With many daycares, preschools, and schools requiring peanut-free snacks (and some even tree-nut-free snacks), this list of options is here to help. I have ideas to buy from the store and to make at home so you never run out of yummy, nutritious snacks to pack for the kids.
One of the first things we learn when starting at a new school or daycare is which snacks we can and cannot send. I’m always looking for an easy-to-reference list of kid-friendly snacks that are nutritious, easy to find, and foods my kids actually liked.
Often, the lists that came home included a lot of candy. No shame to candy, but that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for when trying to pack a snack to help my little stay full until mealtime. These ideas are here to help.
Easy Snacks for School
Whether you need snacks for daycare, preschool, camp, or regular school, the ideas here check all of the boxes. I’ve included options for crackers, pretzels, puffs, snack bars, dairy-based snacks (like yogurt and cheese), fruit-based snacks, and a few homemade snack options.
The majority of these are available at any grocery store, though I’m also including links in case you prefer to order online.
Labels to Look For
To verify that the snack is nut-free, keep an eye out for phrases like “May Contain Peanut or Tree Nuts,” “Manufactured in a plant with peanut or tree nuts,” “Contains Peanut or Tree Nut Ingredients.”
If your child has a life-threatening food allergy, BE SURE to double check all package labels as they may change from the time of publishing this post.
TIP: If you need to avoid coconut, be sure to look for that on the label, too.
Crackers, Pretzels, and Puffs
Here are a few of our favorite crunchy snack options to pack for snack.
- Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies
- Cheese sandwich crackers (Ritz, Keebler, Trader Joe’s)
- Bitsy’s Brainfood Cheddar Crackers
- Wheat Thins
- Breton Crackers
- Pretzels (Newman’s Own, Pepperidge Farm, Herr’s, Utz, Bachman, Snyder’s, and Rold Gold)
- Harvest Snaps
- Trader Joe’s Inner Peas
- Chickpea Puffs (Bienna or Hippeas)
- Baby Puffs
- Pirate’s Booty
Snack Bars and Bites
These bars and bites are all great options for kids snacks. Add milk or cheese to make any of these a little more filling if needed.
- Made Good Granola Bars
- Made Good Crispy Rice Bars
- Enjoy Life Foods Baked Chewy Bars
- Enjoy Life Foods Protein Bites
- Fig Bars
- Don’t Go Nuts Energy Bars
- Zego Fruit Bars
- That’s It bars
- Rice Crispy Treats
- Nutrigrain Bars
- Dino Bars (use the code yummy10 to take 10% off one of our favorite kid’s bars!)
Yogurt, Cheese, and Milks
If you have a kiddo who can’t do dairy, look for a non-dairy equivalent. There are so many great options now.
- Yogurt tubes (like Siggis, GoGurt, and more)
- Yogurt pouches (such as one from Stonyfield and Trader Joe’s)
- Cheese sticks (Horizon Organic, Crystal Farms, Kraft, Organic Valley, Sargento, Sorrento, Land O Lakes, Tilamook, etc.)
- Laughing Cow
- Milk box (Horizon, local dairy brands)
- Nondairy milk box (Ripple)
- Chocolate milk box
- Yogurt Melts
- Moon Cheese
Sure, processed fruit snacks aren’t the same as fresh fruit, but they are a convenient and easy option to pack as a snack. And they deliver a lot of nutrients, so they are a handy option to have in the mix.
- Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bar
- Annie’s Fruit Snacks
- Annie’s Fruit Tape
- Applesauce pouches
- Freeze-dried fruit (such as Crispy Green)
- Dried fruit (such as boxes of raisins)
- Fresh fruit of choice
- Fruit cups (I prefer those in 100% juice)
- Fruit leather
Peanut-Free Homemade Snacks
Here are some options that you can make at home and pack and send. These are all easy and don’t have nuts. (For the first Granola Bars recipe, use sunflower seed butter!).
TIP: You can see all of my Nut-free Recipes here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Made Good and Enjoy Life brands make snacks that are free from the top allergens. You can also look at fruit snacks, freeze-dried fruit, cheese sticks, pouches, and puffs as options.
Made Good and Enjoy Life brands make snacks that are free from both peanuts and tree nuts. You can also consider fresh fruit including apples, bananas, and clementines as easy options. And cheese products like cheese sticks, milk, and yogurt.
Always read the package for specifics on each product.
Best Tips for Success
- Check all packaging for the specific labeling you need for your child.
- Double-check with your childcare facility, school, or organization for the requirements for snacks since they do vary considerably.
- Try to include a fat and/or a protein to help your child stay full until the next eating opportunity.
I’d love to know if you have a nut-free snack to add to my list, so please comment below to share!
This post was first published July 2021.
Thank you for the big list! Here are some more ideas: popcorn, enjoy life seed & fruit mix (trail mix made with seeds instead of nuts), yogurt with cereal as a topping to add (example kix), raisins, biena chickpea snacks (my kid likes the honey roasted flavor), simple truth organic sprouted raisin bread (frozen) – I toast it & add sunbutter, whisps (baked cheese bites), even when prepackaged is requested our school also allows whole fruit banana, apple, cuties. I also found a brand called Zee-zee’s on Amazon I’m about to try. Particularly excited for the sunflower seeds! Their packages are cute and would make a good birthday treat to share with classmates.
Love those, thanks for adding!
Late July cheese crackers are not peanut free
Aren’t Dino Bars also nut free?
Oh yes, they are peanut-free (they do have coconut). I added them, thank you for the reminder!