85 Snack Ideas for Kids (and Adults)!

Skip the potato chips, fruit snacks, graham crackers, and candy. If you’re in a rut, here are some quick “real food” snack ideas for inspiration that kids will love (and adults, too!), perfect for after-school or anytime, really.

Snack plate filled with muffins, fruit, cheese bread, and snack bar.
Healthy snacks for the road

Sticking with simple wholesome ingredients keeps snack time easy and fun. Most of these ideas can also be used for healthy breakfasts, too! Have the kids go through this list with you so they can pick out their favorite snack food.

Helpful Tips

  • Combine some of the suggestions below in creative ways (for example, combine some fruit with yogurt to make a yogurt parfait, or make a fruit salad and drizzle some honey on top)
  • Most of the fruits below are also great frozen. Ever blended up frozen bananas to make “ice cream”? Try it!
  • If you’re looking for school lunch ideas, any of these would be great in a school lunch box!
  • If you have a picky eater, combining several of these snacks onto a plate—tapas style!—could make a well-rounded lunch or easy breakfast

Printable List of Snack Ideas

Many readers have requested a printable version of this list, so we added one to our free resource area! You can access many other free real food resources there as well.

Fruits and Vegetables

This is a great way to ensure your kids are getting in an extra dose of fruits and vegetables. I like to have raw veggies and fresh fruit cut up and easily accessible for my kids, making it even easier for them to grab a healthy snack any time of day. Plus, sometimes a piece of fruit can satisfy their sweet tooth without needing to grab a candy bar. If you have a picky eater, try serving your veggies with creamy dips (what kid doesn’t love dipping their food?).

Three apple slices with peanut butter on them and a side of spiral noodles on a plate for a snack.
  1. Apple (good with peanut butter, or almond butter)
  2. Banana (good with peanut butter, or almond butter)
  3. Carrots (good with hummus or ranch dip)
  4. Celery (good with peanut butter and raisins a.k.a. “Ants on a Log”)
  5. Mango
  6. Pear
  7. Grapes
  8. Strawberries (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
  9. Blueberries (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
  10. Raspberries (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
  11. Oranges
  12. Peaches (good with regular or Greek yogurt)
  13. Plums
  14. Kiwi
  15. Grapefruit
  16. Avocado (good with soy sauce and brown rice)
  17. Pineapple
  18. Papaya
  19. Star Fruit
  20. Figs (good with goat cheese)
  21. Honeydew Melon
  22. Cantaloupe
  23. Watermelon
  24. Cherries
  25. Edamame (good with soy sauce, or drizzle with a little olive oil + kosher salt)
  26. Raw Sugar Snap Peas (good with hummus)
  27. Cooked Green Beans
  28. Mashed Sweet Potato (good with butter and cinnamon)
  29. Raw Sliced Bell Peppers (good with hummus or ranch dip)
  30. Cucumber Slices (good with ranch dip)
  31. Jicama
  32. Cherry Tomatoes (good with ranch dip)
  33. Cooked Snow Peas
  34. Frozen Peas (frozen…no cooking necessary!)
  35. Raw Cauliflower
  36. Raw Broccoli (good with ranch dip)
  37. Applesauce
  38. Unsweetened Raisins
  39. Fruit Leathers
  40. Freeze Dried Fruit (like mango, banana, blueberries or strawberries)
  41. Dried Apple Rings, or pineapple rings
  42. Canned Fruit like Mandarin Oranges (Native Forest brand does not use sugary syrups in their cans)
  43. Olives
Pretzel sticks and carrot slices with a side of ranch dip on a plate.

Whole-Grains

There are a lot of great store-bought snack ideas here with whole grains and only a handful of ingredients listed. If you can’t find any at your local grocery store, scroll down to see some homemade healthy snack recipes.

Whole grain crackers topped with strawberry jam and cream cheese, and a handful of mixed nuts on a plate.
  1. Whole Grain Crackers (like Triscuits, Multi-Seed, Ak-Mak, Whole-Wheat Matzos, Brown Rice Crackers/Snaps, Whole-Grain Rye Crackers topped with cheese, peanut butter, almond butter, or a cream cheese and jelly combo)
  2. Popcorn (make it using “The Popcorn Trick”)
  3. Oatmeal (served warm in a Thermos if sending to school)
  4. Shredded Wheat (look for brands that contain 1-ingredient)
  5. Arrowhead Mills Puffed Whole Grain Cereal (corn, brown rice, wheat or millet variety)
  6. Brown Rice Cakes
  7. Whole-Wheat Pretzels
  8. Whole-Grain Toast
  9. Small, Cooked Whole-Grain Noodles

Nuts and Seeds

Have the kids pick their favorite nuts to create their very own trail mix! Nuts and seeds make great filling snacks that can hold them over till their next meal. Best part is that you can throw them in a baggy and easily take them with you on the go.

