My Kids’ Top 6 No-Mess, Peanut-Free Snacks to Pack for School

published Mar 15, 2023
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peanut free snack collage
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

My kids ask for snacks multiple times a day. Their snacking started at 6 months, so I’ve kept snacks in my purse ever since in order to combat the “hangry moods” they inherited from me. Even though my 7- and 5-year-old kids are a little bit more patient since their toddler days, I still don’t leave the house without some kind of snack on hand.

Outside their normal snacking needs at home and when running errands, they also need sticky-free, easy-to-open-and-eat snacks for school. (Bonus if they don’t require an ice pack to keep them cold!) Here are six convenient snacks I like to rotate and pack every day for school that both of my kids enjoy and request pretty regularly.

1. Popcorn

I buy popcorn in bulk at Costco because it is the #1 in our house. A lot of times last night’s popcorn can be packed into smaller bags for my kids’ afternoon snack. It’s a decent source of fiber and my kids love the taste.

2. Pretzels

Like popcorn, I buy pretzels in bulk whenever I can to refill smaller snack pouches. (This saves on cost.) Pretzels stay fresh for a while, as long as the bag remains sealed. 

3. Chocolate Chip Protein Bars

Like many school snacks that need to steer clear of peanuts because of classroom allergy concerns, I’ve opted for the next best thing in a protein bar: chocolate chips! My son is a big fan of the ZonePerfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough bars. They contain 10 grams of protein with 17 vitamins and minerals. It’s like handing him a candy bar, except slightly more nutritious.

4. Fruit Bars

That’s It fruit bars are my favorite fruit bar because they contain only fruit, and nothing else. My kids enjoy the apple and mango versions. If I don’t have an apple on hand, packing a That’s It bar is the next best option. 

5. Fruit & Grain Breakfast Bars

The Nutri-Grain breakfast bars come in a variety of flavors, but blueberry seems to be the hit at my house. The soft texture is easy to chew, and it’s definitely enjoyable later in the day besides only at breakfast time.

6. Applesauce Pouches

I buy the Costco Kirkland organic applesauce pouches with no added sugar. My daughter loves them, and I like that they’re easy to grab out of the pantry and put in her book bag before she runs out the door.

More Snack Ideas from Cubby

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