25 Healthy Snacks For Kids To Buy At The Store
Use this list of the best healthy snacks for kids that you can buy at the store and keep on hand in the pantry to keep the littles nourished in between meals. Each is low in added sugar, high in nutrients, and easy to pack and eat.
Healthy Snacks For Kids
I know firsthand how daunting it can be to go to the store and attempt to buy healthy snacks for kids. You're not alone there! There are just SO many darn options and often, the ingredients lists and labels seem to make understanding what's really in each snack harder. To help you cull through the vast choices, I've narrowed down my favorite shelf-stable snacks for little kids.
Snack Ideas For Kids
I'm including granola bars, snack bars, crackers, fruit bars, fruit leather, and freeze-dried and dried fruit here—all things that won't spoil should they hang out in your bag (or in a backpack)—for a while.And since so many daycares, schools, and facilities are peanut-free ornut-safe, all of these are free from peanuts except where noted. Do always read the labels just to double check that they comply with the standards you might be after.
How To Choose The Best Healthy Snacks For Kids,Step-By-Step
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when buying healthy store bought snacks for kids (and also for yourself!)
- Look for a minimal amount ofadded sugars. Many labels now have this separated out and lower is better. For a snack like a bar, I aim for no more than 5-8 grams (and try to stay closer to the lower range).
- Look at the first three ingredients. If they're things like whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, or another source of protein, that is a good sign. If it's sugar, cane sugar, honey, sucralose, or something related to sugar, I'd probably pass them over.
- Choose whole grain productswhen possible.
- Look for reduced sodiumoptions, especially with foods that aren't specifically for kids such as Triscuits. Many snack foods are high in sodium, which can add up quickly. (It's okay to have some sodium but if you have the option, choose the"reduced-sodium" option.)
- Look at the serving size so you're sure that you're understanding the context of the nutrition label.
- Look at the protein and fatcontent, which will give staying power to the snack so it helps keeps kids fuller longer.
- Combine foods if the mainsnack doesn't have protein or fat. Add a drink like milk, drinkable yogurt, kefir, or a smoothie or another food such as avocado cubes, nut butter, or hard cooked egg that has protein and/or fat to ensure long lasting energy.
TIP: There's not really a "perfect" snack for kids, so do your best with the options you have!