25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (2023)

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. And make great school snacks!

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (1)

Healthy Snacks for Kids

I know firsthand how daunting it can be to go to the store and attempt to buy 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 so much harder.

To help you cull through the vast choices, I’ve narrowed down my favorite shelf-stable snacks for little kids. These are great for when you need to pack preschool snacks or daycare food, but also food for kindergarten and just some time out of the house.

Contents hide

1 Healthy Snacks for Kids

2 Snack Ideas for Kids

3 How to Choose the Best Healthy Snacks for Kids, Step-by-Step

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4 Healthy Snacks for Kids: Bars

6 Good Snacks for Kids: Fruit Snacks

7 Best Dairy Snacks for Kids

8 Snacks for School

9 Homemade Snacks for Kids

10 You May Also Like

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.

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And since so many daycares, schools, and facilities are peanut-free or nut-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.

When researching this post, I kept littler kids in mind to ensure that each item would be an appropriate toddler snack food.

But each snack totally works for a big kid too!

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (2)

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!)

  1. Look for a minimal amount of added 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 simply because more than that often tastes incredibly sweet. There are so many great options out there that rely on fruit for sweetness.
  2. Look at the first three ingredients. If they’re things like whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, or another source of protein, that is a great sign.
  3. Choose whole grain products when possible. These will be more filling with their higher fiber content, which may help keep the kids more satisfied until their next eating opportunity.
  4. Look for reduced sodium options, especially with foods that aren’t specifically for kids such as Triscuits. It’s okay to have some sodium and you don’t need to count, but if you have the option, choose the “reduced-sodium” option—they usually taste similar.
  5. Look at the serving size so you’re sure that you’re understanding the context of the nutrition label. And remember that portion sizes are not one size fits all and hunger and appetite are your best guides for how much food the kids need.
  6. Look at the protein and fat content, which will give staying power to the snack so it helps keeps kids fuller longer.
  7. Combine foods if the main snack 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!

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (3)

Healthy Snacks for Kids: Bars

These are some of my favorite snack bars for kids. Each is a great stand alone snack and has a texture that is easy for kids to eat at school, at home, or on the go. See the specific information by each item for the details as some are better for younger toddlers than others.


These are my favorite snack for one year olds as they are super easy to chew, are made with straight forward ingredients, and are super low-mess. Both of my younger kids adore these. Use my affiliate code yummy10 to save 10% off your order.

KIND Kids Granola Chewy Bar

With 25% less sugar than the leading kids’ granola bar and a chewy, but not too chewy, texture, these new granola bars are a great option for kids. They come in three flavors—Honey Oat, Chocolate Chip, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip—and are frankly, totally delicious.

Mini Larabars

Half the size of traditional Larabars, mini bars are a perfect toddler size. The flavors are soft—you may want to cut them into cubes for younger kids—and they have a nicely balanced mix of fruit and nuts for energy and protein.

(You can of course also cut a regularly sized Larabar in half too!) Choose a peanut-free flavor if needed.

Kids RX Bars

These are a pint-size version of the grown up bars that are so wildly popular. They may be too chewy for a two year old, but work well for slightly older kids. Try the different flavors to find the ones that your kids prefer.

Check nut regulations at your school before sending these if needed.

Perfect Bar Kids

These have peanut in them, so avoid them if needed for sending to a nut-safe school or center, but we love both flavors (especially the chocolate chip ones) and love that they are made with fresh ingredients.

Check nut regulations at your school before sending these if needed.

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar

Made with whole-wheat flour and fruit puree, these snack bars are a nice grab-and go option that work as well for breakfast as snack time. They also come in a wide variety of flavors. Pair with milk for a little extra protein.

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(Yes, these are higher in sugar due to the fruit filling. In the context of what we eat in a whole week of month, that does not concern me.)

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (4)

Healthy Store-Bought Snacks for Kids: Crackers and Puffs

If you’re looking for good cracker options, these are my favorites. (My two favorite toddler crackers have recently been discontinued, sadly, but these are some nice options.)

