29 packaged foods for lunches and after school

With the school year kicking into high gear once again, you’re going to be pretty busy rushing to pick-up and chauffeuring your kid to all their extracurricular activities. If you don’t have time to prepare all the cute Pinterest-worthy snacks you envisioned for your little ones, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with these healthy snacks for kids that are easy to toss in a backpack or nibble in the car when your kid’s on the go. 

Our make-life-easier suggestion: keep an extra lunch bag stocked with delicious packaged goodies so that you can grab it on your way out the door. (You can even direct kids to help themselves to the “snack bag” and build up their independence when you’re working from home.) Many of these healthy snacks come individually wrapped, and the ones that are sold in larger packages are easy to dole out into reusable containers.

Having an on-hand supply of easy snacks will help you ward off after-school meltdowns, reducing your own stress and giving you more time to connect with your kid.

1. Go Pure Oat Bars

A box of Go Pure Oat Bars in apple & cinnamon flavour.

Photo: Courtesy of Leclerc

Soft and chewy, these oatmeal bars contain more than 10 grams of tummy-filling whole grains per bar. $4, londondrugs.com

2. Hippie Snacks Cauliflower Crisps

Cauliflower crisps Cheeze in orange package

Photo: Courtesy of Hippie Snacks

This crunchy chip alternative is made with cauliflower and seasoned with a salty, plant-based cheese. $6, naturamarket.ca

3. MadeGood Soft Baked Mini Cookies

packages of Made Good soft baked cookies

Photo: Courtesy of Made Good

These yummy cookies are perfect for when you want a treat that’s got an extra dose of veggies in the form of vegetable extracts. They’re also lower in sugar, free of common allergens and come in seven flavours. $5/pack of 5, madegoodfoods.ca

4. Stonyfield Organic Kids Drinkable Yogourt

Stoneyfield Organic Kids yogourt

Photo: Carmen Cheung

This grab-and-go yogurt is low in sugar and made with organic ingredients to keep kids nourished. $5/pack of 6, walmart.ca

5. Good To Go Soft Baked Bars

soft baked bars

Photo: Courtesy of Good to Go

Perfect for when you’re craving something sweet, these cake-like bars have only 2 grams of sugar or less. $9/pack of 4, walmart.ca

6. Clif Kid Zbar Organic Energy Bar

Clif Kid Zbar

Photo: Courtesy of Clif

This protein-packed bar with a soft and chewy texture is sure to keep kids energized during their after-school activities. The bar comes in three tasty flavours: Iced Oatmeal Cookie, Chocolate Brownie & Chocolate Chip. $5/pack of 5, well.ca

7. Healthy Crunch Apple Raisin Trail Mix

apple cinnamon trail mix

Photo: Courtesy of Healthy Crunch

This yummy blend of seeds and dried fruits is fine for the playground—it contains no nuts—and will keep your kiddies satisfied until you get dinner on the table. $8, well.ca

8. Ohh! Foods Apple Pie Snacking Bites

layered packages of after school snacks

Photo: Courtesy of Ohh! Foods

Simply made of dates, apples, oats and cinnamon, these yummy bites are proudly free of the top 10 allergens (including peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and milk). $35/pack of 10, ohhfoods.com

9. Nature’s Bakery Whole Wheat Fig Bars

A Nature's Bakery raspberry whole wheat fig bar in the individual magenta wrapper

Photo: Courtesy of Nature’s Bakery

These fig bars are packed with fibre and healthy whole grains. Your kids are sure to love the texture of the fruity filling, bursting with blueberry or raspberry. $20/box of 32, costco.ca

10. SimplyProtein kids bar

A box of SimplyProtein kids bars in strawberry vanilla flavour

Photo: Courtesy of SimplyProtein

Does your kid have a peanut or tree nut allergy? Not a problem. These nut-free bars are safe, tasty and packed with protein to keep your active kid energized.  $5/pack of 5, well.ca

11. Kind Healthy Grains bars

Kind healthy grain bar

Photo: Courtesy of KIND

KIND’s gluten-free bars contain some super whole grains, including oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa. If your kid is active this will give them enough energy to power through playtime or after-school sports. $5/pack of 5, walmart.ca

12. Earth’s Own Oat Chocolate Milk

3 bottles of chocolate milk

Photo: Courtesy of Earth’s Own

Earth’s Own chocolate oat milk is a healthy gluten- and nut-free drink that contains 50 percent less sugar than chocolate dairy milk. If that wasn’t enticing enough, you can also feel good about the ingredients in every sip your kid takes—the drinks are all made with fair-trade cocoa. $4, realcanadiansuperstore.ca

13. Hemp Yeah! bars

two hemp yeah! bars

Photo: Courtesy of Manitoba Harvest

These easy snacks for kids are full of nutrients; they have 10 grams of plant protein in every single bar. $29 for 12 pack, amazon.ca

14. PC Blue Menu Mini Bags Natural Flavour Microwave Popping Corn

a box of mini bags of PC blue menu popcorn

Photo: Courtesy of PC

Why pack popcorn? It’s a fibre-rich whole grain and kids love it. When buying microwave popcorn, look for brands that are free of artificial colours and flavours, like this one. Tip: To give popped kernels more kick, shake them with a sprinkle of cinnamon, Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavour) in a small sealed bag. $5, loblaws.ca

