100 Snack Ideas for Kids (recipes, fav brands & tips)
The ultimate list of over 100 healthy and easy snacks that your toddlers and kids will love! In this guide, you will find homemade and store-bought snack ideas for kids, our favorite snack containers, what snacks to avoid, tips on how to make snacks more filling as well as a free printable for easy reference. This guide is great for kids 2 – 12 years old.
Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
Snacks for Kids
Keeping up with your kids’ snacks (and cleaning up afterward) can be a full-time job! 😅
Snacks are an important part of your child’s daily calorie intake and it’s important to serve them a balanced snack full of healthy foods that will help them maintain their energy levels between meals. But it’s easy to get into a rut of serving them the same granola bar and a slice of cheese for every snack.
In this guide, you will find over 100 homemade and store-bought snacks for kids, our favorite snack containers, tips on how to make snacks more filling as well as a free printable for easy reference. These snack options include easy fresh fruits, cut veggies, tasty dips, homemade smoothies, popsicles, and muffins, as well as store-bought snacks to make your life easier. I’ll share everything you need to know about packing healthy snacks for your kids! This guide is great for kids 2 – 12 years old. You can also check out my best-selling school lunch cookbook for even more information and recipes!
Bonus: I made this post into a FREE downloadable printout that you can (and should) print out and tape to the inside of your cabinet door or in your pantry. That way, when you need some fresh ideas on what to serve your kids for an easy and healthy snack, you can have an easy reference! #score
Snack Muffins Video
Watch this video to see how easy it is to make these homemade Blueberry Avocado Muffins for your kid’s snack!
5 Tips for Packing & Serving Kid Snacks
- Serve the Rainbow – try to serve foods that are a variety of colors so you can rest assured knowing that you are serving a variety of nutrients to your kiddos without having to really think about it.
- Balanced Snack – to keep your kiddos fuller for longer, try to serve a snack that has protein, whole grain carbs, as well as some healthy fat. Some examples are – apples with peanut butter and crackers, full-fat yogurt with berries and granola, and cream cheese on raisin bread with a side of carrots.
- Set a Time for Snacks – it’s easy to let kids, especially toddlers, graze on their snacks, which can cause them not to be hungry for their next real meal. Having a set start and end time for snacks helps curb this habit.
- Bits and Pieces – snacks don’t have to be fancy. My kid’s favorite snacks are what we call bits and pieces or mom’s snack bowls, which is basically a hand full, or the last bit, of a variety of different snack foods. You can serve these in a muffin tin or a bowl – the last handful of cereal, a cut-up piece of apple that is about to go bad, the last small bit of shredded cheese, etc. Serve them all together and call snack time done.
- Try New Foods – usually, snack time is a more relaxed meal, which makes it a good time to expose kids to a new or not favorite food. By placing that food on a plate along with a small assortment of other favorite snack foods, you are reducing the pressure on them to try that food. The less pressure on them sometimes makes them more open to trying new things. If they try it, great! If not, no big deal. You can try again another day.
Reusable Snack Containers
These containers are great to use if you are packing snacks for school or an outing. Here is a list of our favorite brands that have been put to the test over the years.
- Whiskware 3 Stackable Snack Cups: these stacking cups are great for on-the-go kids snacks as you can use one, two or all three of the snack cups. The removable carrying handle makes it easy to carry the stack, or clip it to a backpack or bag. Perfect for fruits, veggies, crackers, mixed nuts, and toppings. Bonus – the cups are dishwasher safe!
- 4-Compartment Reusable Snack Boxes: these reusable bento snack boxes are perfect for a larger snack or small lunch for kiddos. It comes in a set of 4 snack boxes that each have 4 separate containers for different snacks. It has a secure lid that closes but is kid-friendly and comes off easily.
