Best Snacks for School: Nutritious and Delicious Picks for Students

Updated on April 24, 2024

School snacks provide essential energy for students’ concentration and participation in activities. It’s not just about curbing hunger, but providing tasty, nutritious options. The best snacks are convenient, don’t require refrigeration, and offer a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. They should also be safe for those with food allergies.

In our snack evaluation, we’ve considered taste, nutrition, practicality (such as packaging durability, portion size, and shelf life), to ensure that the chosen snacks meet both health and convenience standards.

We’re excited to share our findings on snacks that excel in taste, nutrition, and convenience, providing the perfect school day fuel.

Top School Snack Picks

We understand the importance of both nutrition and flavor when it comes to selecting the ideal snacks for school. Our carefully curated list reflects snacks that are not only delicious but also provide sustained energy to keep students focused throughout the day. These picks cater to a variety of dietary requirements and preferences, ensuring there’s a snack for every student to enjoy.

Welch’s Mixed Fruit Snacks

Welch's Fruit Snacks, Mixed Fruit, Great Valentines Day Gifts for Kids, Gluten Free, Bulk Pack, Individual Single Serve Bags, 0.8 oz (Pack of 40)

We believe these fruit snacks are an excellent choice for parents looking to provide tasty and vitamin-rich options for their children's school snacks.

Pros:
  • Packed with essential vitamins A, C & E
  • Healthy gluten and fat-free option with no preservatives
  • Comes in convenient single-serving bags
Cons:
  • Can be finished quickly due to smaller serving size
  • May not be suitable for children with certain dietary restrictions
  • Not the lowest sugar option available
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Welch’s Mixed Fruit Snacks come in a handy pack of 40, which is perfect when we’re on stocking duty for school snacks. Each 0.8 oz bag has just the right amount for a quick and enjoyable treat. With fruit as the first ingredient, we have seen how they can be both delicious and somewhat nourishing compared to other sugary snacks. Plus, being fat-free and gluten-free gives us peace of mind for friends who have dietary restrictions.

We’ve noticed these fruit snacks tend to disappear almost as fast as we can buy them; a testament to their popularity in our household. They’re chewy, bursting with flavor, and honestly, it’s hard to stop at just one bag. The vitamin content is a bonus, as it adds a feel-good factor to a quick snack option.

There’s also the convenience factor. These individual packs save us time in the mornings, making school lunch prep a breeze. We just throw a bag into the lunchbox without the hassle of portioning or repackaging. On the flip side, we do keep an eye on how many our kids consume; the smaller sizes mean they sometimes reach for more than one. Still, Welch’s Mixed Fruit Snacks are our go-to when we’re out and about or need something to tide them over until dinner.

BEAR Fruit Rolls

BEAR Real Fruit Snack Rolls - Gluten Free, Vegan, and Non-GMO - Strawberry – Healthy School And Lunch Snacks For Kids And Adults, 0.7 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Consider snagging these fruit rolls for a straightforward and health-conscious snack option.

Pros:
  • Made with real fruit and no added nasties
  • Suitable for a variety of dietary needs
  • Includes fun little cards for collecting
Cons:
  • Taste may be too subtle for some
  • Not as sweet as other fruit snacks
  • Possibility of receiving expired products
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The BEAR Fruit Rolls are a standout choice when we’re on the lookout for treats that are both healthy and convenient to pack. As parents always aiming to to balance nutrition and taste, we appreciate that these snacks are crafted from 100% real fruit without any added sugars or preservatives. It’s a relief to know that when we hand these out during snack time, there aren’t any artificial ingredients or mysteries lurking in the packaging.

Texture-wise, we find them to be a hit with most of the younger crowd. They’re a great middle ground if you’re trying to wean the kids off more sugary alternatives. Plus, they’re vegan, paleo, and gluten-free, which means they’re friendly for nearly any dietary restriction a classmate might have. Our little lunchers also get a kick out of the collectible cards in each pack, which adds a touch of excitement to their day.

