together mom” like the rest of you, I heavily rely on detailed lists like this one with 25 easy school snacks ideas for kids. When I have clear directions, I can’t fail right?
How to pack kids’ school snacks
Look, as I see it, we have two options as parents for packing our kids school snacks: option 1, we can purchase the fancy and expensive, yet popular, and readymade bento box-type kid’s school lunch boxes that have labeled individual compartments for different foods. Or option 2, we can throw everything into individual zip-top baggies and call it a day.
Regardless of how you decide to make your child’s school snacks and lunch, I am here for it. You do you because I know you are doing your best. I’ve done the elaborate bento box lunches and I’ve thrown food into individual baggies, and I’ve also done the “just buy hot lunch because mommy is tired.”
And honestly, they are all the same. At the end of the day our kids are well fed and happy. In my many, many years of parenting, these are 25 easy school snack ideas that have helped me out along the way. I keep a list in my phone of these specific school snacks ideas for those mornings when I am not motivated. But don’t worry, this list works for everyone, and you can modify almost everything on it!
25 Super Easy School Snack Ideas
- Apples and peanut butter for dipping: You can use any kind of nut butter (almond butter is delicious)
- Ham (or turkey) and cheese roll ups: Take a piece of protein with a piece of cheese and roll them together lengthwise, it is that easy and tastes so delicious
- Trail mix: Either readymade or homemade with nuts, dried fruits like apricots, cranberries and raisins, cooked oats and small bits of chocolate such as mini chocolate chips
- Fruit leather: Buy them or make them yourself
- Banana nut muffins: a simple banana nut and raisin muffin recipe is perfect for those busy school mornings and after school snacks.
- Sliced strawberries and blueberries: Add a dollop of low-fat yogurt and a sprinkle of granola for a really spectacular snack
- Frozen yogurt tubes: They will defrost and be the perfect temperature by snack time
- Sugar-free applesauce: Don’t forget to send your kid to school with a plastic spoon, I can’t even comprehend how many good spoons I’ve lost to the kid’s school!
- Popcorn: Make it extra nutritious by adding a sprinkle of nutritional yeast
- Ready-made apple and fruit squeeze pouches: my daughter loves the apple strawberry flavor
- Grapes: sliced in half for fun (or not, whatevs)
- Ants on a log aka celery: Stuffed with peanut butter and topped raisins to look like ants (one of my favorite childhood snacks!)
- Cheese wheels: Found in your market’s dairy section
- Mixed veggies like carrots, celery and cucumber: Add hummus for dipping
- Carrots and ranch dip: Everything tastes better with ranch dip is what my 8-year-old says
- Frozen small veggies: Peas and cubed carrots will defrost by snack time
- Hard-boiled eggs and low-sodium crackers: For a high-protein, soft and crunchy snack!
- Granola bar: Either homemade or ready made
- Watermelon chunks: Is there a more perfect warm spring day snack?
- Graham crackers topped with chocolate hazelnut spread and fruit
- A whole banana: With a face drawn on the peel with black sharpie (my kids love surprises!)
- Slices of tomato and mozzarella: Add in basil leaves if your child loves Italian flavors!
- A deliciously ripe Fuji apple with honey for dipping
- Cubed cheese and crackers
- Last night’s leftovers: sometimes last night’s lasagna makes the best next day school snack
Two Kid-Approved Lunch Recipes
Pasta Salad Recipe
Kids love pasta! Add a few veggies and protein, and you’ve got a nutritious meal.
- 1 cup noodles, cooked al dente to package directions
- ½ teaspoon of butter
- 1 carrot, sliced very thin (or 3 baby carrots, shredded)
- ½ celery stalk, sliced
- Small cubes of ham or salami
- 1 Tablespoon Italian dressing (you can use any salad dressing that your child likes)
- Pinch of salt & pepper
Cook noodles to al dente box directions, drain and mix with butter. Add shredded carrots and chopped celery and stir. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow to cool to room temperature. Mix in 1 teaspoon low fat Italian dressing and stir well. Store in refrigerator and serve in a small plastic tub for school snack. Don’t forget to pack a plastic fork.
Cucumber Salad Recipe
My kid loves it so yours will too. This recipe makes more than just a school snack. It’s delicious as a side dish too!.
- 2 seedless cucumbers, sliced thin (keep the skin on, the skin provides extra calcium)
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon dill (can be substituted with Italian seasoning)
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Mix again before serving. Do not forget the plastic fork in your child’s snack bag.