- Stasher Silicone Reusable Snack Bag: stasher bags are a fully functional, self-sealing, reusable alternative to single-use plastic bags. Plus, unlike traditional single-use plastic bags, Stasher bags contain no BPA, no PVC, and no latex. Plus, you can use a chalk pen on the stasher bag to write your kid a note.
Frequently Asked Questions
A healthy snack provides energy and nutrition to help their little growing bodies. Ideally, you want to serve at least 2 food groups as part of a snack. Protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates will help to keep those bellies full. Some examples are whole grain crackers and cheese, apple slices and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, Greek yogurt and berries, and whole grain tortilla chips and guacamole.
This will depend on the school’s policies regarding allergen foods. Some do not allow peanut products so just keep that in mind. You also want to think about if you can pack an ice pack in your child’s lunch box, what time they eat snack, and how messy the snack is. Some good snack options that pack well are trail mix, yogurt, cheese and crackers, popcorn, cheese sticks, raisins, chopped fruit, veggie sticks and dips.
Snacks to Avoid
Ideally, you want to serve nutritious snacks that will help nourish your child’s body. While treats are occasionally fine, it’s best to send whole foods instead of ultra-processed foods so your child stays fuller longer.. Avoid anything your child is allergic to and choking hazards that may not be age-appropriate for your child.
- Whole grapes, hot dogs, cherry tomatoes, hard candies, cheese chunks, and popcorn for kids under 4
- High sugar snacks like candy, ice cream, cakes, pastries, cookies, etc.
- Caffeine or energy drinks
- Deep-fried foods like potato chips and French fries
Kid Daily Nutritional Guidelines
According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrients of concern for underconsumption in a child’s second year are vitamin D, calcium, fiber, and potassium, so make sure your toddler gets a variety of foods with these nutrients daily.
Below are recommended daily intakes for kids of different ages. Still, it’s important to look at what your child eats throughout the whole week instead of focusing on each day since toddlers’ eating habits can be erratic and unpredictable. As long as you keep offering a variety of foods from all of the food groups, your child’s nutrition should balance out each week.
Daily Recommended Intake for Kids 2-4 Years
- 1,000-1,400 calories a day for girls and 1,000-1,600 calories for boys split between 3 meals and 1-2 snacks
- Healthy fats should be reduced to about 30% of total daily calories
- 1-2 cup equivalents of vegetables
- 1- 1 ½ cup equivalents of fruit
- 3 – 5 ounce equivalents of grains
- 2 – 2 ½ cup equivalents of dairy
- 2 – 5 ounce equivalents of protein
Daily Recommended Intake for Kids 5-8 Years
- 1,200-1,800 calories a day for girls and 1,200-2,000 calories for boys split between 3 meals and 1-2 snacks
- 1 1/2- 2 1/2 cup equivalents of vegetables
- 1-2 cup equivalents of fruit
- 4-6 ounce equivalents of grains
- 2 1/2 cup equivalents of dairy
- 3- 5 1/2 ounce equivalents of protein
Daily Recommended Intake for Kids 9-13 Years
- 1,400-2,200 calories a day for females and 1,600-2,600 calories for males split between 3 meals and 1-2 snacks
- 1 1/2- 3 1/2 cup equivalents of vegetables
- 1 1/2-2 cup equivalents of fruit
- 5-9 ounce equivalents of grains
- 3 cup equivalents of dairy
- 4-6 1/2 ounce equivalents of protein
Serving sizes will vary from child to child but generally, kids need a quarter of the portion an adult does. Parents tend to overestimate servings for their children. I recommend starting small to not overwhelm your kid and give seconds if your kid wants more. Here are some examples of typical serving size for kids ages 2-12:
- 1/4 cup dry cereal
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 banana
- 1/4 -1/2 slice of bread
- 1/2 egg
- 1 oz. meat
- 1/2 piece of fresh fruit
- 1/3 cup of yogurt
- 1-2 tablespoons of cooked veggies
Try to include at least two food groups when constructing a snack to make it nutritious and filling. As a reminder, the food groups are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Below are some sample snacks with at least 2 food groups:
- Yogurt and blueberries
- Hummus and cucumber spears and whole-grain pita bread
- Peanut butter and banana
- Cottage cheese and strawberries
- Cheese stick and pear slices
- Applesauce and Cheerios
- Boiled egg and steamed carrot sticks
- Avocado and whole grain bread
Favorite Kid Snack Recipes
Here are some of our reader-favorite homemade snack recipes for kids.
