Photo: Carmen Cheung
With the school year kicking into high gear once again, you’re going to be pretty busy rushing to pick-up and chauffeuring your kid to all their extracurricular activities. If you don’t have time to prepare all the cute Pinterest-worthy snacks you envisioned for your little ones, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with these healthy snacks for kids that are easy to toss in a backpack or nibble in the car when your kid’s on the go.
Our make-life-easier suggestion: keep an extra lunch bag stocked with delicious packaged goodies so that you can grab it on your way out the door. (You can even direct kids to help themselves to the “snack bag” and build up their independence when you’re working from home.) Many of these healthy snacks come individually wrapped, and the ones that are sold in larger packages are easy to dole out into reusable containers.
Having an on-hand supply of easy snacks will help you ward off after-school meltdowns, reducing your own stress and giving you more time to connect with your kid.
Soft and chewy, these oatmeal bars contain more than 10 grams of tummy-filling whole grains per bar. $3, walmart.ca
This crunchy chip alternative is made with cauliflower and seasoned with a salty, plant-based cheese. $6, naturamarket.ca
These yummy cookies are perfect for when you want a treat that’s got an extra dose of veggies in the form of vegetable extracts. They’re also lower in sugar, free of common allergens and come in seven flavours. $5/pack of 5, madegoodfoods.ca
This grab-and-go yogurt is low in sugar and made with organic ingredients to keep kids nourished. $5/pack of 6, walmart.ca
Perfect for when you’re craving something sweet, these cake-like bars have only 2 grams of sugar or less. $9/pack of 4, walmart.ca
This protein-packed bar with a soft and chewy texture is sure to keep kids energized during their after-school activities. The bar comes in three tasty flavours: Iced Oatmeal Cookie, Chocolate Brownie & Chocolate Chip. $5/pack of 5, well.ca
This yummy blend of seeds and dried fruits is fine for the playground—it contains no nuts—and will keep your kiddies satisfied until you get dinner on the table. $8, well.ca
Simply made of dates, apples, oats and cinnamon, these yummy bites are proudly free of the top 10 allergens (including peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and milk). $35/pack of 10, ohhfoods.com
These fig bars are packed with fibre and healthy whole grains. Your kids are sure to love the texture of the fruity filling, bursting with blueberry or raspberry. $20/box of 32, costco.ca
Does your kid have a peanut or tree nut allergy? Not a problem. These nut-free bars are safe, tasty and packed with protein to keep your active kid energized. $5/pack of 5, well.ca
KIND’s gluten-free bars contain some super whole grains, including oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa. If your kid is active this will give them enough energy to power through playtime or after-school sports. $5/pack of 5, walmart.ca
Earth’s Own chocolate oat milk is a healthy gluten- and nut-free drink that contains 50 percent less sugar than chocolate dairy milk. If that wasn’t enticing enough, you can also feel good about the ingredients in every sip your kid takes—the drinks are all made with fair-trade cocoa. $4, realcanadiansuperstore.ca
These easy snacks for kids are full of nutrients; they have 10 grams of plant protein in every single bar. $29 for 12 pack, amazon.ca
Why pack popcorn? It’s a fibre-rich whole grain and kids love it. When buying microwave popcorn, look for brands that are free of artificial colours and flavours, like this one. Tip: To give popped kernels more kick, shake them with a sprinkle of cinnamon, Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavour) in a small sealed bag. $5, loblaws.ca
Crunchy roasted chickpeas are lots of fun to eat. But better yet, they’re high in protein and fibre, making them a filling afternoon snack. Pack a few extra in a lunchbox for your kid to sprinkle over his salad like croutons. $6, well.ca
Seaweed snacks aren’t just trendy—they’re nutritious, too. Beyond the salty crunch, these organic ones are full of nutrients like B vitamins—essential for boosting energy and easing stress—and bone-building calcium. $6, healthyplanetcanada.com
Made with 100 percent real Canadian milk, these cheesy snacks deliver bone-strengthening calcium and belly-filling protein. Bonus: Kiddos will get a kick out of untwisting their cheese before they eat it. $8/bag of 12, iga.net
There’s only one ingredient: apples. Slices are dried in a way that makes them light and crispy—so they feel and taste like sweet chips. Yum! $7, costco.ca
Did you know? Dried fruit is a good source of fibre and a nutritious snack (one serving equals ¼ cup). Just be sure fruit is the only ingredient (no added sugar!).
When your cookie monster needs a treat, consider animal crackers. They’re lower in sugar than most other biscuits. Bonus: These cute ones are made with whole grains. $5, healthyplanetcanada.ca
Kids love these crispy crackers because they’re delicious; parents can love ’em because they’re nutritious—low in salt and high in whole grains. $4, metro.ca
This squeezable snack is fun to eat, tasty and nutritious. Filled with wholesome ingredients, each pouch serves up fruit, squash and yogurt. Bonus: They don’t need to be refrigerated, so they’re super lunch box friendly. $6/box of 4, well.ca
Avocados are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants like vitamin E—and they make a mean dip. To round out this healthy snack, pack guac with whole-grain crackers and cut-up veggies. $6/box of 6 cups, realcanadiansuperstore.ca
Flavoured yogurts are usually oversweetened, but these mini ones have less sugar and more protein (which helps keep blood sugar steady) than most. Nano also contains vitamin D, which is important for developing bones. $4, realcanadiansuperstore.ca
These pea-based treats will satisfy your sweetie, because each serving contains four grams of fibre and five grams of protein. Baked not fried, they’re also lower in fat than many other munchies and have a light puffed texture. (And if you can find them, the lightly salted variety is a great option.) $4, metro.ca
Mess-free pouches are particularly handy healthy snacks for on the go. These ones come in three tropical flavours that are kosher, vegan and gluten-free, with no added sugar or artificial flavours or colours. $4/pack of 4, loblaws.ca
This flavoured popcorn is more than just popcorn — it’s loaded with ancient grains like millet and buckwheat, and is enriched with vitamin D derived from mushrooms. $6, freshwagon.ca
Satisfy your kid’s cookie cravings with these tiny bites. They’remade with oats, sweetened with dried fruit and are free of the top 11 allergens. $7, wise-bites.com
These chewy treats are like energy balls and replace traditional cookie ingredients with options like oat flour, organic coconut sugar, dates and flaxseed. $7, londondrugs.com
These smoothies are so packed with fruit and veggies that your kid is guaranteed a whopping dose of vitamins from each filling drink. $5.50, makegoodfood.ca
This article was originally published in August 2020.