Peanut butter and Jelly Larabar.
  1. Larabars
  2. Peanuts
  3. Cashews
  4. Almonds
  5. Pecans
  6. Walnuts
  7. Pine Nuts (they are good lightly toasted)
  8. Pistachios
  9. Sesame Seeds
  10. Pumpkin Seeds
  11. Nut Trail Mix including Dried Fruit

Other Snack Ideas

Here are some other easy snacks that are also a good source of protein.

Hard-boiled eggs on a plate dusted with paprika.
  1. Hard-Boiled Eggs
  2. Garbanzo Beans
  3. Cheese (cubes or sticks…with or without crackers)
  4. Plain Whole Milk or Greek Yogurt (flavored with a little honey or maple syrup and vanilla extract)
  5. Organic and/or Local Bacon

Homemade Snack Ideas

I like to keep my freezer stocked with muffins for my girls—it’s one of their favorite snacks, so this makes it super convenient for them to pull some out for a quick afternoon snack on their own. Most of these homemade recipes are so quick and easy to make, that even the kids can help out!

Little girl holding up two homemade toaster pastries.
  1. Homemade Granola Bars
  2. Homemade “Larabars”
  3. Whole-Wheat Toaster Pastries (a.k.a. Pop Tarts!)
  4. Smoothies or Smoothie Pops
  5. Whole-Wheat Banana Bread
  6. Zucchini Chips
  7. Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread (made into muffins)
  8. Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Bread (made into muffins)
  9. Whole-Grain Cornbread (made into muffins)
  10. Whole-Wheat Berry Muffins
  11. Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies
  12. Easy Cheesy Crackers
  13. Kale Chips
  14. Homemade Powerballs
  15. Whole-Wheat Biscuits (good with butter and jelly) or Buttermilk Cheese Biscuits
  16. Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn<
  17. Whole-Wheat “Baked” Donuts

Share your snack ideas with us in the comments below!

Pumpkin bread muffins and corn bread muffins in a large basket with a red cloth towel.

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365 thoughts on “85 Snack Ideas for Kids (and Adults)!”

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  1. Was wondering what recipe you use for fruit leather? And how do you make it in the dehydrator? I bought the one you have on your site. My family and I are doing the 100 days of real food but instead of hundred days I am doing it for lifetime. I spent all day yesterday cleaning out my pantry getting all the bad stuff out if my house. Waiting for your reply thank you for having this site. Ashley cherry

  2. I saw you use a dehydrator – any ideas how to make your own fruit leathers that work. Ive tried so many just to get to the end and they be gross. Love your site. Most of our meals come from your site. Thanks!

  3. My 11 year old son likes it when I slice up a banana and top it a teaspoon or so of Nutella hazelnut spread. And for a little special treat, I add a mini-marshmallow, but only if he’s been good. Thank you for the ideas, I will try them out…..

  4. Hi Lisa!! I am brand new to clean eating, and I am concerned about a few key things before I get started.
    1.Is it worth it to buy organic fruits and vegetables compared to non-organic?
    2.What type of bread is best? Whole wheat, whole grain? Homemade?
    3.Butter, margarine, or neither?
    4.Peanut Butter – I currently get Simply Jiff – just peanuts and oil but it doesn’t separate.
    5.I have 3 boys (ages 6, 4, 1). Are their ‘safe’ snacks to purchase off the shelf at the grocery store that are quick? Eg, Kashi, etc?
    Thank you so much! Perhaps a book recommendation… I feel clueless!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Erin. Let’s address these one by one.
      1. I think it always safest to buy organic, however, if you want to only purchase certain organic produce, then focus on these:http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214.
      2. You always want to look for 100% whole grain/wheat. Here is a link to Lisa’s whole wheat bread: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/08/17/recipe-honey-whole-wheat-sandwich-bread-for-bread-machine/
      3. Butter!
      4. Find a peanut butter with just peanuts and salt as ingredients.
      5. https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2012/07/31/85-snacks-for-kids-and-adults/
      Best of luck! ~Amy

    2. Erin, have you thought about making your own peanut butter? It takes maybe 10 minutes, with a food processor of course. The recipe I use is 2 1/2 cups peanuts(roasted, no salt), 4 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or peanut oil, maybe even coconut oil? I’ve read grapeseed isn’t actually that good for you.. anyone else hear that?), and 2 Tbsp. honey. I get my peanuts in bulk at Winco for less than $2/lb. though I can’t be sure of farming practices used on the peanuts :0/

      1. I make my own peanut butter too. It’s so easy. I just put dry roasted peanuts in my high speed blender. That’s all. I’ve thought about getting raw and roasting myself but want to keep it simple.

