This list is here to help you come up with snacks for the kids day in and day out since it always seems like it’s snack time. Each quick snack idea will help fuel the kids until their next meal, and they’ll only take you a few minutes of time to prep.
Easy Healthy Snacks
While I love to have at least one homemade snack on hand for the kids most weeks, it can be helpful to have a list of go-to easy snack ideas that I can put together in minutes to refer to when it seems like I’m out of ideas OR when we have limited options in the house. This list is easy to follow and should spark some ideas from items you already have on hand.
You do not need to make rainbow snacks or cut out produce with tiny cookie cutters to make a healthy snack—unless it brings you joy. You can simply combine a few foods to make easy snacks that will satisfy kids of all ages (and you, too).
These ideas are meant to have a mix of nutrients to help satisfy the kids, though remember that kids don’t eat like nutrition charts tell us they will. Some days they may want or need more of one nutrient than another, and that is totally normal eating.
(My snack containers may help to review, too.)
Healthy Snacks List
I’ve made this list as simple and straightforward as possible to help reassure you that you don’t have to make anything complicated when it comes to snack time. This list includes a mix of options in hopes that some might appeal to you and your kids.
I know kids vary widely in their preferences, and we all have such different foods in our house, so know that I don’t expect every kid to like every one of these ideas. But maybe one or two will work!
Applesauce (or Pouch) with Crackers or Dry Cereal
Combine applesauce with a shelf-stable snack like crackers, thin pretzel sticks, or dry cereal for an easy snack. Add water or milk to make this more filling if that’s appropriate for your child.
You can also sub in thinly sliced apple if you prefer.
You can peel or not peel the apples, depending on your preference.
u003cpu003eThis easy combo works well as a substantial snack or an easy lunchu003c/pu003e
Cereal Bar with Milk or Banana
Offer a 3-Ingredient Cereal Bar (which is a great way to use up leftover cereal) with a side of fruit or milk for an easy snack that’s also super yummy!
Made with just 3 pantry staples, these bars make an excellent kids snack. They hold their shape best when stored in the fridge and served cold.
Cheese with Cucumbers and Crackers
Make quick cracker stackers with sliced cheese and thin slices of cucumbers. This combo of food groups is satisfying and also fun for the kids to eat.
If you want to have some, too, feel free to add a condiment like mustard for more flavor.
Cheese with Sliced Apple or Pear
Thinly sliced apple or pear with a side of sliced cheese is a classic combo that delivers a mix of protein, fats, fiber, and vitamin C. This works for any time of the day and is a nice toddler snack option.
Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Pair protein-rich cottage cheese with fruit such as raspberries, diced strawberries, or canned peaches or pineapple for an easy snack. This works well as a baby snack or as a snack for an older child.
Drinkable Yogurt and Crackers
Make a quick batch of drinkable yogurt and pair with soft and easy-to-eat crackers for a fun snack for the kids.
Learn how to make homemade Yogurt Drinks to save money, customize them just for your kids, and make a nutritious breakfast or snack to share with the kids in under 5 minutes. See the Notes at the end for the 6 flavor options.
Graham Crackers with Yogurt Dip and Fruit
Spread graham crackers with a protein-rich topping and diced fruit for an easy healthy snack idea.
You can stir together this 3-ingredient Yogurt Dip for fruit in about a minute, then serve up a fruit plate with extra flavor. Try this with any fruit the kids like, or even with graham crackers, toast sticks, or cut up waffles.
Granola Bar with Milk or Fruit
We like to have these granola bars as a snack or toddler breakfast with milk or a smoothie—and they’re an excellent lunch box component too. You can make them plain or choose a flavor to add!
Egg (Hard-Cooked), Crackers or Toast
Make hard-cooked eggs to have on hand throughout the week (or buy some precooked at the store) and pair with crackers or toast for a satisfying option.
This is meant to be a cheatsheet for the best basic ways to cook eggs. Refer back to the body of the post for links to making egg muffins.
Energy Bites with Water or Milk
Pair a nutrient-dense energy ball with a simple drink for an easy snack that’s perfect to share with the kids. This homemade snack recipe is easy to make ahead of time and keep on hand for when you need it.
These no-bake bites taste like a cross between oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookie dough. I use natural creamy peanut butter (like the kind from Smuckers) and it works really well. (Recipe updated slightly in June 2021 to ensure the best texture.)
Hummus with Pita Bread or Shredded Carrots
You can use regular plain yogurt, though I like the consistency that Greek yogurt yields a bit better.
Toast with Nut or Seed Butter and Fruit
Learn how to prepare and serve bread to babies and toddlers to maximize safety and nutrition.
Freezer Waffle with Nut or Seed Butter
You can also do a similar idea to toast with a freezer waffle. We like the ones from Kodiak or Kashi, though you can also make homemade waffles to keep on hand in the freezer.
These Banana Waffles have true banana flavor and leftovers store really well. Double the batch to make more for your family as needed.
½ Sandwich or Sandwich Cubes
Rely on a simple sandwich as an easy snack to serve at home or on the go. This is a great way to use up leftover sandwiches or to rely on basic staples for an easy mini meal.
TIP: You can see my full list of my favorite Snacks to Buy at the Store here.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make a quick healthy snack by combining more than one food group to make the snack satisfying and filling. Think apple slices and cheese, toast and peanut butter, granola bar and milk. Adding protein and/or fat to a snack helps keep blood sugar levels stable and it helps to keep us full until the next meal or snack.
That will really depend on each individual person, but many people feel best when they eat in regular intervals and eat a mix of nutrients.
Remember that “snack” foods are delicious, so it’s understandable that the kids like them. You can try to serve all foods at all meals and snacks by considering each time to eat a mini meal. So we might see crackers on the table with dinner and a smoothie at snack, or leftovers at snack time or dinner.
You can read more about what to do when kids only want snacks.
Best Tips for Easy Snack Ideas
Keeping snacks simple is one of my favorite ways to manage the daily snacking needs. So aim to include at least 2 food groups and you should be good.
You may also want to consider having a set schedule for meals and snacks to reduce demands for more snacks and allowing the kids to eat their fill at each eating opportunity to make sure they are meeting their hunger needs.
TIP: Find more advice about feeding schedules here.
If you have a go-to snack that I missed on my list, please comment below so I can add it to my list!
This post was first published March 2020.