6 Healthy Back-to-School Snacks Perfect for Your Kid’s Lunchbox
And just when we were living our best lives grilling everything and chilling by the pool (probably with some iced tea), summer is slowly giving way to fall and a back-to-school routine, which means that you and your kiddos will need a snack (or two) to fill those lunchboxes and avoid having everyone come home at 3 p.m. all hungry and cranky.
To do the trick, we rounded out six healthy back-to-school snacks that'll fill your and your kid's lunchbox with irresistible goodness (without resorting to sugar, fats, or refined carbs for any of the flavor). Plus, they're so easy to make you won't mind spending time in the kitchen. So, ready to get started?
Sweet Back-to-School Snacks
Cherry Almond Cereal Bars
A distant cousin of granola bars, these cereal bars are on the healthier side since they're made with fruit and nuts and contain very little sugar. They also don't require cooking, so you can make them on the spot and pack them right into your kid's lunchbox.
- 2 cups puffed cereal
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup almonds, coarsely crushed
- 1/4 cup freeze dried cherries
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add the cereal, oats, cherries, and almonds to a bowl. Mix to combine.
- Add the honey, butter, and sugar to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir until the mixture starts to boil.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the almond butter and vanilla extract. Pour over the cereal and mix until combined.
- Transfer the cereal to the baking pan and press to even out. Top with the chocolate chips and let cool. Then, slice into bars and enjoy.
Peanut Butter Froyo Bark
If you want to make your little one eat more yogurt (even when they're not at home), this healthy back-to-school snack is exactly what you're looking for. The treat is also frozen, so it's perfect for those end-of-summer days when the weather is still warm.
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 cup freeze dried bananas
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- Add the bananas and 2 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain and squeeze away excess liquid. Transfer back to the bowl and mash the bananas.
- Add the yogurt and honey and stir to combine. Set aside.
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the yogurt mixture into the pan and spread with a spatula for a smooth layer.
- Using a small spoon, swirl the peanut butter on the yogurt and sprinkle with the chocolate chips.
- Freeze the bark for at least 5 hours or overnight. Once frozen, take the pan out of the freezer and break the bark into chunks. Enjoy!
Pineapple Cashew Buttercups
This back-to-school snack is perfect for the kid (and adult) who loves chocolate. But don't be fooled! Even though it's all about the cocoa, it's healthy thanks to the pineapple and cashew butter nestled inside its chocolatey walls.
- 2 cups dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup cashew butter
- 3 tsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp freeze dried pineapples
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
- Add the pineapple to a blender and pulse until it turns into fine powder. Mix with the cashew butter and maple syrup and set aside.
- Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for 30 seconds. Repeat the same process until the chocolate is melted.
- Spoon 2 teaspoons of the chocolate into each paper liner. With the back of a spoon, spread the chocolate up the sides of the liner and freeze for 30 minutes until firm.
- Divide the cashew butter between the liners and top each buttercup with another 2 teaspoons of the remaining chocolate. Freeze again for 30 minutes and enjoy.
Savory Back-to-School Snacks
Sausage Pizza Rolls
At first glance, pizza isn't exactly a healthy or good choice for a kid's lunchbox. But this take is healthier thanks to TSP sausage (not actual greasy sausage) and perfect for back-to-school season thanks to its bite-sized form. You and your kids will love it!
- 1 store-bought pizza crust
- 1 cup store-bought or homemade tomato sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup textured soy protein (TSP) sausage bits
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- Salt, to taste
- Add the sausage and 1/2 cup of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain and squeeze away excess liquid. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400oF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Flour a working surface and spread the crust using a rolling pin. Spread the sauce on top and sprinkle with the mozzarella, Parmesan, and sausage. Season with salt and oregano.
- Roll the crust lengthwise into a log, pinching the edges to seal the dough. Slice into 12 mini rolls and transfer to the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!
This healthy back-to-school snack will save the day if your little one enjoys everything salty and crunchy (think chips, crackers, etc.). Packed with fiber and protein, it's a great alternative to all the store-bought snacks with zero nutritional value that kids love to munch during and after school.
- 1 1/2 cups dehydrated garbanzo beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried garlic (granulated)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the chickpeas and 3 cups of warmed water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain and squeeze away excess liquid.
- Transfer to the baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine. Transfer back to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Cheesy Spinach Muffins
Creating healthy snacking habits for your little ones is important. And this back-to-school snack will help you take a step in the right direction. Filling and packed with all the right ingredients, it’s the perfect way to teach your little one to eat her greens (and actually enjoying it). For some extra flavor, add a little bit of cheese and prove to everyone that savory muffins are just as tasty as their sweet counterparts.
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup dried spinach
- 1/4 butter, melted
- 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350oF and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Add the spinach and 1 cup of warm water to a bowl and soak for 15 minutes. Once hydrated, drain and squeeze away excess liquid. Set aside.
- Add the egg, milk, and butter to a large bowl and gently combine. Mix in the spinach and cheese and give it a good stir. Add the flour, salt, and pepper, and mix well to combine.
- Divide the mixture between the paper liners and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Enjoy!
Which of these healthy back-to-school snacks would you add to your and your kid's lunchbox? Let us know in the comments down below!
- Branden Evans