Healthy Snacks For Kids: 25 Grab-and-Go Ideas

Heather Dessinger

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Collage of healthy snacks: Granola bars, homemade jello, dried apple chips, gummy snacks and kale chips

I make quick, healthy meals a priority so that my family has time for other activities, but sometimes the gaps between meals stretch longer than we want them to.

With that in mind, here are some healthy snacks that keep us on-the-go and out of the hangry zone.

Granola bars piled on a plate

Granola Goodness & Nut Bars

Nut, Honey & Oat Granola Bars (Pictured) – Sweet and chewy, these healthy granola bars have a delicious honey oat flavor that can be customized with different mix-ins. They’re perfect for packed lunches, afternoon snacks, road trips, beach days, forest walks and more.

Cherry Pie “Larabars” – This easy copycat recipe is ready in five minutes.

Paleo Maple Granola – Toss some nuts, seeds, cinnamon, maple syrup, etc. together, then bake and voila! My kids gobble this stuff up.

Trail Mix Poppers – Nut-free and delicious!

Toasted Coconut Chips from Whole Lifestyle Nutrition – Sweet, salty and healthy πŸ™‚

Maca Energy Bars – Legend has it that Incan warriors used to consume maca before battle to increase endurance, and research suggests there may be wisdom to this tradition.Maca is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body adapt to stress and increases stamina.

Pumpkin Granola – Infused with real pumpkin puree and homemade pumpkin pie spice, this granola makes a great on-the-go snack.

Apricot & Walnut Granola Bars – This recipe for baked granola bars is chock-full of dried fruit, nuts and the natural sweetness of honey and banana. 

healthy snacks

Pre-Made Options:

I keep a stash of PaleoValley Superfood Bars for times that I don’t have time to make everything from scratch (or eat my kids snacks, apparently). 

Unlike one of the most popular protein bars, which contains: 

  • 4g of protein
  • 9g of fat
  • 23g of sugar

. . . PaleoValley makes their bars with NO ADDED SUGAR and MORE PROTEIN, including Grass Fed Bone Broth protein that’s rich in collagen – the most abundant protein in our bodies (bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, tendons AND the digestive system). 

They also incorporate healthy fats and other nutrient-dense foods like vitamin C rich acerola cherry, spirulina, turmeric and wild blueberries. Oh, and they’re delicious and satisfying. (We recommend the Lemon Meringue and Apple Cinnamon.)

Click here to shop PaleoValley Superfood Bars.

Jars of homemade gelatin cups on counter next to oranges

Gummy Snacks & Healthy Jello

Grass-fed gelatin is rich in glycine and proline, which supports digestion, detoxification, restful sleep and glowing skin. It also makes healthy snacks like these:

Creamsicle Gelatin Cups (Pictured) – These are perfect for packed lunches and snacks.

Strawberry Jello – If you love strawberry jello but not the congealed red #40 and artificial flavors found in boxed versions, you’re going to love this healthy version. It’s super easy and – unlike store-bought versions – contains real strawberries!

Black Elderberry Gummies – Delicious, portable, and infused with powerful antioxidants, these elderberry gummies are one of my family’s favorite ways to support immune function.

Orange Creamsicle Vitamin C Gummy Snacks – Did you know that since 1975, USDA handbooks have documented a 40% reduction in cauliflower’s vitamin C content? Getting enough vitamin C can be challenging sometimes,  which is why I love these gummies. One serving provides 240-250 mg of whole food vitamin C, and they’re DELICIOUS.

Sour Gummy Snacks – A fantastic alternative to congealed red #40, high-fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch-laden snacks, these sour gummies are yummy and simple to make!

Strawberry Cream Gummies – A gut-nourishing recipe from my friend Sylvie

Grass-fed beef sticks

Jerky & Beef Sticks

Homemade Beef Jerky from PrimalPalate – Because jerky is the original protein bar πŸ™‚

PaleoValley Grass Fed Beef Sticks – These are so delicious! I personally like the jalapeno flavor, but my kids prefer the original and summer sausage flavors.

Cinnamon apple chips in snack bag

Dried Fruit

  • Easy Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips – These apple chips are a delicious, healthy snack that kids (and adults) love. No dehydrator needed!
  • Apricot Fruit Leather – This recipe from Wellness Mama can be made with an optional nutritious ingredient I would have never thought to add in.
Kale chips on baking sheet

Crispy & Salty Snacks

Kale Chips – My kids love these crispy and salty chips, and I love that they’re rich in antioxidants.