Nevertheless, some of us do note that the flavor can be on the milder side, which might not win over every child’s palate. If your little ones are accustomed to the more sugary, conventional fruit snacks, there may be a bit of an adjustment to the natural taste. Additionally, the occasional reports of the product being past its expiration date upon delivery do raise concerns about quality control, so it’s something to watch out for when ordering. Despite these quirks, we find that the advantages of these fruity rolls usually tip the scale in their favor.

Pringles Variety Pack

Pringles Potato Crisps Chips, Snack Stacks, Lunch Snacks, Office and Kids Snacks, Variety Pack (27 Cups)

We think these Pringles cups are a convenient and tasty addition to any school lunch, offering a good variety without the risk of going stale.

Pros:
  • Portable and just the right serving size for a snack
  • Appreciable variety to cater to different tastes
  • Packaging keeps the crisps fresh until opened
Cons:
  • A few chips may arrive broken due to shipping
  • Price might be higher compared to in-store purchases
  • Limited quantity in each cup might not suffice for bigger appetites
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After tossing one of these Pringles cups into my kids’ lunchboxes, I’ve noticed they’re always excited to see which flavor they get. It’s a small thing, but the anticipation seems to make their snack time a bit more enjoyable. The crisps themselves are well-seasoned and, in my experience, mostly intact despite a few broken pieces here and there.

The individual servings are actually quite convenient for us. Not only do they fit neatly alongside a sandwich, but I’ve found they’re easier to manage compared to bigger, easily-stale snack bags. Plus, the snap-on lid means if the kids don’t finish them all, they can actually keep the remaining few crisp for later.

While the assortment have been a hit, I’ve observed at times that the quantity might not satisfy the larger appetites that come with growing teenagers. Additionally, the cost can add up, particularly if you’re comparing to bulk purchases of larger Pringles cans. Nonetheless, for portability, freshness, and variety, these snack stacks hit the mark for us.

Blake’s Seed Based Crispy Treats

Blake’s Seed Based Crispy Treats – Variety Pack (24 Count), Vegan, Gluten Free, Nut Free & Dairy Free, Healthy Snacks for Kids or Adults, School Safe, Low Calorie Organic Soy Free Snack

We think these treats are a smart choice for anyone wanting a healthy, allergen-free snack option.

Pros:
  • Full of flavor without being too sweet
  • Safe for school due to allergen-free ingredients
  • Easy to pack for on-the-go snacking
Cons:
  • Can become messy if left in warm environments
  • Might have a different texture than expected
  • More expensive compared to traditional snacks
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Finding the right snack that pleases both taste buds and nutrition can be tricky, but we’ve recently grabbed Blake’s Seed Based Crispy Treats for our midday nibble. Coming in a variety pack, these little bars hit the spot with a wholesome blend of seeds that makes each bite satisfying without the guilt—under 100 calories each.

We’ve noticed the treats work great in packed lunches, especially since they’re top 9 allergen-free, which aligns with most school guidelines. Whether we’re reaching for the Original, Chocolate Chip, or Birthday Cake, they’ve proven to be a hit for their natural flavors, with none overpowering the others.

However, it’s worth mentioning these crispy treats aren’t quite as dense as traditional rice krispies. They tend to fall apart if they’ve been stashed away in the backpack on a hot day. And while we appreciate the healthier approach, some might find the distinct seed-based texture to be different from the norm. Despite these points, our overall experience has been positive. They offer a solid balance for anyone seeking a snack that’s conscientious about health and flavor.

Nature’s Garden Snack Packs

Nature's Garden Healthy Trail Mix Snack Packs – Mixed Nuts, Heart Healthy Nuts, Omega-3 Rich, Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, Perfect For The Entire Family – 28.8 Oz Bag (24 Individual Servings)

We recommend these snack packs for their convenience and health benefits, making them an excellent choice for school snacks.

