Our Favorite Healthy Snacks for Kids and Adults
Sharing the favorite healthy snacks of a family of (mostly) healthy (mostly) real food lovers. Homemade and packaged snacks are discussed and shared.
First things first, a bit of housekeeping. None of the brands we’re talking about today have sponsored this content. All the products are things we purchase with our own cash money.
Snacks! The very American tradition of eating between meals is often the cause of stress for many people and kids. What to eat? How much to eat? When to eat? All first world problems my friends.
A few months ago, a reader asked me to share what kind of snacks we have in our house. I love snacking. A perfect dinner for me is a bunch of appetizers and I get to put whatever I want on a tiny little plate. I have to force myself to keep snacks to a bare minimum throughout the day. We have two kids and three adults in our house and a broad range of snacks are needed to keep all tastes happy.
The first thing I do when I feel a snack attack creeping up is to think about what healthy food I can have. Sliced veggies in the fridge, Cheesy Kale Chips, a piece of cheese (Tillamook Medium Cheddar is our absolute favorite), some homemade Greek Instant Pot Yogurt or a piece of fruit needs to be my first stop. Then there are days when the totally healthy options just aren’t cutting it and I need something more robust.
I’m not a fan of single-use packaging snacks or foods, but I recognize their convenience and appeal, especially when it comes to providing snacks for school or sporting events. With that in mind, the packaged healthy snacks our family loves are:
- Stretch Island Fruit Strips: we buy these at Costco and they are also available online. Maybe I am biased because they are a Washington State company, but the ingredients are simple and they are super tasty. Bennett calls them “apple candy”.
- ZBar – from the maker of Cliff Bars, these are also a Costco buy in our household (also available online). A few times a year Costco will have an instant rebate available on the large box. I’ll buy a few boxes and when they are gone they are gone. Everyone in the family prefers the Iced Oatmeal flavor, so the other two flavors in the variety pack kind of languish for a bit.
- Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars – in what will shock no one, we buy these at Costco but you can also find them on Amazon. The raspberry flavor is the hot ticket item in this house, followed by blueberry and then poor apple cinnamon just chills in the snack bin waiting for someone to love it. They are made with whole wheat, are low in added sugar, and the ingredient list doesn’t sketch me out.
- Apple Chips – oh, my, there is a theme here…we get these at Costco too. They seem to be a seasonal item so we buy a few bags when we find them. They contain no added sugar or preservatives and are perfectly crunchy and delightful. And being from Washington, we love apple-flavored anything! Also available online, but the Costco price is incredibly affordable.
- Stonyfield Yogurt tubes – these are a very rare treat in our house. Costco had them right before school started with an insane instant rebate. I think it was like 24 or 30 tubes for $5.50. I bought a few boxes and put them in the freezer. These are not daily treats and I dole them out in a quite stingy manner. As an aside, the founding of the company was the subject of a fascinating episode of How I Built This, one of my favorite podcasts.
- La Croix – not really a snack exactly, but our whole family is pretty crazy for sparkling water. We use our SodaStream religiously at home, but a can is pretty handy to take places. Plus aluminum is easily recyclable almost anywhere. Costco sells a flat for $6.79 and I just saw a flat at Target this week as well for $7.99.
- Organic Goldfish – I find the best deal on these at Target. Only my toddler really eats them, but they are a fun snack from time to time for anyone standing in front of the open pantry door like it has the answers to world peace.
- Fruit – not really packaged exactly, but we dig fruit! Apples, bananas, and mandarins are favorite healthy snacks in our house, with apples taking top billing. This is Washington after all. 🙂
I have loads of recipes for homemade healthy snacks as well with our favorites being Homemade Lara Bars and Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Energy Bites. The toddler and I love Cheesy Kale Chips, and White Cheddar Pumpkin Seeds. And my older son can always be found with his hand in the jar of dried apples. <—Washington, I’m telling yah!
We’re always happy to try out new things when we find them but generally come back to these few things when budget allows.
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself. Thank you for your support!
We love the “Nut butter filled,” Cliff Bars, probably so I can say “nut butter,” over and over. I also love the individual serving cups of peanut butter on apples. It keeps me from eating half a jar. I may have a “nut butter” obsession.
Saying nut butter is pretty dang fun!
We buy those same apple chips at Costco and they are amazing! They are sweet without any added sugar and are easy to pack for lunch, trips etc. Another snacking item we get at Costco are their raw almonds and raw walnuts. I keep a small mason jar of them in my desk at work.
Yes! They are so good.
I’m going to have to try your pumpkin seeds. Guess I missed that post. I’m not a healthy snacker so I just try not to. Sunflower seeds are probably the closest to a healthy snack I eat.
I love sunflower seeds but they make my mouth so dry!
Have you seen Chomps sticks or the individual packets of green olives at Trader Joe’s? Those are the ones we’ve stuck to post-whole30. My super picky 4yo loooves both of them, too. Figures.
I saw the green olive packs on my last trip, but I’ll be honest in that I went “yuck”. Not a green olive fan, but Troy love them!
Are Chomps sticks like pepperoni?
They are basically clean slim jims. TJ’s has the best price unless they have a crazy sale on their website. They are usually by the jerky/Epic bars or up at the registers.
I am trying to eat healthier snacks. We eat a cheese stick and Triscuits (you’ve rekindled our love for Triscuits!) or organic granola bars (every granola bar I’ve ever tried to make has ended in disaster – and I’m a pretty good baker!!). We also like apple chips, we love saltine goldfish and love “pretty fruit” mixes (so mixes with lots of color like raspberries, blueberries and banana).
For your fruit mixes, do you do dried or fresh fruit?