Serving healthy snacks to children is important in providing good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping prevent diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
- Fresh Fruits
- Dried Fruits
- Soy (edamame)
- Whole Grain English Muffin
- Whole Grain Pita & Tortillas
- Whole Grain crackers
- Baked Tortilla Chips (look for brands lower in sodium)
- Pretzels (occasional – tend to Be higher in sodium & usually Not made with whole grains)
- Yogurt (look for low fat & Moderate in sugars i.e Dannon low fat drinkable Go-Gurt by Yoplait, & cups of Dannon, Horizon brand, Stonyfield Farm or similar)
- Deli Meat (choose low fat, Reduced sodium versions of turkey, chicken, ham, or roast beef)
- Applesauce (unsweetened), Fruit Cups, & Canned Fruits
- Frozen Fruit
- Veggie Sticks with low fat dip, dressing or hummus
- Veggie pocket (whole wheat pita w/ veggies & hummus or low fat dressing)
- *Rice Cakes (look for ones made with brown rice)
- Breakfast Cereal (look for whole grain cereals such as Cheerios, Grape Nuts, Raisin Bran, Mini Wheats & Wheaties)
- Popcorn (Look for low fat popcorn or airpop yourself)
- Granola & Cereal Bars (look for whole grain bars that are low in fat & sugars i.e. Nature Valley Crunchy granola bar or NV Chewy Trail Mix bar or Quaker Chewy, Kellogg All-Bran cereal bars or Bites)
- Low Fat Cheese (such as Borden or Sargento Light Mozzarella string cheese, Frigo Light, Kraft Twist Laughing Cow light original, Mini Babybel)
- Trail Mix (nut free if pertinent in your classroom)
- Whole Grain mini bagels
- Low Fat & fat free milk
- Soy & Rice Drinks (make sure calcium fortified)
- All natural fruit “leathers” such as Stretch Island
A few miscellaneous notes
- A note on nuts. Nuts are a healthy snack but are higher in calories. Try pairing a handful of nuts along with another snack such as fruit. A small handful of nuts is a reasonable serving size. Examples of nuts include peanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cashews, or soy nuts. Try looking for nuts that are unsalted. Peanut butter is also a great snack ideas as well. Try spreading on celery and add raisins for “Ants on a Log”.
- Another very important note on nuts. Some of our classrooms are Nut/Seed Free. Nut-free means not made with nuts, nut oils, nut flour, nut extract, or nut paste. Please check with your child’s teacher if you are unsure.
- Water. Water satisfies thirst and does not have sugar or calories. Plus, it is low cost!
This is a list of healthy suggestions for snacks. By no means is this all-inclusive. Be creative! Things to avoid include added sugars, excessive amounts of sodium, and added fats (especially trans fats).