  5. Hi! Good luck with your diet. I’ve been a vegetarian/healthfood nut for over 10 years, and it’s the best thing I ever could have done. Especially in these times, it’s so important to teach your kids about health and nutrition, so it’s really great you are doing this! Anyway, I noticed you have Larabar pictured on here. FYI they, sadly, have been bought by General Mills :-\ This happens with a lot of great companies. Odwalla is another formerly great company who’s been bought out.

    http://naturalsociety.com/organic-food-industry-bought-up-by-corporations-like-coca-cola/

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Erin. It is my understanding that all soy sauces contain MSG, as it occurs naturally in the fermentation process. You can find high quality organic soy sauce, however. Hope this helps. -Amy

    1. I’m sure you could put worse things in your mouth, but they are not something I would buy personally. A quick scan of ingredients included soy protein isolate, various forms of added sugar, and soy lecithin (which is derived from soy oil, which is often produced using a chemical process including hexane), etc. I like to buy things containing basic, real ingredients or things I could make at home. I don’t isolate protein.

  6. My kids adore nori (yes, the seaweed wrappers for sushi), which Asian markets and Trader Joe’s carry it in little packets and they eat it plain, which will seem bizarre, I know. It’s salty, but high in calcium and iron. You cannot beleve how many of their friends have now tried it and like it, too. Give it a shot, just tell them it’s a salty crunchy treat. You can also roll brown rice inside w/ a touch of rice vinegar for little “sushi” rolls, without the fish.

  7. Lauren, Disney World is fabulous about food allergies/intolerance. At every restaurant the chef will speak with you about options for meals. My daughter was thrilled to have GF waffles, rice noodles and even coconut ice cream.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Steph. A quick look at their site and I saw quite a long ingredient list and some which I wouldn’t put in something I made in my kitchen, so, I would likely avoid these. Jill

  8. I like to make cinnamon toast with home made whole wheat bread, butter, and cinnamon. It makes a fulfilling and healthy snack.

  9. my kids love the carrots if i blanch them first. i make a big pot full and keep the in the refrigerator handy, and they eat them by the handful. They are just 3 and 1 so the softer carrot is much better.

  10. Just want to applaud you for what you are doing. I have pledged to cut out processed foods also and I want to help others as well. I will tell others about you. Much success with your business!

  11. I absolutely love your blog!! I just wanted to share that found some Baked Whole Wheat Crackers at a grocery store her in NJ, it is the store brand – Nature’s Promise (organic/natural). The ingredients are Whole Wheat and salt. The crackers are similar to triscuts, but triscuts have soybean oil in addition to the whole what and salt. I think it would be great to have a list of items that we could search or something. Thank for all you do!

  12. I just found this out a while back, so not sure if you realize, but Triscuits contain GMO products. Definitely something we’re not eating anymore. I’m not sure if any of the other crackers contain GMOs or not, but something to look into.

    1. We have figured that out about Triscuits as well and while they are still much better than most of the alternatives we no longer buy them as much as we used to.

  13. Awesome list! I’m trying my best this year to improve my eating habits. Often times I think we simply focus on the three meals, but I love to snack, so want to be consistent throughout the day.

  14. I no longer use wheat flour since I read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis. I do use “real” wheat (Emmer, Farro, Einkorn) products when I can find them. I use other flours such as rice, almond, coconut, and spelt.

    1. Hi Lori! I am also cutting out wheat after reading wheat belly. I have not found any of the “real wheat” in any of the whole food stores I go to. Can you tell me where you have been able to find some of the good wheat? Ay help would be great!! Thanks!

    2. Hi Lori! I have recently cut out all wheat since reading wheat belly! Can you tell me where you have been able to find the “real wheat” products? I have not been able to find any in any of the whole food stores I go to. Any help would be great! Thanks!

  15. Please also remember to keep crackers/breads to a minimum unless brushing your teeth immediately. They are very bad for the teeth due to the stickyness and will cause cavities very quickly. This is per talking to a dentist on the matter.

  16. Hi 100 Days Ladies,
    Love the blog, started my “Cleanout” in May and hubby has lost 20 lbs and my tummy issues are so much better! But now we have the first big and longer family vacation in a few months to Disney World. We’re going with 6 adults, 3 kiddos. No one else does clean eating but i know that there are plenty of foods we can order and make that will fit the bill. I am hoping that we can figure out a few homemade treats to pre make and bring in the carry on (cookies, muffins) that don’t need to be refrigerated. And maybe also some basics that would be safe to transport and aren’t liquids. Any ideas?

