21 Healthy Snacks to Put In Your Child’s School Lunch


One of the toughest transitions that we have gone through, when school started full day for our family, was the lunch transition. Moving from eating lunches at home to eating lunch 5 days a week at school was more difficult than I thought. My C loves a good hot lunch. She is not a lunch meat girl and certainly not a girl that takes well to change (she takes after her mama), especially when it comes to food.

We have faired pretty well with the main course meal though in the near future I’d like to begin branching out a bit more. She generally will take a cheese quesadilla or a PBJ sandwich and then she buys lunch once a week. Now on the snack end, though we have a million possiblities choosing, some of those options get old after a while. I took to pinterest and spent some time brainstorming some healthy and natural lunch snack ideas that were (here’s the kicker) super easy!:)

What do you pack for a snack in your kids lunch?

1. Fresh fruit – Often I will pack strawberries, blueberries, grapes, banana, or a clementine.

2. Baby carrots or other finger food veggies (cucumbers, celery, broccoli, etc.)

3. Crunchies – Dried vegetables. These come in a bunch of flavors including Buttery Sweet Corn, and BBQ Veggie (which has peas in them) and is a fun way to spice it up (no pun intended;)

4. Muffins – C loves her homemade muffins so when I make zucchini muffins, banana muffins, or carrot cake muffins, she is all about having them as her snack!

5. Cookies – I am not afraid of the homemade cookie in my kids lunch at all. It is nice to get a special treat! Ben’s choco chip are top notch…

6. Homemade Applesauce in a Sili Squeeze or other squeezable pouch. I love the idea of being able to reuse these and they clean easy too!

7. Organicasaurus Cheese Puffs – I was introduced to these bad good boys at the Natural Products Expo East and they are a great thing to add into a school lunch and feel good about!

8. Multigrain Cheerio and Cranberry Treats – Check out my post on Homemade Healthy Snacks for Little Ones for tips on how to make these delicious treats! Best ever…think rice krispie treats yet different.

9. Homemade Fruit Snacks – I have yet to try these but need to for sure as I am sure C would love them!

10. Dried cranberries or raisins

11. Cheddar Bunnies (we like Annie’s)

12. Pretzels

13. Homemade Energy Bites – we don’t make these a lot in our house because most recipes have PB (if you find one that doesn’t I’d LOVE it!) but we have in the past and they were a hit! Here are some from Wholesome Mommy.

14. Yogurt

15. Cheese squares

16. Hummus (plain if you are like me, or with veggies:) 

17. Trailmix – Make up a big batch by mixing cheerios, dried cranberries, nuts (if there are no allergies), and maybe a few yogurt covered raisins for a surprise.

18. Popcorn – YUM!

19. Apple Chips – I have yet to try these but my kids adore apples and I think the would really like these. Here is a recipe I found.

20. Roasted Chickpeas  – These sound like an excellent way to give crunch to something super healthy! GO plant protein!

21. Veggie Chips – Kale Chips, Tomato Chips, Sweet Potato Chips…you name it, these are so easy to make a big batch of and then eat all week long!

What are your favorite healthy snacks to put in a lunch box or have around the house?

My friend Sherry from Superexhausted shares some GREAT healthy snack ideas on her blog too. Be sure to check these out too!

About Lauryn Blakesley

A woman out to explore, celebrate, and enjoy everything that my community and living locally has to offer. Blessed with three beautiful children and an incredible husband, our family embraces adventure while dreaming of what is to come. Lover of knitting, running (although mostly after little ones right now), the color orange, fun accessories, fall, tea, and a clean kitchen floor. I spend my days in awe of my family and trying to teach my three to treat others as they would want to be treated.

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  1. So saving this for next year when I have to pack a lunch for Ethan!
    Steph recently posted…Blogger Spotlight: A Life in BalanceMy Profile

  2. I love these ideas! My kids are super-picky, so finding snacks that are healthy AND kid-approved is always a challenge.
    Brandi recently posted…On This Day in History: California Gold RushMy Profile

  3. GREAT ideas! I love making up a bunch of snacks on Sunday night so the kids have healthy stuff to grab on the go all week.
    Melissa Angert recently posted…ATHLETA FOR WINTER WORKOUTSMy Profile

  4. Thanks for a great list, I am always trying to remember the choices we love and you have them so easy to find! First time visitor…great blog!