Pros:
  • Perfectly portioned for on-the-go snacking
  • Complies with various dietary needs: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
  • High-quality, natural ingredients without any artificial additives
Cons:
  • Contains common allergen: peanuts
  • Could be costly for some budgets
  • Limited variety in each pack
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Nature’s Garden Healthy Trail Mix Snack Packs have become our go-to when we’re seeking a nutritious bite. Their individual packaging simplifies life, slipping effortlessly into lunchboxes or backpacks, eliminating the hassle of portioning or potential spills. Even during the busiest mornings, we manage to grab a pack for a quick and filling snack.

Snacking on these packs, we’ve noticed the absence of artificial flavors and preservatives. It’s a treat to munch on something that not only curbs hunger but also aligns with our health-conscious choices. We appreciate the heart-healthy mix that includes omega-3 rich nuts and seeds along with delicious cranberries.

Our discussions with friends always lead to snack ideas, and Nature’s Garden has frequently been a shared favorite. Despite the higher price point some have mentioned, we all agree that the quality justifies the cost. However, we’re cautious to remind those with peanut allergies to steer clear, as not all the mixes are peanut-free. But for the rest of us, these trail mix packs keep us energized and satisfied until the next meal.

Nutella & GO! Snack Packs

Nutella & GO! Bulk 24 Pack, Hazelnut And Cocoa Spread With Pretzel Sticks, Snack Cups, 1.9 Oz Each

If convenience and taste are top priorities for your school snacks, these snack cups may just hit the sweet spot.

Pros:
  • Ideal balance of salty and sweet flavors
  • No need for additional utensils; perfect for on-the-go
  • Shareable packaging size for every occasion
Cons:
  • More expensive than buying in a single, larger quantity
  • Not suitable for those with nut allergies
  • Pretzels may come across as too dry for some palates
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If you’ve been hunting for a quick and delightful treat, Nutella & GO! is our go-to. We’ve been dipping those crisp pretzel sticks into that luscious hazelnut spread and it always seems to brighten up our mid-morning crunch time. The convenience of these individually packaged snacks is unbeatable, especially when we’re juggling a dozen things at once and need a quick energy boost.

Every now and then, we crave something sweet and satisfying without sacrificing neatness, and these snack cups never disappoint. We’ve noticed that even when life gets hectic, having a Nutella & GO! in hand makes the day just a little more indulgent. Plus, they’ve been a massive hit with the kids too.

Yet, we must admit that these are occasionally a splurge. While we relish the ease and scrumptiousness of Nutella & GO!, we’re aware these cups come at a higher cost compared to buying larger jars or bags of snacks. Also, for environments with allergy considerations, these might not be the most suitable choice. Regardless, when it comes to a fuss-free, tasty snack, we’ve found these to be well-loved by both kids and adults alike.

Nutella & GO! Snack Packs

Nutella & GO! Bulk 24 Pack, Hazelnut And Cocoa Spread With Breadsticks, Snack Cups, 1.8 Oz Each

If you're looking for a convenient and tasty snack for school, Nutella & GO! could be just what you need.

Pros:
  • Easy to pack and requires no preparation
  • Delivers a delicious combination of hazelnut and cocoa
  • Comes with crispy breadsticks for dipping
Cons:
  • Higher sugar content may not suit all dietary preferences
  • The breadstick to spread ratio might leave you wanting more Nutella
  • Price per unit could be a consideration for some budgets
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Whether tucking into a lunchbox or grabbing a snack on the go, we find these little packs a delightful treat. The hazelnut spread’s creamy texture pairs exceptionally well with the crunch of the breadsticks, and it’s always a hit when afternoon cravings strike.

We appreciate the no-mess format, especially when we’re busy with activities where a knife or a spread would be impractical. Nutella & GO! cups fit easily into even the smallest of lunch bags, and they remain fresh without the need for refrigeration.

However, as delicious as these snacks are, it’s important to be mindful of their nutritional content given the sugar levels. We recommend enjoying them in moderation, perhaps as a special treat rather than an everyday staple. The price point is something else we consider, especially when buying snacks regularly.