Gluten-Free Soft Pretzels – This guest recipe from Jennifer of Predominantly Paleo is so delicious.

Cheddar Crackers – These cheesy crackers are grain-free and perfect for snacking.

Parmesan Crisps from Cheese Knees – These are crispy chips made with just two ingredients.

Pre-Made Options:

Sea Snax – Seaweed is rich in minerals such as iodine, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. Unfortunately most seaweed snacks are made with canola or safflower oil. Safflower I don’t have a big problem with, but companies often switch between the two depending on what’s cheapest so you never know what you’re going to get. Fortunately, I recently discovered these mineral rich from Sea Snax that use olive oil instead.

Kale Chips – These chips come in a variety of delicious flavors.

coconut yogurt recipe

Fridge Friendly Snacks

If you don’t to grab-and-go, here are some fridge-friendly options that are perfect for afternoon snacks at home.

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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53 thoughts on “Healthy Snacks For Kids: 25 Grab-and-Go Ideas”

  1. You’re welcome, Elise Genta Sprenger! These are my fave portable “discoveries” for the past few years. It was hard to leave out some of our fave snacks that do better with proper utensils, though, so I’ll probably follow up with another post on that!

  2. Kathleen Pelton – We love these all throughout spring and summer – they’re great for trips to the beach or pool!

  3. These are so great!! And I love that we can eat most of them (On GAPS)
    Thanks so much!

  4. Hey Heather,
    Just a note on the Seaweed Snacks. One can totally make their own at home and it’s very easy.
    At the Oriental Grocery Store they sell the sheets of seaweed in packs.

    – a little bowl of Oil (I like to use olive oil)
    – a little bowl of salt

    – brush
    – 2 plates
    – newspaper (or any other type of clean paper)
    – kitchen scissors

    Setting Up
    On the counter my mother would layout newspaper, the bowl of oil , the bowl of salt, the brush and the plate. The second plate is just stationed next to the stove.
    Next take one sheet of seaweed place it on the newspaper, take the brush, dip it in oil and brush the sheet of seaweed, sprinkle on the salt, place that on the dish and then repeat.

    Here’s the part that I had a lot of fun with. Bring the plate of prepared plate to the stove, heat up a pan but DO NOT OIL the pan. Take one of the sheets of prepped seaweed, be sure to hold the seaweed with your fingers in a pinching position. Then just sweep the back and front of the seaweed on the pan, keep doing this for say 10 seconds (be sure to check a bit though as temperatures of the pan definitely varies) Another way to check if it’s ready is to hold it up to the light and if it’s green it’s ready, then switch ends and toast the side that didn’t get swept. Transfer the prepared seaweed to a plate and then repeat. When all done just cut into squares.

    On another note, I find it funny that these are now advertised as snacks. I’m korean so we always had this on our dinner table, we’d take a little square fill it with rice and other veg and a bit of meat and then just pop it in our mouths…mmmm…hungry.

    Since you’re amazing at cooking things up and identified the problem with the type of oil I thought you might like to know about this. In Korea it’s called Gim, so if your nearby oriental grocery store owners are Korean you can always tell them you’d like to make your own and are looking for the seaweed to make this. Thought I’d mention this because for some reason at my nearby grocery store they only sell the premade one now and I have to get my mom to mail me some πŸ˜› They also sell ones made with olive oil too.


    • Whoa, THANK YOU Caroline! I can’t believe I’ve never thought of making my own before! You are a sweetheart for taking the time to write all this down for us!

    • FYI: They are called NOT Oriental Grocery Store…
      Asian Markets if you can’t think of the name….

      Just too None P.C. for 2015 trying to make Asian Snack

  5. Love this! And I love that you got a Nesco from a garage sale…I JUST found one last weekend and it already has made me so happy. It’s the bottom of the line with no temp controls, but it’s still awesome! At this moment it’s making banana chips and apple chips. =)

  6. Thank you so much for these. Going to make some jerky and those seed cakes for our trip when we moved…from Texas to Maryland!

  7. Amanda Nordstrom – Whoa! That is awesome! You know, it was our trip up to Baltimore last year that really kicked us into gear about finding our “place” in the world. It was so beautiful there!

