Because you don't always have time to make something yourself.
Picking the healthiest prepackaged snacks for kids can be overwhelming. At the supermarket, entire aisles wait, filled with pre-portioned crackers, cookies, and bars. We know you don’t have time to read every label at the store, so we’re giving you our favorite prepacked kids’ snacks, and telling you what to look for, and what to watch out for, in your favorites.
While it may seem natural to screen snacks by calorie count, a better number to check out is how much added sugar the snack lists on the nutrition label. Consider where the calories are coming from and look for items with minimal added sugar or added sugar as lower on the ingredient list. Shop for items sweetened from a natural source like whole fruits and dried fruits or dates. Basically, look for snacks with calories that aren’t coming from an empty source and that offer some nutritional value, like fiber.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Archer Farms Trail Mix
GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) has long been a great snack option, and Target’s Archer Farms takes it to the next level by offering over a dozen varieties of the classic trail mix, so you can decide if you want a spicy mix, a savory one, or one sprinkled with candies for a special treat. The trail mixes come in large containers for home use or bagged in individual servings, which are perfect to stash in the car for mid-afternoon snacks after school or between activities.
Kirkland Roasted Seaweed
With only three ingredients, this snack is hard to beat. The roasted seaweed snack packs are free from preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and MSG. One of our Editors keeps these around the house at all times for her kids to snack on during the day.
Sargento Balanced Breaks
For a heartier snack, we’re fans of the new snack pack trend. While you can definitely make your own version of these snacks, Sargento Balanced Breaks are great to keep on hand for last-minute snacking needs and can easily be tossed in a lunchbox or pool bag for a quick fix. They’re available at Sam’s Club for $8.98 for a pack of 12, making them a clear price performer.
Bare Cinnamon Banana Chips
When your sweet tooth calls, answer with a crunchy fruit chip that has two ingredients: bananas and cinnamon. Basically, these are baked bananas topped with a hint of cinnamon. If you prefer, try the cocoa or strawberry options. All flavors come in 1.3 ounce serving bags, perfect for stashing in your car for pick up.
RXBAR Kids Apple Cinnamon Raisin
If your kids love granola bars, swap in a better option that delivers three grams of fiber and seven grams of protein. Breakfast bars can be an easy sugar trap, so finding one that’s sweetened with dried fruit and not added sugar is a great solution.