Breton Crackers

These are widely available in most stores and come in a few flavors. I like them because they are a softer cracker that are easy for even one year olds to chew.

Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps

Many pretzels and chips can be too crunchy and sharp for younger eaters, but these crispy pea snacks are easy to crunch as they sort of dissolve in a child’s mouth after the initial bite.

They are also high in protein and fiber, making them a healthy option when a salty snack is in order.


This classic cracker is lower in sodium than the original and they contain just a handful of very straight forward ingredients. Plus, they taste so good! These are best for kids over 2 or 2.5 as they are a little too crunchy for one year olds.

Cheese Crisps

Made with just cheese, these crunchy cheese crackers are so delish!

Biena Aged White Cheddar Chickpea Puffs

You’re going to think I’m exaggerating, but these are SO good. They taste just like cheese puffs but are packed with protein since they are made from chickpeas. Nourishing and delicious. Their Ranch flavor is also good.

Peanut Butter Puffs

These peanut puffs are a sort of sweet take on a cheese puff or a baby puff and they have a pleasant, mellow flavor. You can find Bamba Puffs at Trader Joe’s too.

These contain peanuts so may not be a good option for packing for daycare or school.

Amara Smoothie Melts

These are a dehydrated puff that is made with fruit, veggies, and coconut milk. The flavor is totally delicious—I actually love them as much as my kids do. They’re a nice puff option that dissolves quickly for babies and toddlers.

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (5)

Good Snacks for Kids: Fruit Snacks

Made with whole fruits, these fruit snacks are easy shelf stable options. And they each taste really good too! (I’m not saying these should be given in place of fresh fruit all the time, but sometimes is okay—especially when you need easy.) And of course, fresh fruit is a great option too!

That’s It Bar

These all fruit bars are made with, yes, just fruit. They are soft and not too chewy, so they’re a good option for younger toddlers too. We like to pair them with milk (dairy or non-dairy) to make a balanced snack.

Freeze-Dried Fruit

There are all sorts of brands of dehydrated fruit on the market now (I love the options at Trader Joes and Whole Foods), and since they dissolve easily in a child’s mouth, they are a good shelf-stable fruit option.

Dried Fruit

Raisins are a go-to snack—many toddlers simply enjoy the novelty of them in those tiny boxes!—so I try to keep some on hand for on the go. You can also try dried apricots, cherries, apples, or mango. We try to pair with a source of protein like dairy for a balanced snack.

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Fruit Cups

It’s not always easy to pack fresh fruit so having this as an option can come in handy. Look for fruit packed in water or 100% fruit juice. (Fyi, when a nonorganic label says “no added sugar” it likely has artificial sweetener in it, so keep that in mind and check the label.)

There are newer options packed in coconut water too, though they often have a little added sugar (which may or may not be important to you).

Stretch Island Fruit Leather

In our house, fruit leather is a special snack and I’ve found that the Stretch Island variety is the least sticky. (Some of them are crazy sticky and messy!) I always bring some when we travel and pair it with a source of protein.


Applesauce pouches are always handy to have on hand when fresh fruit is hard to come by or might not travel well. I tread lightly with pouches before 2 since my kids always had a tendency to squirt them all over the place, but otherwise, these are a good option.

Look for ones without added sugars—the apple flavor is sweet enough!

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (6)

Best Dairy Snacks for Kids

If you have the option to pack a snack with an ice pack in a thermos, these snack ideas for kids are good to keep in mind. Each has calcium and Vitamin D, as well as protein.

Cheese Sticks and Snack Cheeses

Whether mozzarella or Colby or cheddar, a cheese stick is a classic snack that’s a nice source of protein and calcium. Companies including Roth, Sargento, and Arla make these small rectangular snack cheeses that are perfect for kids.

Look for them near the shredded cheese in your store.