  8. Oh? Are you planning on moving or is it more of a philosophical journey?

    It is very beautiful, but I’m annoyed at some of the laws. Like the homeschooling laws and raw milk laws. I have to go to Virginia just to get raw milk because it’s illegal to sell it in MD. :-/

  9. Tell me about it!

    Nashville? I’m originally from GA, Southern neighbor. πŸ™‚ Actually, Nashville is one of the possible cities where we might stop on the drive up there.

  10. Love these! Question – I don’t have a dehydrator yet. Would the convection setting on my oven work if I turn the temp down to, say, 125?

  11. AWESOME list! Definitely saving on my! As for containers, we love the Foogo and Funtainers from Thermos. Foogo are plain, while Funtainers have characters, which we don’t need, but sometimes that’s just what’s the right size or cheapest. We use the 10oz. stainless Foogo bottle to pack milk, and it keeps it cold very well. Leaks are rare, and stem from mommy hurrying and not getting the silicone piece in just right, but we use them for both kids daily, and we rarely have leaks. The milk is still cold when they get home from school if there is any milk left, so they do a great job! The same types of insulated stainless bowls for soups and casseroles are also great. Otherwise I use Tupperware. It is still plastic, but Tupperware is BPA free and they have never used phthalates, and since my foods are placed in there at room temp, I don’t worry too much. They are modular and easy to clean, and TW puts materials info for all products on their website, as opposed to cheaper brands, so I at least know what I am using.

  12. What a fantastic list– and great pictures, too! Looking forward to trying out a few of these recipes… thanks!

  13. I just started juicing so you comment on Kale caught my attention. Where could I learn more about how it affects the Thyroid? Eating it raw is not good I would guess?

  14. Hi, Heather,

    I have this list posted to my “favorites” bar and reference it often. Today I clicked the link for the macaroons, but the recipe linked says “egg-free”… I was just wondering if maybe you meant to link to a different macaroon recipe, since you said “A perfect way to use up egg whites”? Just checking, thank you! πŸ™‚

  15. I was searching for recipes for ice cream made without dairy.. , and your site was one of the links to click.. I clicked.. and am now entered to win a Berkey Filter system.. :).. you have a great blog and your pintrest is easy to follow..

  16. Oh Mommypotamus, please help me. Another week of school lunches looms before me and between my 3 children I need healthy lunch boxes that contain no eggs, dairy or nuts (the nuts is a school thing, all of my kids can eat nuts). I also have been told by a certain 6 year old that if I send her anything made of coconut she’s flinging herself in front of a school bus. We’ve just come off almost 2 years of GAPS and currently can only tollerate small quantities of fresh ground Einkorn. Do you have any suggestions? (They love gummy stars and jerky but they only go so far…).

      • I finally managed to get my paws on some raw sunflower seeds that weren’t rancid and both of these cookie recipes turned out beautifully. I think they are better with almond flour but my girls were just so excited to have anything different that they were a huge hit. Thank you very much. I’m going to try to make potato chips this weekend…

  17. Love all these great snacking ideas! That’s why I included them in my Healthy Lunches post over at Keeper of the Home. Appreciate all the ideas and inspiration you provide. Lots of blessings, Kelly

  18. These are some more great ideas! We’ve also been doing a lot of the recipes from “Baby and Toddler On The Go Cookbook” — which puts a lot of regular meal food into snackable sizes.

  19. You mentioned you were looking for a filter that takes out flourine. At my cousin’s recommendation we bought a Berky filter, The main filter is high density activated charcol with very fine pores. They have an additional flouride filter cartridge you can add. The cartridges are not cheep but they last so long they are quite reasonable in the long term. I found several web sites that recommended them as the best on the market.
    I just found your site when a friend recommended your Gummy Stars. Keep up the fantastic work.

  20. Just found your website (terrific!) and read this article today. The only issue I have is with the Bubbies pickles. Bubbies, as with almost all canned and bottled foods, contain calcium chloride as a firming agent. The problem with this is that calcium chloride is a dessicant, used as road salt on asphalt roads and used as a male animal sterilant. It will pit concrete and rust rebar. It is also used as an additive to plastics and fire extinguishers. I really don’t want to ingest this product, but as I mentioned, it is found in nearly all bottled and canned foods in the USA. Just a little info.

  21. I loved the nut bars…So I always use dried fruits in any snack for kids. Some of them are particularly rich in calcium…