    Thanks for all your help and inspiration!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Lauren. We did Disney last year and were able to stick to things pretty well (much to our surprise). The key was that we never did counter service for meals…we always sat down and ate so we could “customize” our meal so to speak (make reservations now if you are within 6 months of your visit). For snacks, we loaded up on fresh fruit and waters in a backpack. Other great ideas are fruit and nut bars (I like the Kit’s Organic ones), homemade granola, dried fruit, and nuts. If you are staying somewhere with a kitchen it makes it a little easier too. We did breakfast there which saved us one meal (both in terms of having to find something healthy and the money). And, some nights we’d even be back to our place for dinner so I could just quickly put something together. Hope that helps. Hope you have a wonderful trip too. Jill

  17. Rise bars are also a great snack, I recommend the energy bars which are lot like Larabars but with amaranth, and they’re breakfast bars which are mainly nuts and amaranth with some dried fruit.

    A lot of companies are making baby food in to go pouches which can be a great snack too, as long as you check the ingredients.

  18. Could you tell me where you got the wooden snack plate pictured in this post? I’m looking for one for my children. Thanks!!

    1. I’ve actually had that for a while (glad you like it!)…I think it was from World Market. Their products change over time though so not sure if they would have the exact tray anymore.

  19. So, I’m all about my little ones eating natural and healthy, but how do I do that when grandma and grandpa are constantly giving them junk every time they have them? It makes them not eat what I give them because its not as sweet or not as salty. IE: Homemade pizza instead of pizzahut. slices of fruit instead of those wierd gummy fruits. And then they tell my daughters “it has tomatoes and cheese and bread in in, so it’s healthy” or “its made from real fruit, so its healthy”. They’ve no clue! Wish I could just ban them from their grandparents, to be honest!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Elizabeth. That’s a tough one and one we hear a lot unfortunately. I’m not sure what your relationship is like with the grandparents, but, can you ask them/explain to them what you are trying to do in feeding your children? Maybe they’ll be more respectful than you think. I do face a similar situation and I try and let them indulge a little when they are with the grandparents, but, mine don’t see theirs that often. Good luck. Jill

  20. Lisa, what do you think of the fresh mandarin oranges sold in crates in the grocery store? I’ve heard that the food-grade wax they place on them could be toxic. I’ve asked, even at Trader Joe’s, if they have any without the wax, and they don’t. I loved eating them up until a couple of years ago, when I heard they were potentially dangerous. Any information you could provide on this would be helpful!
    Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Tammy. I don’t know anything specifically about the wax, but, the last time I was at whole foods I saw a write up they had about it (but I didn’t read it…sorry). You might try their website or maybe call their store. The other thought is that it’s on the peel only I believe which you are removing. Jill

  21. Thanks for the list. I am printing it out and giving it to my husband as a survey of things he likes/doesn’t like/hasn’t tried yet! He’s pretty picky and this will be an easy way to keep track of what he will eat to make my shopping easier!

  22. I have to send 30 pre-packaged snacks for my son’s Kindergarten class a few times a year and am not sure what I could possibly send. Any ideas?

  23. @sher… I can’t remember the name of the author, but there is a popular cookbook on how to sneak fruits and veggies into recipes. There also good websites that may help. Good luck! :-)

  24. Thanks for the ideas. I struggle regularly, as my son will eat no fruit. NONE. He’s not into veggies, either, though he will eat them at dinnertime. He won’t eat yogurt. He eats nuts, which is good — until it gets dinged at school because of a child with a nut allergy (which of course I would never want to mess with.) And then, I am stuck. :(

  25. Just ran across this article and I love it! We just started home schooling this year(1st & 3rd) and my kids are use to getting snacks when they were in their old school. I found in the Summer they didn’t need a mid-morning snack but now with school they do. During lunch today I was getting them to tell me ideas so I can plan ahead for the next week. We came up with a few but this list of ideas is going to get printed and posted on the fridge:)Thanks!!

  26. My kids get mainly veggies and fruit for snack after school. On days when I can tell by their mood they need a bit of protein to carry them over to dinner I will make a dip by mixing equal parts peanut butter and soy milk.(we deal with a dairy allergy, I assume dairy milk would also work) It takes a while to get them to mix but eventually they do and my girls love it.

  27. Why do you people feel the need to criticize someone trying to help others with ideas. All of the suggestions are that, suggestions, if you don’t like something than just don’t make or serve it. I am one of the millions of moms out there who have been serving my kids processed junk since they were off baby food, thus ruining the diet completely. If someone out there is trying to help people like me to get their kids on real food, just thank them. So, thank you for the above ideas. There are people who appreciate it, and will not criticize your suggestions. Those who are judging and condescending can move on please.

    1. No joke! I totally agree. There’s always someone who’s doing better and worse than you at everything, so if someone is at least making an attempt to do the right thing.. people just need to stop being so judgmental! Lol! Also, nice name ;)

  28. My kids love frozen berries – no sugar added, not thawed, blended, pureed or served with anything… just frozen whole berries. And it is true… not everything needs to be served with dips & sauces! Not all nuts need to be salted or roasted wither raw unroasted almonds and cashews with some dried fruit is far better then premade trail mix and has many more health benefits and is easier to digest as well!

