Inside: In need of some healthy packaged snacks for your preschooler? This roundup of 40 healthy store-bought preschool snack ideas is perfect for parents of toddlers and preschoolers who are looking for some easy school snacks to buy.
I’ve been a mom for almost 6 years now and 3 kids later, it’s taken me a long time to learn this lesson: Not every meal or snack needs to be homemade.
It’s okay to take a little help from the store, and in some seasons of motherhood, it’s okay to take a lot of help from the store.
This is not to say I’ve always made everything 100% from scratch myself, but I did however feel tremendous guilt for spending money on prepackaged snacks that I knew I could make myself (and for less money).
However, and this is a big however, I’ve also learned to embrace two very important mantras:
- Time is money
- Somethings gotta give
I could spend hours in the kitchen prepping all the snacks to save money, or I could order grocery pick-up and spend that time doing other things. Some weeks you may have the time to spend baking muffins and other weeks you barely have the time to pick up muffins from the store. That’s #momlife, friends.
And as I’m sure you know, something’s gotta give. No matter how much we try, nobody can do it all. When things start to become overwhelming, you know it’s time to cut back and take help wherever you can get it.
Whether you hire a cleaning service, babysitter, or order takeout once a week – we all need to find little ways to cut back. I hope these store-bought preschool snack ideas help you feel less overwhelmed with all the things we have to take on as moms.
Now, most regular grocery stores sell a variety of healthy food for kids, including prepackaged snacks (for ease of packing lunches and snacks for preschool or daycare), so it’s time to let go of the mom-guilt trip and remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can on any given day!
What’s a good snack for preschool?
Most preschools have similar rules when it comes to sending in a snack. There are always a few foods that you’re not allowed to pack for snacks or lunches because of choking hazards:
- Whole grapes
- Whole nuts
- Baby carrots
- Hard, sticky, or chewy candies
- Peanuts or peanut products (allergies)
My 3.5 year old attends a morning preschool where they just do a snacktime, instead of lunch. When it comes to packing her a snack, I like to keep it simple and “grab-and-go”.
Here’s my basic formula for what I pack my toddler for preschool:
- Fruit (fresh, dried, applesauce, or fruit cup)
- Crunchy (pretzels, cheddar bunnies, or crackers)
- Protein (hummus, string cheese, or yogurt pouch)
- Sweet (cookies, granola bites/bar, or fruit snacks)
Below I’ll also share with you my favorite individually wrapped snack ideas and how I store these snacks in my fridge and pantry.
What are healthy store bought snacks for kids?
I have a few “rules” I follow when purchasing healthy packaged snacks from the store. While I do like to purchase organic snacks when I can, the following guidelines are more important to me:
- No artificial colors, flavors, dyes, or preservatives
- Lower in added sugar or preferably naturally sweetened
- Limited ingredients (not a list of 56 ingredients)
And don’t worry, all the store-bought preschool snack ideas shared in this post fit the bill for these guidelines. If your grocery budget is a big constraint for you, many of these snacks can be purchased in bulk at Costco or found on sale at Target, and some even on Amazon!
40 Healthy Store-Bought Preschool Snack Ideas
Many of the ideas shared below are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. Always read the ingredients and check the certifications on the packaging to be extra certain.
Favorite Bars for Toddlers
- Larbar Minis
- Larabar Kids
- Nature’s Bakery Bars
- MadeGood Granola Bars
- EnjoyLife Bars
- Ella’s Kitchen Nibbly Fingers
Healthy Cookies & Energy Bites
- MadeGood Cookies
- Bitsy’s Cookies
- Annie’s Bunny Grahams
- EnjoyLife Cookies
Best Crackers for Toddlers
- Simple Mills Crackers
- Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies
- Bitsy’s Crackers
- Peeled Snacks Pea Puffs
- Late July Peanut Butter Crackers
Best Yogurt & Cheese for Toddlers (on-the-go)
- Siggis Yogurt Drinks or Pouches
- Stonyfield Organic Yogurt (cups, pouches, smoothies)
- Organic Valley or Horizon Organic string cheese
- Sargento cheese sticks
- Babybel cheese
- Tillamook Cheddar Squares
Best Pouches for Toddlers
- Once Upon a Farm
- Ella’s Kitchen
- GoGo Squeez
- Happy Baby Organic
- Peter Rabbit Organic
- Sprout Organic
Easy On-the-Go Fruit Snacks
- Annie’s Bunnies Fruit Snacks
- Dole Fruit Cups in 100% Juice
- Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bar
- That’s It Fruit Bar
- Dried Blueberries or Raisins
- Unsweetened applesauce cups
- Crunchies or Trader Joe’s freeze-dried fruit
- Bananas, Easy-peel oranges, or blueberries
Easy Protein On-the-Go
- Wholly Guacamole individual packs
- Sabra Hummus individual packs
- Justin’s nut butter individual packets
How to Make a Snack Drawer (Fridge)
Here’s a look into my refrigerator snack drawer. This is how I store all of our “grab-and-go” snacks. We have a 4 door fridge where a separate drawer pulls out in between the fridge and freezer. In a different type of fridge, you can try clear plastic bins from Target or HomeGoods to organize your healthy snacks!
How to Make a Kid-Friendly Snack Station (Pantry)
Here are two different ideas for storing your prepackaged snacks in the pantry. I’ve tried both methods with success. You can use either a clear plastic bin for all the snacks, or multiple separate bins to organize by type. In the picture on the left, you can see how I also store the girls’ lunch bags right above their snacks for school.
What to Read Next:
- Store-Bought Real Food Snack Ideas
- Time-Saving Toddler Meals
- Easy Broccoli Bites for Baby & Toddler
- Make-Ahead Toddler Lunch Ideas