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Healthy Snack Ideas for School Snack Leader

Updated: Sep 19, 2022

My daughter’s favorite part of the school day is being snack leader.

In Preschool, and now in kindergarten, a different child gets to be snack leader every day during the school year.

The snack leader is assigned to bring in a snack bag to share with the class that day. You must bring enough for the whole class.

Since snack leader is in charge of snacks, they have to figure out the perfect snack for all the students in the class.

My daughter’s school's policy only allows store-bought, packaged snacks that are sealed. Anything opened cannot be handed out to the children for safety reasons.

We appreciate this, but it can make it difficult finding individual snacks that are not complete junk food.

This year our daughter’s classroom is nut-free because of food allergies, which makes it easier for us since we are a nut-free household. Not all the items listed are 100% nut-free so please look further into these items before purchasing if you have to supply snacks to a classroom with nut allergies.

Here is a list of fun healthy snack ideas to send in for snack time that are individually packed and are enjoyed by kids.

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Pantry Items

Head on over to the pantry aisle at the grocery store and grab one of these easy school snacks for school snack time.

1. Teddy Grahams

My children love Graham crackers. My son will walk around snacking on them all the time and they’re great to throw in a bag for a snack anytime. Teddy Grahams are easy for kids to snack on and come in different flavors too.

2. Applesauce Pouches

Applesauce pouches can be enjoyed by kids of any age and are not too messy. You won’t have to supply spoons or straws and the pouch can be thrown away once the kids are done. Many brands make applesauce pouches and there are so many different flavors. We even love that they make some with veggies and the kids can’t tell.

3. Cheez-It

These delicious little square crackers are a big hit with our kids. The cheese flavored is our favorite, but you could try a variety of flavors as well. They sell boxes of Cheez-it with individual bags for the teacher to hand out.

4. Cheese and Crackers

I grew up eating cheese crackers and they are still one of my favorite snacks. You can find flat crackers to spread cheese on or cracker sticks to dip into the cheese. Either type is so fun to eat and is a great snack for kids.

5. Applesauce Cups

If you don’t want to go with applesauce pouches, you can still go with the classic applesauce cup. There are a few flavors to choose from or go with the original apple and cinnamon flavor. Make sure to send in some disposable spoons for the kids to use.

6. Animal Crackers

This popular little circus box filled with crackers is so fun for kids to enjoy. Each cracker is shaped like a different animal and my kids enjoy seeing what animal they have before eating it. They even make frosted animal crackers with different flavors.

7. Jell-O Cups

What kid doesn’t like this jiggly gelatin treat? Go with regular or sugar free and choose from an assortment of delicious flavors from strawberry, grape, lime, orange, and more.

8. Pirate’s Booty

Pirate’s Booty was made with kids in mind. The popcorn is gluten-free and baked instead of fried. You can find it in a few flavors and as smart cheese puffs. You can get small bags that can be handed out to each child.

9. Gummy Fruit Snacks

Gummy fruit snacks are not healthy school snacks, but they could be added as a second snack to your child’s snack list. I try to send in something healthier for the kids and then add in a box of gummies for fun. You can typically get gummies with less added sugar.

10. Pretzels

Pretzels can be hit or miss because many children are not a big fan of them, which includes my daughter. You can find individual packages of plain pretzels with only salt on them. Pretzels can be fun with the different shapes they are made into.

11. Goldfish Crackers

My children request goldfish crackers daily for a snack with their lunch or after my daughter gets out of school on a regular basis. They are a great small snack that can be enjoyed as a morning snack or an afternoon snack because they can be paired with anything.

12. Rice Crispy Treats

These can be quite messy so beware if you plan on sending them in. I love making rice crispy treats myself, but since I can't send in homemade treats, you can find them at the grocery store as well. They would go on a list with sugary snacks, but they are a fun treat for and a huge hit with the kids.

Refrigerated Items

If your child’s teacher has a refrigerator to store snacks, you can send in cold healthy classroom snacks.

1. Yogurt Pouches

Yogurt is a great option for kids since it has some health benefits and is not junk food. You can get yogurt in a long skinny tube or in a pouch. Whichever option you go with, you won’t need spoons or straws for the kids. You can get any flavor or go with an assorted flavor package. They even sell yogurt with candies or chocolate chips.

2. Smoothies

We love the individual smoothie made by Danimals and some other brands. I like to send straws in with them because I find it’s less messy this way. It may seem like the drink option, but they help when kids are hungry to curb their appetite until it’s time to eat a meal.

3. Cheese Sticks

The options seem endless when it comes to cheese sticks. From mozzarella string cheese to Colby Jack cheese stick to cheese cubes, cheese can be found so many ways. Make sure to send in cheese that is individually wrapped so it is less the teacher needs to handle.

4. Pudding Cups

Pudding cups could fall under pantry or refrigerated items depending on the brand. They do taste much better cold though, so I prefer to keep them all in the fridge. They are a great treat and could be added in with another snack if you choose. I have also found a variety pack of pudding, so the children have flavor options.

5. Fresh Fruit

Fruit is a very healthy option, but you must be careful when choosing which fruits to send. My daughter has eaten oranges and apples at school for snack. Fruits that need to be precut may be harder to send in for the kids. I’m not a fan of grapes because they can be a choking hazard depending on the age of the classroom.

6. Fruit Cups

Typically found with the applesauce, fruit cups are conveniently in a cup and can be eaten with a fork or spoon. Since they normally don’t have to be refrigerated until opened, you don’t have to refrigerate them, but they also taste better cold.


The easier options for school is juice boxes or pouches because they are individual packaging and the kids can throw them away when they are finished.

1. Apple Juice Box

The most popular drink is the apple juice box. I like going with apple juice because they seem to be the healthiest option. Some brands make flavored apple juice too if you wanted to switch it up for the kids. My daughter does get bored with simple apple juice after a while.

2. Fruit Punch

Fruit punch has been my daughter’s favorite lately. You can get fruit punch juice boxes or pouches. Some pouches are sold with clear bottoms so you can see inside the juice pouch before the kids drink it.

3. Grape Juice

Another juice option that can be found in most grocery stores. If you’re looking for a different flavor to change it up, grape juice is delicious. Make sure you pay attention to the snack item you chose so the snack and food complement each other.

3. Chocolate Milk

When we send in birthday treat cupcakes, my daughter requests chocolate milk. She thinks the milk tastes better with the cupcakes and frosting, and I agree with her. You can get mini bottles of chocolate milk or milk in cartons. I have also found milk that does not need to be refrigerated until opened, which makes it easier on the teachers.

The excitement of being snack leader shouldn’t change because of the limited choices for healthy food.

There are so many good snack options to choose from at the grocery store.

I have been adding to our snack leader list every time I come across another great idea for the kids that is individually wrapped and sometimes, I can find nut-free snacks options.

Since our son has a severe nut allergy, we must avoid anything with peanuts, which include peanut butter, peanut oil, and anything manufactured in a facility with peanuts. There are many great options for fun snacks, and I have found some great substitutions.

Check out my post Peanut-Free Alternatives and Brands to find a great way to substitute some of your favorite peanut products.

What are your favorite healthy snacks to send to school with your child when they are snack leader?

Do you have any great school snack ideas to add to our list?

Let us know in the comments below!

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