  29. I really dont know why you need to alter the fruit and veggies with ranch dressings and
    Such. We need to teach our babies t to eat fresh and natural foods. My four old great grand daughter loves fresh veggies and fruit. No additavies for her,,,

  30. I am so very happy to have found this blog and website!!!! I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am!! God created our food to be eaten naturally and I am so happy to see that you have taken the initiative to blog about it. I am happy to take the 10-day challenge and am looking forward to all these wonderful recipe’s and ideas!!! Thanks you! Thank you! Thank you!!! :)

  31. I have a quick question and you are the only place I can think to ask. I have a recipe that calls for 1 small envelope of instant vanilla pudding. It is for a coffee drink mix, so I need dry ingredients. Can you (or anyone else) give me some possible guidelines for vanilla pudding that might work instead of the boxed kind? Thank for any ideas. On the one hand, it is such a small amount of the whole I really don;t worry about it. On the other hand, it is usually much cheaper, certainly healthier and usually not too much work to make such things myself.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Renee. I don’t know what you might substitute for the instant vanilla pudding, but, I’m guessing that the pudding would not fall within the parameters of “real food”. Sorry I couldn’t be more help. Jill

  32. Random Side Note: Jicama is awesome dipped in ranch dressing/dip!! If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out! YUM!

  33. RAW BROWNIES are the rage around my house right now! My un-“clean” brownie-loving husband says they are the best he’s ever had. He didn’t even know there were nuts in them!
    With only a few ingredients, it is the ultimate healthy chocolate craving satisfier:
    1 c walnuts (does NOT lend flavor to the brownies)
    1 c pitted dates
    4 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut (does NOT lend flavor to the brownies)
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    5 TBSP cocoa powder
    Sweetener to taste (I use honey and stevia)
    Process all until crumbles and then some and refrigerate IF you can wait that long! :)

  34. I actually just bought a bunch of Arrowhead Mills Puffed Whole Grain Cereal since they were on sale today. Do you have any ideas/recipes for using them to make your own breakfast cereal (combining them, adding sweetener, etc.)?

    1. This was my first attempt, turned out good:
      Melt:
      1 T butter
      1 T coconut oil (could probably do all butter or all oil, whatever)
      3 T honey

      Mix with:
      2 c puffed kamut
      2 c puffed brown rice
      1/4 c sliced almonds (may try more next time)
      1/4 c oats

      Spread on parchment-lined pan, bake 15 min at 325°, cool.

      I only did a small batch this time to see how it would turn out. Can do any combination of puffed cereal, any oil, maple syrup, add other stuff, whatever you like. May try adding flax or finely ground nuts next time.

      I like the Kashi Go Lean Honey Almond Crunch–reminds me of Honey Smacks from childhood–but will stop buying and just make my own now.

  35. Great list! Perfect for back to school – I actually just sent out an e-book to my newsletter subscribers that includes a list of back to school snacks – it will be available on my site by next week. After all, this IS that time of year!

  36. I just started the 10 day pledge and looked at the ingredients in my Fig Newtons. I had only a few things out of the pack, but I had to throw it away. I never realized all that junk was in a “healthy” cookie!

  37. Great list, Lisa! I wrote a shorter list … our top 7 favorite snacks, http://fresh-you.blogspot.com/2012/08/seven-super-snacks-our-most-favorites.html — you might enjoy “Chocolatey Goodness”, a combo of plain regular or Greek yogurt, unsweetened cocoa, and mashed banana. Super yummy and nutritious! ( http://fresh-you.blogspot.com/2012/01/3-ingredient-chocolatey-goodness.html ) Frozen fruit for ANYBODY (mangoes, pineapple, cherries, peaches, berries, my mouth is watering!) …as is, or blended into sorbet (without any added sugar!) and more for kids … frozen veggies (corn, broccoli, green beans, cauliflower). SO cool that you make your own “poptarts”! Wahoo for helping SO many people get healthy!!!

  38. Do you have a printer-friendly version of this list? I would love to print it and bring to shopping with me…

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Molly. Great question and one I’ve often asked too. You will see conflicting opinions on this. I buy local if I can and if I can ask, like you have, how they treat their food. So, even if they’re not certified organic farmers, many times they follow those rules so I’m fine with it and would prefer local. But, like you said, if they are treating it with pesticides, I’ll usually pick organic over local. Jill

  39. Have you tried Wasa brand crisp bread? It is delicious! Especially the “whole grain” version, which has only whole grain rye flour, water, yeast, and salt. I like it with cream cheese and jam :)

  40. Bless you for writing this blog! I do so well for a while feeding my family non-processed foods and then we all get bored with our bland options and fall off the wagon. This blog is exactly what I need because if I feed my children one more ounce of grilled chicken, brown rice or fruit smoothies they have made it known that there will be a major mutiny going on at my house and I am the one they will throw overboard:)

  41. I should mention do you have a Yonanas maker? You take fruit that you can purchase frozen or you can freeze yourself like beginning with bananas, then another fruit then more banana’s its all fruit and is almost like a fruity soft serve. I use bananas we freeze, and fruit leftovers get frozen then I use those and sometimes I take almond milk freeze it in an ice cube tray and use that too. Yu can see the maker at http://www.yonanas.com

  42. I sprinkled cinnamon on a sliced peach for a snack. It marinated all day, so when it was time to eat, it was SO tasty! It was like eating the inside of a peach pie!
    Love the list!