  5. I love these ideas – my small people are picky so it is GREAT to have options! Baby carrots, yogurt, trail mix and cheese are popular around here :)
    Danielle Smith recently posted…Renew, Refresh, ReinventMy Profile

  6. Great list! My kids love clementines, bananas, cheese (love the new Kerrygold Dubliner packs), I make “mixes” for them as well so a handful of homemade granola (no nuts), raisins, dried cranberries and a bit chocolate chips – they love it! Oh and I am SO with you on the homemade cookies – that’s “a mama’s love” baked right into that cookie! They work hard at school all day so 1 sweet snack is a-ok with me :)
    Colleen (Souffle Bombay) recently posted…Chicken Pot Pie Topped with Jalapeno & Scallion BiscuitsMy Profile

  7. My son is picky, so we keep it simple and healthy! Always a fruit, a veggie and he likes to have PB&J everyday! I make the PB&J healthier by making sure that I use organic and no partially hydrogenated products! Sometimes he will do a healthy granola bar, but he is not a big fan of change either!
    Andrea @ My fun Healthy Life recently posted…Egg Muffin Cups: The Easy Formula for Easy and Healthy BreakfastMy Profile

  8. This is a constant battle in my house because my son wants the same snack every single day. It’s a healthy one but what how boring!
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted…12 Ways to Reduce Your Saturated Fat IntakeMy Profile

  9. We do cheese sticks and many of the ones on your list. Dehydrate fruits and yogurt for yogurt chips and fruit. My kids also love when I get gold fish and I will make a trail mix with goldfish, raisins, sunflowers seeds, and chocolate chips.
    Hether M recently posted…Fried Dough Mozzarella Bites, a Stop on the Stuffed TourMy Profile

  10. what a great list. I need to get better at making more homemade options like cookies, muffins and flavored popcorns
    Melinda@LookWhatMomFound…andDadtoo recently posted…Tackling the To-Do List with Ingo MoneyMy Profile

  11. Yes! There are so many great things to feed our kids, and so many interesting ones that they’d like. And they don’t even take a ton of time to prep!
    Michelle recently posted…We Stole Some Kid’s GlovesMy Profile

  12. Great ideas! I pinned this since I’m in a total lunch rut. I even talked this morning about how I’m over packing lunches and it’s only January! Thanks for the motivation :)
    carrie recently posted…Leave Daddy Home Alone for BedtimeMy Profile

  13. Thanks for some great new options for my boys’ lunch boxes.
    Jennifer A recently posted…Comment on What You Need To Know About Pictures of Your Kids by Jennifer A.My Profile

  14. Great list of ideas!
    Becky recently posted…New Year’s Resolutions to Be GreenMy Profile

  15. My kids have been bugging me for more snacks for their lunch. I’ll bring the list with me to Giant today to see what I can find besides the fruit we bought this morning.
    Barb @ A Life in Balance recently posted…11 Klutz-Proof Valentine’s Day Crafts for KidsMy Profile

  16. This is a great resource! I include many of the items on your list…at least a fruit or veggie, maybe a cheese stick (my youngest son’s favorite) and pretzels. I try to switch up their snacks to make it fun and interesting.
    Tina @ Life Without Pink recently posted…Boy Mom Spotlight: Meet LindaMy Profile

  17. Great ides!

    I recommend leaving out the yogurt.
    ALL of the milk we get from supermarkets is processed. And processed milk is very hard to digest. It produces mucus in the body, which ends up as a layer in our intestines and hindering the assimilation of nutrients. So the calcium cannot even be absorbed. Even worse, to digest the milk, the body ends up taking calcium from your bones and tissues.
    People consuming dairy products suffer from osteoporosis and fractures more often.

  18. Thanks for this list! I sometimes get stumped when packing lunches! This is a great go-to for inspiration!
    Leah Hudson recently posted…Are you ready to say Goodbye?My Profile

  19. I loved it. I am going to share these ideas on my blog too!
    Nicole Estrella recently posted…Peter Gray: The Decline of Play and the Rise of Mental DisordersMy Profile

  20. Great list!
    I have to get back to making muffins for the kids! They love them and they CAN be healthy. I also need to look into those squeezable pouches for homemades. I’m torn between the waste of the store bought ones and my own willingness to make homemade applesauces 😉
    Sharon recently posted…My messy house.My Profile

  21. This is such a great list Lauryn!!! Love it!
    Annie {Stowed Stuff} recently posted…Back to School with the StowsMy Profile

  22. I love that there are so many healthy options to put in a lunch box! My kids pack their own lunches and when we have healthy choices at home it’s so easy for them to add them to their lunch. My middle son has been taking carrots in his lunch for the past 4 years…every day!
    Lori Popkewitz Alper recently posted…Waste Free Lunch Gear to Add to Your Lunch BoxMy Profile

  23. Great list. Many we pack already and many more ideas. Just in time to start the school year.
    Leah Klein recently posted…School: Let it GoMy Profile

  24. Yum! I’m always looking for ways to mix things up. Will keep this list in mind.
    Pilar recently posted…Baymax brings all the emojis in Disney’s first clip from ‘Big Hero 6.’My Profile


  1. […] up a batch of cookies. My friend Lauryn of The Vintage Mom basically created a shopping list of 21 healthy snacks for school lunches. She just forgot to put my name on the […]

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