Yogurt Tubes

There are loads of yogurt tubes available for kids, though I’m partial to the Siggis strawberry and blueberry ones since they are so low in added sugars. The YoGurt Simply is a nice runner up that’s more widely available.

Drinkable Yogurt

Another high five to a Siggis product: Their small bottles of drinkable yogurt make for a portable smoothie snack that’s rich in protein and probiotics.

Ripple Chocolate Milk

I sometimes buy these little containers for myself—they’re that good! This plant-based nondairy chocolate milk is rich in protein but low in added sugars as an easy option that’s great for nondairy kiddos. And it’s just so creamy.

(Single serving plain milk can be a good snack option too!)

Stoneyfield Veggie Yogurts

These are labeled as baby yogurt but I think they’re a great option for any kiddo who likes yogurt. It’s so nice that there are some veggies in the mix and they have little added sugars.

25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (7)

Snacks for School

Whether you need a snack to send with lunch or something to share with the class, these options are a great place to start. We love sharing clementines, applesauce pouches, and yogurt tubes with the class if we need to contribute a snack!

TIP: Find my favorite After School Snacks here.

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25 Healthy Snacks for Kids to Buy at the Store (Nut-Safe & Low Sugar) (8)

Homemade Snacks for Kids

If you want to make homemade snacks or just need more ideas, check out my Master List of Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids and Toddlers.

You May Also Like

  • Easy Homemade Granola Bars
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  • Protein Shakes for Kids
  • 25 Toddler Snacks to Take on the Go

What are your kids favorite store bought snacks? I’d love to hear in the comments, especially if I missed one here!

This post was first published June 2018.


What is the best snack for low sugar? ›

In small amounts, though, a piece of cheese could let you experience the delight of a snack without the worries of out of control blood sugar.
  • Veggies in a cheese dip. On the topic of the soft cheese: it's a great dip. ...
  • Meat slice. ...
  • Roasted veggies. ...
  • Energy ball. ...
  • Avocado with crackers. ...
  • Egg. ...
  • Low sugar chocolate snack. ...
  • Fruit.
10 Feb 2021

What are the healthiest chips for kids? ›

Best Overall: Harvest Snaps Peas

One serving, which is a generous 22 pieces, has 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of added sugar. Contrast that with other veggie crisps in the chip aisle that have enticing marketing but less than one gram of fiber and protein per serving.

Are nuts a good snack for kids? ›

Nuts are natural treasure troves of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, protein and fibre, which help children grow, develop and learn.

What foods have no sugar at all? ›

Seafood, pork, beef, and chicken are all sugar-free. They're also an important source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. If you don't eat meat, soybeans, lentils, beans, nuts, and seeds are great sugar-free, high-protein foods.

How do I cut sugar out of my kids diet? ›

Here are ideas for how you can help your family reduce their added sugar intake:
  1. Read nutrition facts labels carefully. Many foods now list added sugar separately. ...
  2. Serve water ​and milk. ...
  3. Limit fruit juice. ...
  4. Go fresh and limit processed, pre-packed food and drinks. ...
  5. Satisfy your child's sweet tooth with whole fruit.
20 Apr 2021

What is the healthiest junk food? ›

10 Best Junk Foods That Are Technically Healthy
  • 3 Popcorn.
  • 4 Frozen Yogurt. ...
  • 5 Pretzels. ...
  • 6 Nachos and Salsa. ...
  • 7 Hamburgers. Photo by Los Muertos Crew on Pexels. ...
  • 8 Popsicles. Photo by Daniel Oberg on Unsplash. ...
  • 9 Salty Crackers. Photo by Greg Jeanneau on Unsplash. ...
  • 10 Dark Chocolate. Charisse Kenion on Unsplash. ...
9 Oct 2021

What can I snack on instead of chips? ›

6 Better-for-You Alternatives to Chips and Crackers
  • Kale Chips. We're not going to argue that kale chips are an exact replica of the treasured potato chip. ...
  • Mixed Nuts. ...
  • Homemade Sweet Potato Chips. ...
  • Carrot Slices. ...
  • Air-Popped Popcorn. ...
  • Cucumber Slices.
16 Nov 2020

Which nut is best for kids? ›

Nuts like cashews, Brazil nuts and macadamias are packed full of nutrients, protein and fibre to help children grow, develop and learn. A serve of nuts is 30g or a small handful.