  43. What brand of peanut butter do you use? I can’t find a natural one that is low in the bad fats (i.e. saturated and trans fats).

  44. Hi Lisa! I have a huge dilemma and I would love your input. My family and I just started our switch to real food this summer. We are super excited and it is going great! A little challenging at times in our culture as u know, but we’re getting the hang of it. I just left the orientation for my sons preschool and because the school is state funded, they mandate you to pay 80.00/month and require you to eat lunch and 2 snacks at school. No outside for is permitted unless your child has a milk allergy. I am very disappointed as I was really looking forward to providing his lunch daily according to the real food rules. I checked out the sample menu and it includes things like pop tarts, refined flour biscuits, ravioli, etc. there are a few healthy additions but overall the food is processed. They do cook in their own kitchen which is a plus but I really feel strongly that I should have a say in what goes into my sons body. :( how do I get around this? Thank u in advance for your response.

    1. if its a headstart you can’t get around it in CA as far as I know. I teach at a preschool but trained with a headstart and they don’t let you out of the food rules unless its an extreme allergy. You can try to speak with the director and try to see if they will allow you do so. But honestly part of the state run programs is to get what they consider to be good meals into children who may not get them. I personally don’t see them as good either but when the program is free sometimes you may have to follow the school’s rules and then whole real foods at home. Its hard to get around the states rules in a state run program. They can’t change the menu either its kind of created off a list of approved foods that they get from the state. They have to serve so many fruits, veggies, proteins, and dairy a week.

    2. Federal food rules suck. Having worked as an Admin Assistant for the Food Services Dept in a school district I would see stuff that made my blood boil. We had vegitarians & vegans whose children had to just eat what was served or throw it away because it’s a “lifestyle choice” and not a medical problem. And believe me, just because they have their own kitchen doesn’t make the food choices better. The District I worked in boasted that they cooked their own food…. that meant that they baked the frozen chicken nuggets, warmed up the Chef Boyardi ravioli, and used Uncrustables. The Federal regulations are insane on what is considered “healthy”….. every day the kids have a choice for breakfast of Lucky Charms or Cocoa Puffs… because these meet a calorie/sugar/grain ratio per serving they pass the “healthy for our kids” test. Total BS.

    3. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi April. I saw some other readers gave you some good information. I think the only thing you can try and do is speak to the school and see if they’ll allow you an exception in terms of providing your son’s food. Best of luck. Jill

    4. Any chance a doctor might write a note and fake the allergy? Just throwing it out there;)
      I’ll be damned if a school is going to tell me how to feed my kids. That makes me angry for you! Maybe faking it is morally questionable but you’re the parent, you get to make the rules for your kids.
      Just my 2c

  45. Love these ideas. One I like for when I have a sweet tooth craving is the banana ice-cream you can whip up in mere minutes in the food processor using frozen banana slices and adding in some natural peanut butter and a bit of milk. I live using chocolate coconut milk so that I fill my need for chocolate too.

  46. Where did you find that wood divided snack plate (the one with the cubed cheese, apples and bowl of olives)? I love it. Thanks for posting this list, along with photos of your kids’ beautiful real food lunches.

    One of my favorite snacks of all time is fresh figs with goat cheese. We make ants on a log with either cream cheese or goat cheese when my kids’ peanut-allergic friends come to play.

    1. Thank you! I’ve had that serving platter forever, but I am pretty sure I got it at World Market. Unfortunately their stuff changes quite a bit so I doubt they still have the same one.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Martsi. I’ve never had them personally, so I can’t comment. I would just be certain to check the ingredients very closely. Jill

  47. Per usual, all looks great. Thanks for sharing. I love this site. I first heard about from a cook chick who follows my blog and it’s been AWESOME having you as a resource and inspiration. So pumped to pack my first lunches this year for school with your “help!”

