Kids health

7 healthy packaged snacks for school

Yeah, you’ve got to pack lunch and snacks too. Here are some of the best, protein-filled picks on store shelves to keep your kid going all day.

By Cara Rosenbloom

7 healthy packaged snacks for school

Photo: iStock Photo

Packaged snacks are certainly convenient, but unfortunately most of them are high in salt or sugar. The truth is that gummy candies, salty chips and cereal bars are actually treats, not snacks—and they’re not the ideal way to fuel busy, active kids.

To help your little ones keep their brains and bodies in top form during the school day, it’s smart to pack a snack with a protein punch. Protein is well-researched for its link to satiety (the feeling of fullness) and weight control. It helps fill children’s tummies so they aren’t distracted by rumbling bellies, plus they stay full for longer. That means they are not famished by their next meal, keeping their mood more stable—no more after-school hangry fits.

The following snacks are protein-rich, and have between 80 to 165 calories (you can pair the lower calorie options with a little something extra) and each one is low in sugar and has less than 270 milligrams of sodium per serving (with one exception—the SimplyProtein chips at 320 mg sodium per serving).

best packaged recess snacks

Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame Lightly Salted

13 g protein per ¼-cup serving, 130 calories

Peanuts are not allowed at most primary schools, and these are a great substitute. Protein-packed, lightly salted and addictively crunchy, these are great on their own or as part of a trail mix. They also provide 10 percent of the day’s iron requirement, a hard-to-get nutrient for many kids.

7 healthy packaged snacks for schoolSeapoint Farms

Oikos Greek Yogurt

8 g protein per 100-g cup, 80 calories

If your kids like ice cream, this may be the perfect snack. Creamy, sweet and delicious, it comes in many flavours. This yogurt has some naturally occurring sugar, and about 1 to 2 teaspoons of added sugar per container (but way less than gummies or bear-shaped cookies). Pair with a tablespoon of sunflower seeds for added calories and protein.

7 healthy packaged snacks for schoolOikos

SimplyProtein Chips BBQ Tomato

15 g protein per 33-g bag, 140 calories

These chips are off the charts for protein, which comes from pea protein isolate. Yes, they are a processed food (pea protein isolate does not grow on trees), but they’re a step up from the usual BBQ potato chips, which offer fat and salt, but no redeeming nutrients.

7 healthy packaged snacks for schoolSimplyProtein

Amooza Twists

6 g protein per 21-g serving, 60 calories

Parents often confuse string cheese with processed cheese slices, which are loaded with sodium. But this playful snack is the real deal—100 percent cheddar or mozzarella cheese. Pair with an apple or wholegrain crackers to bump up the calories.

7 healthy packaged snacks for schoolKraft Canada

The Good Bean Roasted Chickpea Snacks

5 g protein per 1-oz serving, 120 calories

These plant-based protein snacks come in a range of savoury (salted, BBQ or Thai coconut) and sweet (cinnamon or chocolate) flavours. Additional wow factor: they also have 5 grams of fibre per serving and are a source of iron. And they taste so good!

7 healthy packaged snacks for schoolThe Good Bean

Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps

5 g protein per 1-oz serving, 120 calories

Made from green peas, these crisps are a light, crunchy snack with a mild, kid-friendly flavour. They're available in 3.3 oz. bags or 100-calorie snack-size pouches. Bonus: these are also a source of fibre and iron.

7 healthy packaged snacks for schoolHarvest Snaps

Nordica On-The-Go Single-Serve Cottage Cheese

14 g protein per 113-g cup, 90 calories

This is a high-protein snack that offers calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D. If your child prefers sweet over plain, try Nordica Smooth in Vanilla or Salted Caramel flavours—they have 10 grams of protein per cup (but also 2 to 3 tsp added sugar).

7 healthy packaged snacks for schoolWalmart

Read More: 10 healthiest granola bars for kids
14 peanut-free snacks

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