Self Serve Healthy Snacks for Kids

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After years and years of having a worn down refrigerator, we bought a new one and it was delivered recently. Josh and I researched and reviewed like crazy until we found one to fit our family’s needs.  It was delivered and I couldn’t have been more excited!  In our new fridge we have a drawer that is perfect for putting snacks in.  It reignited the fire to make some healthy snacks for my kids!
Self Serve Healthy Snacks for Kids! Encourage independence and decision making.

I’ve posted about snacks a few times here.  And lately about independence and life skills.  In an effort to a) be more organized and prepared b) hand over some control to my kids to make choices and c) to play with my new toy (kidding), I put everything in one nice spot.
It only takes a little bit of time to prep – and is something that the kids can help with for sure.
Some of our favorites:

  • Cheese sticks
  • Cheese slices
  • Cut up fruit (preserve cut up apples by adding a little bit of lemon juice to the bag)
  • Cut up vegetables or finger veggies like baby carrots and cherry tomatoes.
  • Yogurt/Go-gurt


Snack bags are the perfect size for this.  (Guess the name “snack bag” says it all)  They are just the right size of food for kids and don’t take up too much spaces in the fridge.

Self Serve Healthy Snacks for Kids! Encourage independence and decision making. Thirty Handmade Days

Another thing that we have done in the past is make a snack basket.  The concept isn’t anything mind blowing but it’s amazing how such a simple little thing can make a difference.  Instead of having snacks all over the place, this makes sure that kids can choose from one spot.  They can see the choices and they

Make a snack basket for kids!

Now obviously the snacks that I have in this particular basket aren’t as healthy for my kids as the cut up fruit and vegetables.  The idea isn’t that they are grazing on this stuff all day long.  But it’s there to pack lunches with or grab for a snack after school.   Right here are just the basics but I’ve added all kinds of food to the basket before – pretzels, graham crackers and peanut butter, etc.

Make a snack basket for kids! Thirty Handmade DaysHaving a designated spot can help with organization and frustration.
Over a month's worth of after school snack ideas from

After school snacks

Kid approved lunch box and snack ideas

Kid approved lunch box and snack ideas


  1. Carrie says

    Proof positive that you cannot please everyone. One poster complaining that you don’t encourage independence by having choices lined up for your kids, one saying too much independence.

    And unflavored, unsweetened Greek yogurt? Blech. I hate Doritos too.

    But the blogger was offering ideas, not giving you a list of what you should have in your home. Costco sells many great snacks in single portions now: carrots, apples and I’ve recently seen single person veggie trays. The portions would be too much for a toddler (whole apple per bag) but my kids love them in their lunch for school. Some can’t have nuts of any kind.

    Bottom line is do what works for you and yours.

  2. Staci Dauphine says

    Wow every one seems so perfect and their kids don’t eat processed foods and only veggies. I love your snack solutions and have a snack bin as well. It’s filled with little Debbie snack cakes, processed fruit snacks, chips, and (gasp) candy. It’s on a high shelf in our pantry and my 3 kids have 1 snack from it per day. My twins are 7 and my toddler is almost 3.

  3. Tracey says

    This is awesome. We have a hutch and, at the bottom, a snack basket. I found that, when I first introduced it, the kids went bonkers, eating everything in sight. I just let them and, soon, they self regulated. Please don’t take the self-righteous to heart… this is a great IDEA and I thank you for it. The details of It’s implementation is an individual choice.

  4. says

    Useful info. Fortunate me I found your website unintentionally, and I’m shocked why this twist of fate did not happened in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  5. Candi says

    Great idea! I recently started preparing and prepacking snacks for my toddler. I ran into a problem with the fruit going bad in the baggie. Maybe I did to much fruit at the same time. I stuck them in the freezer to use in smoothies. That will not stop me from using this great idea again. I can’t believe all the negative remarks about the “unhealthy” choices. I give my toddler chips and granola bars. Everything is fine in moderation.

  6. says

    Great idea! I love the concept you’re sharing. We’re all capable of choosing what we feel is best for our own kids, I’m excited to pre-bag my kids snacks now. Thanks for the reminder, what a time saver since they pack their own lunches (:

  7. says

    i agree that some of the snacks you have chosen for your children are lacking in nutrition but the idea is great! Most children will not choose carrot sticks over Doritos so why offer the temptation? Leave the packaged yogurt and snacks at the store and stick with the healthy choices that you have listed. I try and remember when I’m tempted to buy something that is a “convenient food” that real food does not come in little packages.
    Here is a system that I have come up with for quickly offering a variety of healthy snacks for our kids.

