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15 Yummy & Nutritious Snacks for School

From seemingly endless amounts of homework to shuttling everyone to and from various activities to simply adjusting to a new routine, back-to-school season can certainly be a hustle. Although many parents want to send their kids to school with nutritious, plant-based foods to support their learning, concentration, and energy levels, it’s easy to fall into a snack slump when life gets busy.

Store shelves and even school vending machines are filled with convenient snacks marketed to children, but unfortunately, they’re often highly processed and low in beneficial nutrients. Studies have shown that across grade levels, students who eat nutritious snacks have higher average academic outcomes than students who eat unhealthy snacks - even when controlling for factors like physical activity and family background!

Helping your kids choose wholesome snacks doesn’t have to mean complicated meal prep every night or boring options on repeat. Here are some of our favorite nutritious school snacks for busy families.

Nutritious School Snacks for Kids

From quick bites for carpool to after-school nibbles, these 15 nutritious snacks for school are delicious for all ages and sure to please even the pickiest eaters! In fact, you might just find yourself making extras to enjoy throughout your own day:

1. Fruit & Nut Butter

Fruit is delicious, packed with nutrients, and easily transportable, which makes it a classic school snack. However, you can up the satiety level by adding a nut or seed butter, both of which are packed with healthy fats. Try apples with almond butter or bananas with sunflower seed butter.

2. Popcorn

For a crunchy snack that’s always a kid crowd-pleaser, you can’t beat air-popped popcorn. It’s easy to make at home on the stovetop, and kids can even customize it with their favorite seasonings and add-ins. For an even more convenient option, grab snack packs of pre-popped popcorn – we recommend Lesser Evil!

3. Veggies & Homemade Dip

Baby carrots, cucumbers, celery, mini bell peppers, snap peas, or any veggies your kiddo is currently into are a great source of fiber and vitamins. To make them even tastier and more satisfying, add a yummy homemade dip like hummus, mashed avocado, or vegan ranch. These simple additions can help make veggies more exciting and enjoyable for picky eaters, as well.

4. Kids MacroBars®

On busy days, there’s nothing better than a clean grab-and-go snack that doesn’t require any prep. Certified Organic Kids MacroBars come in five kid-approved flavors and are made with ingredients parents can trust. Throw them in school lunches or keep some in the car for snacking between activities.

5. Vegan Muffins

Making a batch of muffins is a fun weekend activity for the kids to help with, and it means everyone can enjoy an easy breakfast or afternoon snack all week long. These gluten-free Vegan Blueberry Muffins are sweetened with bananas and a touch of coconut sugar for a better-for-you take on a classic treat.

6. Chocolate Crispy Treats

Some days just call for a little something sweet, and these no-bake Chocolate Crispy Treats couldn’t be easier or yummier! They’re made with sunflower seed butter, making them a safe shareable option for celebrations or lunch treats if your child’s school is nut-free.

7. Energy Bites

Another great prep-ahead option for busy weeks: energy bites! Simply mix together your kiddo’s favorite nut butter, oats, honey or maple syrup, and mix-ins like dried fruit, chocolate chips, or coconut. For an extra protein boost, try adding a scoop of plant protein powder. If you’re short on time, this simplified Protein Bite recipe is perfect. Store bites in the refrigerator for easy snacking any time!

8. Dried Fruit

While fresh fruit is often more filling, dried fruit is a kid-friendly option when you need a sweet, high-fiber, non-perishable school snack. From dried mango to all-natural fruit leathers, dried fruit is a great alternative to treats with added sugar. Plus, dried fruits retain most of the nutrients from their fresh counterparts!

9. Trail Mix

When your kids need an energy-packed pick-me-up to fuel an active day, trail mix is a great choice. Opt for a mix with mostly nuts, seeds, and dried fruits rather than large amounts of added sugar. Even better, make your own trail mix tailored to your family’s favorite ingredients. Simply store in an airtight container and dole out as needed for easy school snacks.

10. Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the quintessential school lunch food. If you prefer something a little easier to grab on the go, these Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups pack all the PB&J flavor in a delicious, vegan, gluten-free bite. Made with MacroBars and a homemade chia seed jam, they’re just right for popping in a lunchbox or after-school snacking.

11. Chia Pudding

Ditch the sugary pudding cups and opt for a fiber and omega-3-packed chia pudding! Simply mix chia seeds with plant-based milk and leave the mixture in the fridge overnight to set. Let your child choose their favorite toppings like fruit, jam, nuts and seeds, or chocolate chips. You can even turn the pudding into a parfait with yogurt for extra protein!

12. Mini Wraps

Whether you’re packing snacks for lunch, before practice, or even breakfast in the car, simple wraps are perfectly portable. Start with a tortilla, then add nut butter and fruit for a sweet version or hummus and veggies for a savory take. Roll it up, then cut into bite-size pieces for little ones or cut in half for older kids. There are truly endless filling possibilities, so have fun getting creative!

13. Kid Charcuterie

If you loved Lunchables as a kid, there’s an easy way to recreate them with healthier, plant-based ingredients! Pack a variety of nuts, sliced fruit, berries, veggies, plant-based cheese, crackers, hummus, or even pickles into a bento-style box for an easy lunch. Or, to avoid after-school “hanger”, set the selection out on a tray for everyone to graze on when they get home.

14. Plant-Based Yogurt

Yogurt is a high-protein, gut-friendly snack for kids of all ages, and it’s easy to customize based on your child’s preferences. Pack easy additions like berries, granola, nuts, chia, or hemp seeds separately as toppings for a snack that’s yummy at any time of day.

15. Olives & Beans

They may not be the most conventional school snack, but brands like Brami lupini beans and Oloves olives offer convenient snack packs and fun flavors that are perfect for on-the-go kids, especially those with elevated taste preferences. Lupini beans are packed with fiber and protein, and olives contain healthy fats for a tasty, nutrient-packed alternative to highly processed salty snacks.

While you can’t be there to help your kids through every moment of their day, sending them off with nutritious school snacks is a powerful way to support their learning and development. Keep a package of Kids MacroBars on hand and you’ll be ready for any adventure the school year throws your way. Find them at your local store or save 5% and never run out when you subscribe & save.