For the past few years, my nearly-seven-year-old and I have had the BEST time scrolling through Thrive Market and browsing the aisles of Target for the best healthy(ish) kids snacks.Our kids- likely like many of yours, as well, are big snackers. We do our best to keep solid mealtimes and feed them a balance of nutrients at each meal, but lo and behold, they often still want a snack 30 minutes later.
And we don’t sweat it, because kids are growing! But we do like to have snacks on hand that are nutrient-dense and filling (most of the time) for whatever mood our kiddos are in. While we prefer homemade snacks, we’re all about balance around here! Sometimes you need something easy on the go, or if your kids are in school and are required to have disposable packaging- you might be looking for more options, as well.
Here are our favorite packaged kids snack picks of 2020:
Fruit and natural sweets:
1. Freeze Dried fruit
My kids go crazy over freeze dried fruit. Natierra is our favorite brand, we also love the Trader Joe’s brand.
2. Apple rings
Less crunchy and more chewy, dried apple rings are delicious dipped in peanut or sunflower seed butter!
3. Dried fruit
My kids just love dried fruit in general– two of their recent favorites have been mango and kiwi. We look for no added sweetener.
The classic, right?! Whether enjoyed on their own (or by the three-pack, as my almost three year old loves to devour), raisins are tiny little sweet treats that are also fiber-rich (win-win!).
Do I need an explanation for this one? Applesauce is a go-to, at home and in the lunchbox.
These are a new to us find! We weren’t sure about the texture at first (they’re more chewy, like a chestnut or roasted chickpea, instead of crunchy like a nut)- but they’re fast growing on all of us! They’re actually roots, not nuts, so they’re school safe.
Crackers and crunchies:
7. Jovial Sourdough Crackers These crunchy nut-free sourdough crackers are a staple in our house!
8. Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies
Is there a kid out there that doesn’t like cheddar bunnies? These aren’t exactly a health food, but they sure are delicious! It’s all about #balance.
9. Simple Mills Crackers
These are the most delicious, gluten-free crackers we’ve found– unfortunately they’re not nut-free, but if you can do nuts in your family, I highly recommend these!
10. Skinny Pop
My oldest is sensitive to corn, so we don’t do a lot of popcorn (or any corn except fresh, for that matter!) but our littlest loves a bag of popcorn- the ingredients are simple (though I don’t necessarily love the same), we keep these around for her often.
If you have ever enjoyed a cheesy puffed corn snack, you will love these dairy-free, chickpea based puffs. They’re SO darn good, and made with pretty great ingredients, too.
12. Annie’s Snack MixWe had to include this snack, even though we also included bunnies- because it adds some fun and variety to the snack plate!
13. Freeze Dried Edamame
Crunchy, salty and easy to grab a handful (plus, they’re packed with plant based protein- win!), these are a favorite snack in our house- they’re great thrown into a homemade trail mix, too.
My kids can NOT get enough of olives, which, as an olive lover, I can totally relate to. My husband? Not so much, ha! Though we typically enjoy our olives from a jar, these convenient containers are great for an on-the-go option for a little healthy fat boost.
15. Seaweed Snacks
If you’re “ewww”-ing right now, don’t knock it ’til you try it! These snacks are super packed with minerals, salty, a little crisp and just altogether a yummy snack (though, they’re not too filling so we do often pair them with something alongside!).
16. Moon Cheese
These are new to us this year (we’ve loved whisps, below, for a few years now) and we find them so fun- crunchy and cheesy to boot, with a little protein boost. Great for kids and grown-ups.
17. Meat Sticks
We’ve been enjoying these for years! Light, airy, salty and crunchy- if you’re a parm fan, you’ll love these!
19. Coconut Chips
These (especially the caramel) are DELICIOUS. Crunchy and salty-sweet, it’s easy to eat a whole bag. Thankfully, they’re made from simple ingredients and packed with fiber and healthy fat (though, it wouldn’t stop me from enjoying them if they weren’t!).
20. Fruit Tape
Ok, these are purely for fun. Not much nutritional value- and that’s ok! Our kiddos just need to know balance is important- and having some sweets is ok.
I was surprised at how much I loved these crunchy nut-free snacks! They’re made mostly of seeds, and I think they’re a hybrid between a cookie and crunchy granola. My kids enjoy them, too!
22. Madegood Granola BitesWe love the Madegood company- we love their bars (see below), the fact that they’re made with veggies and nut-free.
These were another new-to-us yummy try, this year. They’re granola bites- but they sure do taste like cookies 😉 They get a 10/10 from my kids!
Did you know Kristen Bell co-founded the This Saves Lives company? She’s one of my favorites (if you know her, please tell her I’d LOVE to have her on the podcast ????). My kids LOVE these bars, and they’re doing good in the world!
25. Rxbar Minis
We love the full size Rx bars- and my kids do enjoy the Kids Rx bars, but these are the perfect size for a little snack!
26. MadeGood barsI mentioned this company above- we’ve loved their bars for years! Sage loves the mixed berry and the sweet and salty.
Another longtime favorite, these are dense- but thankfully split into two little bar-cookies, perfect for splitting between two kids! They have a gluten-free version, as well, for GF kids.
Squeezies and dairy snacks:
28. Go-go squeeze Happy Tummiez or Yogurt squeezesThese are a new favorite, in our house. My oldest keeps saying “they don’t taste like they have veggies in them!”. As a mama, I love that they have prebiotics for a healthy gut- the same with yogurt tubes with probiotics! Just one more way to get in some nutrients.
29. Fruit-and-veggie squeeze packs
We’re not picky about brands, because we don’t do them a lot, but they are a great low-mess way to enjoy apple/fruit sauce on the go.
30. String cheese/pre-packaged cheese cubes
We love cheese in our house! Cheese is a great filling snack, so we always have a few varieties on hand.
Stay tuned for our favorite homemade snacks, next post.