In conclusion, Nutella & GO! packs satisfy the sweet tooth with convenience and flavor, but as always, balance is key.

Chum Fruit Bites

Chum Fruit Bites 100% Real Fruit Snacks | Strawberry + Mango, 72 Ct | Non-GMO, No Added Sugar or Preservatives | Top 12 Allergen and School Friendly, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Kosher, Paleo

We think Chum Fruit Bites are a solid pick for healthy school snacking with their natural ingredients and convenience.

Pros:
  • Made with real fruit and no added nasties
  • Allergy-friendly and suits various diets
  • Perfectly portioned for on-the-go snacking
Cons:
  • Some may find the taste unsatisfactory
  • A few reports of packaging issues
  • Price point can be high outside of bulk deals
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Tucking into a pack of Chum Fruit Bites, you immediately notice the genuine fruity taste. They come in a user-friendly size, making them easy to eat one by one. Considering they are made with 100% fruit and have no added sugar, these bites offer a guilt-free pleasure. Their certified gluten-free and vegan status make it simple for us to cater to different dietary needs at home or in school settings.

The convenience of Chum Bites can’t be overstated. Whether it’s for a quick snack before practice or tucked into a lunchbox for school, they provide a hassle-free option without the mess. Their packaging is compact, and I appreciate that it fits into my busy routine without any fuss.

However, not every product is without its downsides. Although most find them delicious, a handful of people might not enjoy the taste, which is a subjective area of course. We’ve also come across comments about the packaging occasionally arriving damaged, which is worth considering when ordering online. Lastly, while the price can be steep if not bought in bulk, their quality and health benefits often justify the cost, especially when deals arise.

Welch’s Berries ‘n Cherries Snacks

Welch's Fruit Snacks, Berries 'n Cherries, Great Valentines Day Gifts for Kids, Gluten Free, Bulk Pack, Individual Single Serve Bags, 0.8 oz (Pack of 40)

We think these fruit snacks are a delectable choice for school or on-the-go snacking due to their natural fruit flavors and various vitamins.

Pros:
  • Real fruit is the leading ingredient, providing natural flavors
  • Vitamins A, C, and E contribute to a nutritious snack option
  • Free from gluten, fat, and preservatives, catering to dietary needs
Cons:
  • They may be too tempting and lead to overindulgence
  • Some might find them less fulfilling than other snack options
  • Limited to fruit flavors, which may not appeal to all taste preferences
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Taking just one bite of Welch’s Berries ‘n Cherries Snacks immediately brings to mind the lush flavors of ripe summer berries. The chewy texture is perfectly satisfying, striking a lovely balance between soft and substantial. With real fruit as the primary ingredient, it’s reassuring to enjoy a snack that’s as tasty as it is close to nature.

The size of each bag fits perfectly into our hectic lifestyle, making it a breeze to slip one into a child’s lunchbox or our own office drawer. There’s an added joy in knowing those little packets are also delivering vitamins that benefit our bodies. Not only do these snacks satisfy a sweet craving, but they also provide that little energy boost we often need midday.

Despite the many positives, we have to keep in mind the allure of these fruit snacks. They’re so delicious that it’s easy to find ourselves reaching for just one more pack, which can lead to indulgence. For those of us looking for a more protein-heavy or filling snack, this might not hit the mark. And while the burst of berry flavors is divine, it’s the only flavor profile in the offering, which might limit their appeal to those with a broader taste spectrum.

Mott’s Animal Fruit Snacks

Mott's Fruit Flavored Snacks, Animals Assorted Fruit, Gluten Free, 40 ct

We think these snacks are a hit for kids' school lunches, thanks to their fruity flavor and fun shapes.