What nuts have no sugar? ›

Here are a few examples:
  • Almonds — 1.2 grams of sugar per serving (1 oz)
  • Walnuts — 0.7 grams of sugar per serving (1 oz)
  • Dry-roasted cashews — 1.4 grams of sugar per serving (1 oz)
  • Pistachios — 2.2 grams of sugar per serving (1 oz)
  • Pumpkin seeds — 0.4 grams of sugar per serving (1 oz)

What happens when you stop eating sugar for a month? ›

What happens when you stop eating sugar for a month? Expect withdrawal symptoms for the first few days. These could be headaches, feeling achy and tired. After the first few days, you should start to feel better and by the second-week notice increased energy levels.

How much sugar should kids have a day? ›

The American Heart Association recommends children and teens consume less than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugar per day.

How often should kids have sugar? ›

The new guidelines call for less than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of sugar per day for children ages 2 to 18 years. That includes no more than 8 ounces of sugar-sweetened drinks per week. “Children younger than 2 years should have no sugar at all,” adds Dr. Gaydos.

What should I eat if I crave junk food? ›

Healthy snacks to combat cravings for salty foods
  • Air-popped popcorn. ...
  • Guacamole with a few tortilla chips.
  • Homemade kale chips.
  • Salt-free or low-salt nuts, like almonds or peanuts. ...
  • Olives.
  • Cucumbers with sea salt and a splash of red wine vinegar.
  • Cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto.

What can I snack on instead of junk food? ›

18 Healthy Foods to Eat When Cravings Strike
  • Fresh Fruit. Fruit is naturally very sweet and a great choice when you get a sugar craving. ...
  • Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt tastes creamy and indulgent, but it's also really healthy. ...
  • A Hot Drink. ...
  • Snack Bar. ...
  • Dark Chocolate. ...
  • Fruit and Nut Butter. ...
  • Cottage Cheese. ...
  • Banana Ice Cream.
13 Mar 2017

Which is worse for you popcorn or ice cream? ›

One cup of ice cream, 6 homemade chocolate-chip cookies and even a typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich all have nearly twice the calories of the 8 cups of air-popped popcorn that take far longer to eat.

What should I eat when I crave chips? ›

Curb Your Craving With This Reach for kale chips, air-popped popcorn, and crunchy produce like apples, celery, and carrots. Dip veggie sticks into hummus if you feel the urge for chips and dip coming on!

What is a heart healthy snack? ›

Third: Snacks that satisfy.
  • Whole-grain toast with peanut or almond butter.
  • Cherry tomatoes with hummus.
  • Low-fat or fat-free cheese.
  • Plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt (An awesome pairing with fruit!)
  • Fruit and veggie smoothie.
  • Whole-grain crackers with canned tuna or salmon.
20 Sept 2016

Which is healthier popcorn or nuts? ›

Even though the calorie count seems comparative with popcorn, if you are looking for a heart healthy1 snack, almonds are the way to go. vs. Nutrition information based on 1oz (28g) serving.

Which popcorn is healthiest? ›

Air-popped popcorn is the healthiest type.

Without a doubt, air-popped popcorn is the best type to nosh on. “It's low in calories, about 90 calories a cup and is fast and easy to make,” says Cohen.

What is a good snack with no calories? ›

Celery is often cited as an example because it's mainly water and fiber; however strawberries, apples, and apricots have also been heralded as guilt-free options.

What should I eat if I crave sugar? ›

Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You'll get fiber and nutrients along with some sweetness. And stock up on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, says certified addiction specialist Judy Chambers. "Have them handy so you reach for them instead of reaching for the old [sugary] something."