15. The Good Bean, Sea Salt chickpeas

three bags of The Good Bean roasted chickpeas in sea salt flavour

Photo: Courtesy of The Good Bean

Crunchy roasted chickpeas are lots of fun to eat. But better yet, they’re high in protein and fibre, making them a filling afternoon snack. Pack a few extra in a lunchbox for your kid to sprinkle over his salad like croutons. $6, well.ca

16. Seasnax Chomperz crunchy seaweed chips

a bag of seasnax chomperz seaweed snacks in original flavour

Photo: Courtesy of Seasnax

Seaweed snacks aren’t just trendy—they’re nutritious, too. Beyond the salty crunch, these organic ones are full of nutrients like B vitamins—essential for boosting energy and easing stress—and bone-building calcium. $6, healthyplanetcanada.com

17. Kraft aMOOza Twists

a bag of kraft amooza mozarella twists

Photo: Courtesy of Kraft

Made with 100 percent real Canadian milk, these cheesy snacks deliver bone-strengthening calcium and belly-filling protein. Bonus: Kiddos will get a kick out of untwisting their cheese before they eat it. $8/bag of 12, iga.net

18. Martin’s Crispy Apple Chips

a bag of martin's crispy apple chips

Photo: Courtesy of Martins

There’s only one ingredient: apples. Slices are dried in a way that makes them light and crispy—so they feel and taste like sweet chips. Yum! $7, costco.ca

Did you know? Dried fruit is a good source of fibre and a nutritious snack (one serving equals ¼ cup). Just be sure fruit is the only ingredient (no added sugar!).

19. Annie’s Bunny Grahams

a box of annie's honey flavoured bunny grahams

Photo: Courtesy of Annie’s

When your cookie monster needs a treat, consider animal crackers. They’re lower in sugar than most other biscuits. Bonus: These cute ones are made with whole grains. $5, healthyplanetcanada.ca

20. Triscuit, Low Sodium

a box of low-sodium Triscuits

Photo: Courtesy of Triscuit

Kids love these crispy crackers because they’re delicious; parents can love ’em because they’re nutritious—low in salt and high in whole grains.  $4, metro.ca

21. Organic Slammers

A squeeze pack of organic Slammers chill'n in blueberry and banana flavour

Photo: Courtesy of Slammers

This squeezable snack is fun to eat, tasty and nutritious. Filled with wholesome ingredients, each pouch serves up fruit, squash and yogurt. Bonus: They don’t need to be refrigerated, so they’re super lunch box friendly. $6/box of 4, well.ca

22. Yucatan Guacamole

A box of individual cups of Yucatan guacamole

Photo: Courtesy of Yucatan

Avocados are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants like vitamin E—and they make a mean dip. To round out this healthy snack, pack guac with whole-grain crackers and cut-up veggies. $6/box of 6 cups, realcanadiansuperstore.ca

23. IOGO Nano

A package of Iogo Nano yogurt drinks in raspberry flavour

Photo: Courtesy of Iogo

Flavoured yogurts are usually oversweetened, but these mini ones have less sugar and more protein (which helps keep blood sugar steady) than most. Nano also contains vitamin D, which is important for developing bones. $4, realcanadiansuperstore.ca

24. Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps

A bag of Harvest Snaps snapea crisps in original flavour

Photo: Courtesy of Harvest Snaps

These pea-based treats will satisfy your sweetie, because each serving contains four grams of fibre and five grams of protein. Baked not fried, they’re also lower in fat than many other munchies and have a light puffed texture. (And if you can find them, the lightly salted variety is a great option.) $4, metro.ca

25. GoGo Squeez Tropicalz 

A box of GoGo Squeez Tropivalz packets in apple mango guava flavour

Photo: Courtesy of GoGo Squeez

Mess-free pouches are particularly handy healthy snacks for on the go. These ones come in three tropical flavours that are kosher, vegan and gluten-free, with no added sugar or artificial flavours or colours.  $4/pack of 4, loblaws.ca

26. Better Snack Better You Butter Salt Popcorn

A bag of Better Snack Better You popcorn in Butter Salt flavour

Photo: Courtesy of Better Snack. Better You.

This flavoured popcorn is more than just popcorn — it’s loaded with ancient grains like millet and buckwheat, and is enriched with vitamin D derived from mushrooms.  $6, freshwagon.ca

27. Wise Bites Raspberry Pie Soft Mini Cookies

A bag of Wise Bites soft mini cookies in raspberry pie flavour

Photo: Courtesy of Wise Bites

Satisfy your kid’s cookie cravings with these tiny bites. They’remade with oats, sweetened with dried fruit and are free of the top 11 allergens. $7, wise-bites.com

28. Maxine’s Heavenly Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Soft-Baked Cookies

A bag of Maxine's Heavenly soft baked cookies in chocolate chocolate chunk

Photo: Courtesy of Maxine’s Heavenly

These chewy treats are like energy balls and replace traditional cookie ingredients with options like oat flour, organic coconut sugar, dates and flaxseed. $7, londondrugs.com

29. GoodFood smoothies

A ready-to-blend MadeGood smoothie cup beside a half peach, strawberry and stack of banana slices with a blended smoothie and striped straw in the background

Photo: Courtesy of GoodFood

These smoothies are so packed with fruit and veggies that your kid is guaranteed a whopping dose of vitamins from each filling drink. $5.50, makegoodfood.ca

This article was originally published in August 2020.

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