Looking for some lunchbox inspiration or snack ideas for kids? You’ll love this round-up of healthy, store bought, on-the-go snacks!
So it’s that time of year again, another fun summer in the books! I always start off the school year super prepared. You know what I’m talking about.
Lunchboxes packed and pretty the night before with homemade snacks, homework checked and organized in the backpack, school clothes laid out the night before, and even a healthy breakfast prepped and ready each morning.
And then like 4 days later, reality sets in and I’m back to my scrambling ways! Trying to get out the door on time, and throwing together a last minute lunchbox.
Like most moms, I don’t have time to make my kids scrumptious and healthy homemade lunchbox items everyday. I try, I try. And it happens like once or twice a month.
A friend of mine texted me last week asking for some ideas of store bought snacks for her son. Not homemade, she wanted some good ones with quality ingredients that she could pack in his lunchbox. Naturally, I decided this information is probably super helpful to many moms!!
I like to keep a solid stash of easy packable snacks for lunchboxes. My criteria is generally minimal ingredients, quality ingredients (no artificial flavoring or coloring, Non-GMO and Organic when possible), and high in some or several nutrients (some may be high in protein and fat, others high in fiber or vitamins, etc). I also pay close attention to the amount of sugar in my kids’ lunchbox! For example, if we’re packing some fruit snacks, I am not adding in other snacks with high sugars (check your bars, granola bites, etc.)
Finally, I am sensitive to how much money I’m spending and love to find the best deal. I did all that research for you here. In some cases, I found a better deal at Boxed than Amazon, or even Amazon over Costco.
Before I get in to the list of my favorites I also want to share with you my new favorite lunchbox! I love the OmieBox because it has the compartments I love, PLUS it has a thermos built in the box that can keep food hot or cold for 4 hours. This works great for us because my kids LOVE hot lunch entrees (usually leftover dinner). But, you can even remove that compartment and insert a cold main dish like a sandwich, wrap, etc. Super useful!!! You can see a close-up below.
On to my favorite packaged foods!! This is not an exhaustive list, there are plenty of other brands that could easily be on this list. But, I have included my favorites that are the most reasonably priced. Because in case you haven’t noticed, clean ingredient snacks can be PRICEY!! I have broken these up into categories.
Enjoy Life Chewy Bars: These are fantastic for school lunches, especially for kids with many allergies and schools that are nut free These are free of gluten, nuts, soy, dairy, and eggs. These are a bit higher in sugar than I like, but high in healthy fats (which I love). I would pack with veggies and savory foods to balance it out!
I love Larabar minis, and so do my kids. The price point is great (make sure to click on the Amazon coupon too for extra savings), and these most closely resemble homemade energy bites with only a few ingredients!
I typically purchase Made Good Granola Minis at Costco for a good price, but we recently tried some other flavors and LOVE them all! This is another company that is allergy-friendly and perfect for school lunches.
RX Bars would probably go down as my favorite kids’ snack (it certainly is my favorite adult snack) because of it’s high protein, high healthy fat content, and the overall nutrient density. My biggest complaint is the price tag, but I always keep my eyes out for sales or deals on these and you should too!
Chips or chip like foods:
Popchips are going to be the ones that closely resemble regular potato chips. My kids LOVE these! A box of 30 lunch bags can be purchased at Boxed for $14.99
Boom Chicka Pop comes in a few different flavors: the kettle corn or sea salt regular. They are so good! A box of 24 can be purchased for $12.99 at Boxed.
Stacy’s Pita Chips are a fantastic companion to hummus or guacamole (see below), or just plain by themselves! A box of 24 can be purchased at Boxed for $17.99
Not only are Harvest Snaps really yummy, but the fiber and protein content for this small serving is great! I also think these are really affordable at 28 bags for $11.99 from Boxed.
These Off the Eaten Path Veggie Crisps combine rice, peas, and black beans to pack in protein and fiber. They have a really yummy texture and taste that my kids both love! These are probably my favorite veggie crisps. They do have a higher price tag at $18.99 for 16 bags, but the nutrient density make them worth it.
If you have adventerous eaters who are interested in or love seaweed, these Gimme Organic snacks are perfect and at a great price point! A pack of 20 snacks is $15
I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love fruit snacks! They are generally packed with sugar, artificial flavors, and artificial food dyes. These Go Organically snacks are actually made with real fruit, and do not contain the junk. Priced at around $13 for 42 bags (clip the coupon with amazon), the price point is also good.
Annie’s Fruit Snacks are also a fantastic alternative to conventional fruit snacks packed with artificial ingredients. My kids also love the variety pack here! These run about the same price as Go Organically above.
I love fruit strips, especially these Stretch Island Organic Strips! I know this is all about the kids, but these are a snack that I love to sneak in my purse as well. Made with real fruit, and just down right yummy.
These Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars are the perfect blend between tart and sweet. The whole family loves these! A pack of 24 runs about $17 on Amazon.
Plum Organics are my son’s absolute favorite fruit pouches, and he’s tried them all! He specifically loves the blend of berries, and I love the no added sugar. These are priced well on Amazon at 24 pouches for $15.
Go Go Squeez applesauce on the go is another great option for fruit pouches. They are priced well at Costco, or find on Amazon in the variety pack or pick your favorite flavor.
Enjoy Life Seed and Fruit Mix is a perfect trail mix option for kids with allergies or for nut free schools!
Other good snacks:
My kids LOVE beef sticks, and Snack Mates makes the perfect sized sticks for a lunchbox. These are pricey at 40 sticks for $40, but the ingredients are clean and approved!
These minis from Vermont Smoke and Cure run a bit cheaper, and also with clean ingredients. Get at Boxed for 28 at $19.
I want to recommend these cute Organic My Super Cookies for toddlers and smaller kids, but my almost 11 year old loves these. The flavors are really fun, and I love that they are made with coconut oil and chia seeds. Also a nut free snack! A box of 24 is priced at $15 on Amazon.
Justin’s Maple Almond Butter packs are convenient, boost nutrition to fruits like apples and pears, or just taste yummy right out of the pack!
Other snacks I love that are perishable (found at Costco):
Wholly Guacamole Minis
Kirkland Organic Hummus cups
These work great along side chips, plantain chips, or even in a tortilla wrap.
And that’s a wrap! Happy lunch packing mamas!
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