Fruit is a great snack option as all fruit is filled with essential nutrients for growing kids! Plus, they are reliably available, easy to pack for an on-the-go snack, and most kids like their sweet taste.
- berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries
- orange sections
- melon: honeydew, canteloupe or watermelon
- applesauce: homemade or store-bought, cinnamon, carrot, strawberry applesauce and 8 more easy flavors
- grapes – cut vertically
- fruit kabob with yogurt dip
- fruit salad
- freeze-dried fruit: strawberries, mango, berries, banana, etc
- dried fruit
- chopped frozen fruit
- kid-friendly popsicles: hidden-veggie carrot & orange, 8 yogurt popsicles and strawberry yogurt popsicles
- broccoli florets
- celery sticks
- carrots: sticks, baby, waffle cut
- snap peas
- edamame – shelled
- sliced peppers
- cherry tomatoes – cut vertically
- jicama sticks
- green beans
- cauliflower florets
- zucchini – slices or sticks
- cucumber – slices or sticks
- veggie quesadilla
- kale chips: store-bought or homemade
- roasted seaweed
Dips for Veggies
- Hummus: Store-Bought, Carrot, Pea, Veggie-Loaded or Beet Hummus
- Black Bean Dip
- Pesto: Store-Bought, Classic or Spinach Pesto
Serving whole grain carbohydrates to your kids during snack time will help provide the energy they need to run and play all day long.
- muffins: store-bought (with whole grains and no or low sugar), or 15 Healthy Muffin Recipes, Easy Spinach Muffins
- wedges of pita bread
- healthy cereal: low in sugar
- crackers: store-bought whole grain, whole wheat, gluten-free or Homemade Cheese Crackers
- rice cakes
- cinnamon raisin bread
- pancakes: store-bought (frozen with whole grains), 3-Ingredient Banana, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Blueberry Sheet Pancakes, Spiced Blender or Spinach Pancakes
- whole-grain bread
- granola: homemade or low-sugar store-bought
- waffles: store-bought (frozen with whole grains), Spinach, Golden Milk or Sweet Potato Waffles
- toast: Avocado + Egg toast, Almond Butter with Banana, or smeared with cream cheese and a sprinkle of hemp seeds or sugar-free jam
- leftover pasta
Protein and Dairy
Providing a serving of protein to your kid at snack time is a great idea as protein helps to fill your kid up and helps with muscle growth and development. Unless you are a plant-based family, aim to give a combination of both plant and animal proteins for a variety of nutrients and textures.
- cottage cheese: whole milk store-bought or with Fruit on Top
- string cheese
- yogurt tubes (frozen or cold)
- hard-boiled egg
- rolled lunch meat
- cubes of turkey
- hummus: store-bought, Carrot, Pea, Veggie-Loaded or Beet Hummus
- yogurt: plain or low in sugar, 8 Fun Flavors to Try
- nuts: chopped cashews, walnuts or peanuts
- nut butter: almond, peanut or sunflower
- milk: regular, almond, oat, soy, etc
- smoothie: store-bought or 15 Smoothies for Kids
- beef or turkey jerky: soft slices
- chunks of cheddar, feta or goat cheese
- chopped trail mix
Healthy Packaged Snacks
Store-bought snacks are a great option for snack time and can be part of any healthy kid’s diet. Here is a list of some of our favorite store-bought snacks.