  48. I like to make “yogurt cheese” as a snack. I take homemade yogurt (you could use store-bought plain yogurt too) and strain it to make it thicker (i.e. Greek yogurt). I strain mine by putting a couple of coffee filters in a strainer over a bowl, pouring in the yogurt, covering it, and sticking it in the fridge over night. You could also use cheesecloth. When the yogurt is a little thicker, I chop up some of whatever fresh herbs I have on hand. This summer, it’s been lots of basil and dill. Add a pinch of salt if desired. This is a great dip for veggies or whole grain crackers or pita. I love having it in my lunch with some hummus and fruit.

    I also love to make homemade black bean dip. Very easy, very tasty.

  49. I have a friend who likes to dip his carrots in peanut butter. It is his “take to work” snack. Take the whole jar, take whole bag of carrots, toss in refrigerator.

    I like to take an avocado, slice in half, take half that doesn’t contain pit, add salt and pepper. Fill cavity where pit was with apple cider vinegar, eat out of shell with spoon. The simplest and best tasting way to eat an avocado IMO.

  50. I notice you say it’s 100 days of real food, as in a diet consisting of unprocessed food, but your “whole grain” section, with the exception of perhaps the oatmeal (if it’s made from whole oats) and maybe the popcorn (if it’s made from corn and oil in a pot yourself), but otherwise, is ALL PROCESSED food and the grain category is the most notorious for us not making it ourselves from real whole food ingredients at home! Supposed “whole grain” products bought pre-made and packaged in the store, ARE NOT real, whole foods! Otherwise I like the concept and a lot of the ideas. It’s important to me for people to realize that in order to have a real, whole food diet, ALL the food must be made ourselves, in other words “processed” ourselves at home. No pre-made noodles or pasta, even if labeled “whole grain” and no crackers, pretzels, cereals and cakes! Grains, until about 100 years ago, were sprouted and fermented before we ate them and modern commercial grain products are not, so many people have problems digesting them and we call it gluten intolerance. For some, it’s chronic and severe.

    1. I noticed that as well and was a bit confused, but it’s a start for some to just avoid white flours, so all hope is not lost. No one is perfect and in our society it is almost unrealistic to expect everyone to make everything, so compromises are made.

    2. If “whole” or “raw” food was meant, I’m sure it would have been said. You’re putting words in the mouths. What I’m sure is meant by “real food” is avoiding fast food and the other *heavily* processed garbage. I gather this site is about things that you can make at home, for cheap, with the ability to read the box and know what is going through your food hole.

    3. Also, gluten intolerance and celiac disease is a mostly misunderstood disorder that only a very, very, small percentage of the population have. Due to it being commonly misdiagnosed due to “whole foodies” not knowing the difference, it gained popularity and became a fad. Though the placebo effect does help many that believe they are suffering from everyday ailments of a modern lifestyle, there are very few that actually have celiac (the wheat/barley/rye) or are gluten intolerant (the above, including corn/rice/sorghum). Consuming gluten from “sprouted and fermented” sources does not change the proteins for the intolerant few.

    4. Beth… have you actually read any on her site. I suggest you look at her rules on how she defines “real” food. Her list works for her rules. :shrug:

  51. I mean… you said snacks in the title. I assumed you meant snack ideas. Not just naming “grapes” as a snack. Of course it’s a snack. Anything that’s not an entree is a snack. This list is just “stuff to not have as a main course for dinner.”

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Pip. I find that sometimes we forget the simple things so it helps to serve as a reminder. And, of course, whole food snacks often take no preparation since they are things we can find in their natural state, so, while this seems simple, that may well be the reason. Hope you enjoy maybe finding a few things on the list you had not thought of before. Jill

    2. Pip,I agree when I saw snacks for kids I was hoping for something a little more interesting. I have to admit that I am really trying hard to convert my family (who believes its not a lunch without potato chips) to a new way of eating. I am getting a lot of resistance and was hoping for some creative and or fun ways to get my son looking forward to his snack and not trying to trade it off to his friends. I like the reader suggestion of a fruit kabob. Any other suggestions on making it look more interesting/appetizing?

      1. Agreed, Tonia and Pip! When I saw all the individually listed fruits on this list I was like, “Seriously?” I used to check this blog frequently but after this post I took a long break. :/

    3. I think it is a refreshing reminder that whole foods ARE foods and make great snacks without a lot of effort. Why buy “fruit snacks” when you can just eat fruit? :-)

  52. It’s funny you should mention frozen peas. When my kids were small, they loved frozen peas, and wouldn’t eat them cooked.

    The same with beans, except the beans were fresh. Raw, not cooked.

      1. I think IdaBaker was referring to green beans (bush beans, pole beans) – not dried beans (pinto, black, etc).

  53. Thanks for this list! I discovered this blog about a week ago and I have immediately started moving away from highly processed foods, and snacks seem to be difficult for me to come up with ideas for. This will also help me with making side dishes for meals as well.

  54. Thank you for this it helps when working on our snack calendar for myself and for the preschool I work at. I have to do more nut free and in some cases gluten free for school, but this is a great list.