  8. AOliver says

    Thank you for sharing, sorry that people have to judge you on your choices on what you have decided to feed your children, guess they are perfect, thank you again

  9. Jo says

    i don’t know how old your kids are, but in order to encourage independence and decision making I get my kids to get their own snacks from scratch. They know what they can eat and they get it themselves. The fruit bowl, and any fruit in the fridge, is free game. There are usually carrots and cucumbers in the veggie crisper. There’s a giant tub of various nuts in the cupboard. There’s unflavoured unsweetened Greek yoghurt and cheese and olives in the fridge (the yoghurt is a kilo tub – they know to use a clean spoon and portion it into a small glass). The younger ones may ask for help to cut the cheese up, or if they have a loose tooth they may want their apple cut – I am getting them used to cutting it up themselves. There are frozen peas in the freezer (one of my kids is obsessed with them) – again, they go to the freezer, untie the bag, portion what they want into a small glass (though one of my kids eats a coffee cup full of peas at a time, often for breakfast), tie up the bag and put it back. Pre-preparing snacks looks v organised and all, but it doesn’t seem to be encouraging independence. I have a real issue with purchased and packaged ‘snacks’. Can’t kids just eat food? Like an ordinary piece of fruit or veg or some nuts? I briefly considered some of those baby bel cheeses for my kids lunch boxes the other day, but then put them down when i realised they ended up costing a huge amount per kilo (more than a pricy Parmesan). Pre-packaged and portioned food adds a lot of $ to your grocery bill…

    • Yvonne says

      Hi I have never bought prepackaged items, no processed food, everything is homemade as well as fresh fruit and vegetables. I suppose it depends if you work or not. I always make sure she has healthy foods, lucky she likes all vegetables.

      • Lane says

        100% homemade, 100% of the time? Amazing…how do you have time to criticize strangers on the Internet? In your free time, you should look up the word convenience…you obviously are unfamiliar with the term.

    • cindy says

      How old are your kids? You are pushing Independence to the max. I’m wondering if you yourself eat anything that is packaged? For snacks or treats, maybe? And do your children get to ever do the same? I understand you wanting to use real food but do other foods ever have a place in your house? Curious. We do balance in our home :)

      • Jo says

        Hey, apologies if my comment was taken as being so offensive – looking back at it I was long winded and sound terribly judgemental – so again – sorry. I was drawn to comment specifically because of the ‘encourage independence and decision making’ aspect – I wouldn’t have said anything if that hadn’t been a feature – and looking back at the original post that was actually (mostly) in reference to a previous post.
        I find it interesting that there is an idea that I am putting myself forward as ‘perfect’. My very issue is with this idea of perfection that is put forward on (and here let me use a very broad generalisation) all the parenting, lifestyle etc blogs.
        What I was trying to say was not ‘look how good I am I don’t feed my children crap’ but ‘why on earth go to that extra effort when there is food in abundance which is cheaper and requires no extra input from you’. I work, my partner works, I have no time. I often sleep in my jeans, usually in the middle of an unmade bed. My kids sleep in whatever they decide to sleep in – sometimes it’s their school uniform, I don’t particularly care as long as they sleep. I make my kids lunches every day, because that’s what we do, and it’s cheaper (but they are not interesting or blog worthy or ‘holier-than-thou’ lunch boxes – they are boring and straightforward). I don’t buy a ton of kids snack things because they’re expensive, and as soon as you look at those individual serves they’re even more expensive (mini packs of Doritos vs giant bag). Every now and then the kids eat macdonalds, or pizza, or some other takeaway but mostly our dinners are boring and simple. I don’t live in the states – we don’t have a Costco. I just want my kids to understand that food is food. It doesn’t have to be made into a bar or a cake or put in a tube or a bag, as in, if you want something nutty, eat nuts. If you want something fruity, eat fruit (and if you want to make them a batch of cupcakes or cookies – go for it – and get them to help). So I’m sure somehow I’ve offended some more folks here now – but I’m not suggesting people try harder, I’m suggesting they try less hard. If snack boxes work for you, by all means do it.

    • Lane says

      If you’re so perfect start your own blog for all the other perfect moms. This isn’t that kinda blog (bc perfect is unrealistic).

  10. Jen says

    This is great idea, however, the snacks you posted are filled with artificial ingredients. Gogurts, Doritos, goldfish have alternatives that aren’t fake. You need to educate parents on the importance of clean eating. You’ve set the platform, why not finish the job by suggesting healthier alternatives?

    • Didi says

      I love these ideas. I understand not all of them are healthy, but you don’t have to give your kids that or you can give it to them once in a while. I think it’s absurd for ppl to critisize you b/c their kids get their own snacks. Well I have two little ones and although they can grab a bowl of fruit they cannot do everything themselves. I bet the same parents complaining about the snack ideas you posted are the ones who don’t even watch their chidren in public. Yea, you know the ones……..

  11. says

    I love the idea of a snack basket. So much easier than having things randomly all over the pantry! I will definitely have to give this a try!

  12. M Smith says

    You can use lemon lime soda to prevent the apple slices from turning brown also. I just put some in a bowl and drop the fruit in as I cut it up. My children don’t like the tartness the lemon juice adds, but the soda doesn’t leave a strong flavor.

    • Yadira says

      I read somewhere that tying the apple back together with a rubber band after slicing it also helps…haven’t tried it myself :)