Pros:
  • Made with real fruit juice, offering a tasty and somewhat healthier option.
  • Convenient packaging, perfect for on-the-go snacking.
  • Gluten-free, catering to those with dietary restrictions.
Cons:
  • Some may find the texture too soft for their preference.
  • Flavor intensity may not satisfy all palates.
  • Limited nutritional value compared to whole fruits.
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Having these in the pantry has been a lifesaver for mornings when we’re rushing to pack school lunches. Their fun animal shapes have been particularly popular with the little ones, making snack time a little more exciting. They’re also an easy grab-and-go option when we’re heading out the door to after-school activities.

The fact that they’re gluten-free is a huge plus. We’ve found they suit almost everyone, which is great for playdates or when packing snacks for a diverse group of kids. Plus, without gluten, we’re able to accommodate friends with sensitivities or allergies.

While they’re made with real fruit juice, we should remember they’re not a replacement for actual fruit. They don’t have the fiber and the full range of nutrients that whole fruits provide. Nevertheless, as an occasional treat, Mott’s Animal Fruit Snacks are a staple we enjoy having on hand.

Buying Guide

When selecting the best snacks for school, there are several features we must consider to ensure they are nutritious, delicious, and convenient for students. We’ve outlined the key aspects to guide us through the decision-making process.

Nutritional Value

It’s crucial to prioritize the health aspect of the snacks we choose. Vital components include:

  • Calories: Suitable for a snack, not too high.
  • Macronutrients: A balanced mix of proteins, carbs, and fats.
  • Micronutrients: Vitamins and minerals for overall health.
  • Sugar content: Minimally processed sugars are preferable.

Convenience & Portability

School snacks should fit into a busy school day with ease:

  • Packaging: Strong and leak-proof.
  • Size: Appropriate for lunchboxes or pockets.
  • Preparation: Ready-to-eat or requiring minimal prep.

Taste & Variety

Students are more likely to enjoy their snacks when they are tasty and varied:

  • Flavor: Appealing to a broad range of tastes.
  • Texture: A selection of crunchy, chewy, or smooth textures keeps things interesting.

Allergies & Dietary Restrictions

Considering the diversity of dietary needs is essential:

  • Ingredient list: Transparency about what’s inside.
  • Allergen information: Clearly labeled for common allergies.
  • Special diets: Options for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc.

By keeping these points in mind, we equip ourselves to make informed choices about the snacks we provide for school. This ensures they contribute positively to the students’ daily energy and nutrition, without sacrificing taste or convenience.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of the most common queries regarding school snacks, focusing on nutrition, convenience, and taste to cater to the diverse preferences of school-aged children.

What are some nutritious and convenient snacks for students?

For nutritious and convenient snacks, we recommend fresh fruit, vegetable sticks with hummus, yogurt cups, and mixed nuts. These options provide a good balance of vitamins, proteins, and healthy fats, aiding in sustained energy levels for learning.

What healthy homemade snack options are suitable for school kids?

Healthy homemade snacks include oatmeal bars, fruit muffins, and whole-grain sandwiches with lean protein. These snacks are not only tasty but also free from the excess sugar and preservatives often found in store-bought snacks.

Which pre-packaged snacks are the healthiest for school children?

The best pre-packaged snacks are those low in added sugars and sodium, such as whole-grain crackers, unsweetened applesauce, and rice cakes. Pre-packaged snacks certified as organic or non-GMO are often a healthier choice for school children.

For picky eaters, try presenting familiar snacks with a twist, like peanut butter on apple slices, cheese cubes with whole grain pretzels, or homemade trail mix with their favorite ingredients. Offering a variety of textures and colors can make snacks more appealing.

How can snacks benefit children’s learning and focus during school hours?

Snacks rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats like Greek yogurt with berries, or carrot sticks and guacamole can enhance concentration and memory. These nutrients fuel a child’s brain, supporting cognitive development and focus.

What kind of snacks can teachers have on hand for students?

Teachers should stock snacks that are shelf-stable and allergy-friendly, such as vegetable chips, popcorn, or oatmeal packets. Having such snacks available can accommodate immediate hunger needs without compromising on health.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.

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