What kind of snacks have no sugar? ›

Try dates, raisins, figs, berries, pears, and really any other delicious fruit. Fruit-based purees and jams and sauces, such as applesauce, with no added sugars can also bring a big sweet reward to your treats.

How can I satisfy my sweet tooth without sugar? ›

19 Foods That Can Fight Sugar Cravings
  1. Fruit. When most people feel sugar cravings, they reach for high-fat, high-sugar foods like chocolate ( 1 ). ...
  2. Berries. Berries are an excellent, nutritious choice for stopping sugar cravings. ...
  3. Dark Chocolate. ...
  4. Snack Bars. ...
  5. Chia Seeds. ...
  6. Sugar-Free Chewing Gum or Mints. ...
  7. Legumes. ...
  8. Yogurt.
8 Jan 2018

What is sweet but low in sugar? ›

Strawberries or blackberries a tasty option.

If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit, opt for low-sugar fruits like strawberries or blackberries, which contain about 7 grams of sugar per cup.

What happens when you stop eating sugar for a month? ›

Reducing added sugar intake can encourage weight loss and improve various aspects of your health, including your blood sugar levels and heart, liver, and dental health.

What are the healthiest sweets to eat? ›

Healthiest Sweet Snacks
  • Fresh Fruit. 1/14. It's packed with vitamins and minerals that help your body function. ...
  • Dark Chocolate. 2/14. A half-ounce square of 86% dark chocolate contains only two grams of sugar. ...
  • Apple Chips. 3/14. ...
  • Apple and Nut Butter. 4/14. ...
  • Cereal. 5/14. ...
  • Greek Yogurt. 6/14. ...
  • DIY Smoothie. 7/14. ...
  • Dates. 8/14.
8 Jun 2021

What food suppresses appetite? ›

In a nutshell, experts say, adding more of these foods to your diet can help curb hunger and help you feel fuller on fewer calories:
  • Soups, stews, cooked whole grains, and beans.
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs.
  • Whole grains, like popcorn.
19 Sept 2007

Which chocolate has least sugar? ›

10 Best Sugar-Free Chocolate Brands to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
  • Lily's. Variety Chocolate. ...
  • ChocZero. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. ...
  • ALTER ECO. Dark Chocolate Bars. ...
  • BLUE STRIPES URBAN CACAO. 100% Cacao Hazelnut Butter. ...
  • The Good Chocolate. Zero Sugar Chocolate Bars. ...
  • LöK. ...
  • ChocoPerfection. ...
  • Dark Chocolate Orange and Almond Bar.
1 Feb 2021

What should I eat if I crave salt? ›

Healthy snacks to satisfy your salt craving

Fresh vegetables: Try sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, mini tomatoes, sugar snap peas, baby carrots or sliced beets. You can eat them plain or dip them in hummus or a dip made with Greek yogurt.

What should I eat if I crave chocolate? ›

8 Healthy Alternatives to Chocolate
  1. Fruit. What better way to satisfy a sweet craving while still staying within a healthy eating plan than with fruit. ...
  2. Raw, Organic Honey. ...
  3. Banana Ice Cream. ...
  4. Nuts. ...
  5. Dark Chocolate (at least >70% cacao) ...
  6. Frozen berries. ...
  7. Organic peanut butter. ...
  8. Greek yogurt.
18 Apr 2018

What vitamin deficiency causes sugar cravings? ›

Nutrient Deficiencies

Deficiencies in certain minerals such as zinc, chromium, iron, calcium, and magnesium may lead to sugar cravings as well, Elia says. Magnesium deficiency is specifically worth paying attention to.

What can I eat instead of cookies? ›

Healthy alternatives to cookies
  • Fruit: Fruits, like apples, berries, and oranges, are like candy from Mother Nature. ...
  • Dark Chocolate: Desserts aren't forbidden. ...
  • Peanut Butter: This sweet, sticky food can help keep diabetes and heart disease at bay.
11 Apr 2021


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