- veggie sticks
- pirate’s booty
- graham crackers
- baked corn chips
- cheddar snacks: cheddar bunnies or goldfish
- kale chips
- granola bars – low in sugar
- roasted seaweed snacks
- cereal bars
- applesauce pouches
- yogurt pouches
- baked chickpeas
- moon cheese – baked cheese
Serving a fun dip alongside cut veggies and crackers is always a fun snack option for kids.
- nut butter – almond, peanut or sunflower
- cream cheese dip
- yogurt dip
- honey mustard
- laughing cow cheese
- mild salsa
- mild guacamole
These fun and healthy treats are a good addition to any kids snack plate.
- frozen yogurt bark
- healthy popsicles
- mini chocolate chips
- frozen bananas -covered in yogurt and crushed cereal
- energy balls
- fruit leather – no added sugar
When your little one needs more than a small snack, these mini-meals will help fill up any hungry kid until their next meal.
- apple “donuts” – horizontally cut apples with the core removed, with cream cheese “frosting” and a pinch of sprinkles or freeze-dried fruit.
- pizza crackers – crackers topped with tomato sauce and shredded cheese.
- finger salad – an assortment of chopped fruits and veggies
- graham cracker sandwiches – made with cream cheese and jam
- pb&j crackers – crackers topped with peanut butter and a dollop of jelly
- avocado toast – whole-grain toast topped with avocado and everything bagel seasoning
- yogurt parfait – plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey, chopped berries and a sprinkle of granola
- banana rice cake – rice cake topped with almond butter, slices of banana and hemp seed sprinkles.
Favorite Snack Recipes for Kids
Here are our favorite homemade snack recipes for kids. If making any baked goods, our recommendation is that you keep some for the week and freeze some for a later meal.
- Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles
- Watermelon Popsicles
- Green Tropical Smoothie Popsicles
- Rainbow Fruit Skewers
- Mini Pumpkin Muffins
- Blueberry Avocado Mini Muffins
- Frozen Ghost Bananas
- Caramel Apple Nachos
- Creamy Cantaloupe Popsicles
- Monster Frozen Yogurt Bark
- Applesauce Mini Muffins
- Beet Hummus
- Veggie-Loaded Hummus
- Funfetti Energy Balls
- Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Bark
- Peach Pie Smoothie
- Rainbow Frozen Yogurt Bark
- Berry Granola Yogurt Bark
- 7 Healthy Popsicles
- Rainbow Popsicle for Kids
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie (with hidden veggies)
- Healthy Yogurt Fruit Popsicles
- Healthy Funfetti Granola Bars
- Lemon Blueberry Mini Muffins
- Strawberry Applesauce
- Yogurt Unicorn Bark
- Spiced Apple Dip
- Mini Bagel Pizzas
- Whole Grain Cheese Crackers
- Cantaloupe Smoothie
- Healthy Strawberry Yogurt Dip
- On-the-Go Granola Bars
- Strawberry Lemonade Slushies
- Yogurt Parfait Popsicles
- 14 On-the-Go Snacks for Kids
- 8 Applesauce Combinations for Kids
- 3 Trail Mixes for Kids
Get the recipe: 100 Snacks for Kids: Easy Baked Cheese Crackers
- 6 oz or 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 3/4 cup all-purpose, whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup butter, cold
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or water
- In a food processor, place the cheese, butter, flour, salt and garlic powder and pulse until chunky.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of liquid and turn on the food processor until a dough ball forms. If ball isn’t forming, add another tablespoon of liquid.
- Dust a work surface with a little flour. Roll the dough into a ball and then divide it into 4 balls. With your hands roll each ball into a 1/2 inch rope. Wrap the 4 ropes in saran wrap and place in the freezer for 45-60 minutes or until just hard to the touch.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Take out the dough ropes and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place on baking sheet and press a dot in the middle of each cracker with a wooden skewer or a fork.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or just golden brown. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, they will continue to crisp up as they cool.