    I will say ants on a log can be done savory style. Like celery with a spreadable cheese and raisins, craisins or another small item to use as ants. We also do home made granola since most packaged items have nuts its a great snack item. Jicama sticks is another one. We use cut veggies from our garden as well since we have a garden at the preschool.

  55. Thank you, Thank you for this list. I am always looking for yummy and healthy snack ideas and the best I seem to come up with are sliced apples and peanut butter or celery sticks and ranch dip – all things she likes but that can get boring fast. One day I’m going to get brave and try those homemade poptarts. With a little effort, I can’t believe how easy it is to replace many of the processed foods we eat with a healthier homemade version. Thanks for your site and the recipes.

  56. Thanks for the list, am pinning now! I eat apples and peanut butter just about everyday. Also, peanut butter, honey and sliced bananas on whole wheat tortillas are great! Also a BIG spinach smoothie fan :)

  57. Fantastic list! We do pita and hummus, kale chips, and plain yogurt a lot; have been making our own kefir and flavoring it with a bit of maple syrup and vanilla for a yummy, healthy drinkable yogurt. Just FYI, googled “The Popcorn Trick” and came up with something quite other than what I think you were going for . . . would love to know your version.

  58. What a great list! I forget about the varieties of delicious snacks out there and get stuck in a rut. Thanks for reminding me that there are so many more options.

  59. Great list…but I have one objection. The canned fruit. Yuck! I don’t trust canned ‘anything!’ The process of heating the cans up and the risk of BPA leaching out is simply not worth it to me or my family.

    1. I would be hard pressed to eat anything canned too, Andrea! I also wouldn’t eat edamame dipped in soy sauce. Its a double soy whammy!! With all I’ve read about soy, I say no way in my house!

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Andrea. I agree with your concern about the BPA cans, but, there are many companies now using BPA free cans (Eden Organic and Native Forest for example). You could always seek out those companies if the fruit is a snack option you enjoy, or, just skip it all together. Jill

  60. What kind of fruit leathers do you eat? Do you buy them or make your own. I noticed the stretch island brand is made only from concentrate fruits and I believe the the process of making it “concentrate” takes out most of the nutrients? I also notice another brand I found at whole foods has the same type of ingredients.

  61. The snack tray looks wonderful! What is in the center… between the cheese cubes and the cashews? Looks delish!

  62. Thinly sliced kohlrabi marinated in olive oil, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Satisfies the salty/crunchy cravings.

  63. Beware of products that just say “Whole grains” That is often a ruse. The ingredients should list each item as ‘whole’ or the label should say “100%”

      1. Yes, homemade pickles are the best! I have a refrigerator recipe that cures in 2 days and lasts for 2 weeks (cucumbers, fresh dill, vinegar, garlic and water). Since, I make them myself, I can control the level of salt. We make them in summer when cucumbers and dill are available at the farmer’s market. My daughter knows not to ask for pickles out of season :)

      2. Will you share your recipe? I haven’t found one without alot of sugar and other ingredients I don’t want. Thank you!!

      3. I make these too. I like to add onions, salt, and pepper. You DON’T need to add sugar though.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Jennifer. I know one reader suggested making them. I usually just buy the Earthfare organic brand, but, I’m sure making them might yield ones with less salt. Jill

  64. Amazing list!!!

    My kids *love* grated cheese… fruit kabobs…graham creams with cream cheese… homemade fruit puree popsicles… :)

  65. Love the list! We forget that just single items can be food and we don’t always have to make up a full recipe. :)

  66. Excellent list!!!! Printing this out, you just made grocery shopping a little easier! ;) end also love home made granola and fruit nut bars homemade! So yummy!!

  67. Do you recommend unsalted nuts or are salted ok?

    Btw- i love your site and all the great ideas you have! It’s really inspiring.

    1. Save the planet

      Personally, I generally prefer unsalted, raw nuts. Overall those tend to be better for you anyway. However, I do love my sunflower seeds roasted and salted. You should try raw asnd unsalted varietyies, eat the ones you like and go for the salted ones for the others.

      1. I like raw unsalted walnuts, but for most others, I prefer them roasted and salted. Unless I’m shelling them myself of course. I also like to take raw unsalted Almonds, marinate them in Tamari sauce and them roast them myself.

      2. Trader Joe’s has some good half-salted roasted almonds that I like. A little taste of salty, but not nearly as overkill as many other brands of salted, roasted nuts. You can actually taste and enjoy the flavor of almond.

      3. I sometimes mix salted nuts with an unsalted one (ie. I really like roasted almond, but cashews I am fine with raw so I’ll mix the two so the saltiness gets spread between the two)

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      I usually eat them raw, but, it’s really your preference. Some people say they mix the raw with some salted for just a little bit of salt. Glad you are enjoying the blog. Jill