Use a snack box to help you and your family choose healthy snacks. Snack boxes help your children choose a variety of foods for afterschool snacks or other snack times. Parents or adults choose what goes in the box and choose what they would like to eat.
4 Tips to getting started
- Have two snack boxes: one for the refrigerator and one for the cupboard.
- Figure how many snacks are needed for one week. Make a list of foods to include in the snack boxes. Include a variety of foods that are crunchy, chewy, creamy, and juicy. Also include foods from all food groups.
- Each week, add snack foods to the boxes. Family members can choose a snack from the snack boxes after school, after work, or in the evening.
- Make sure the snacks are ones your family likes. Create a request sheet that family members can add to each week.
Think about what you drink
- Choose plain water often, limiting vitamin or flavored water which are expensive and may contain sugar.
- Choose low-fat milk.
- Avoid beverages with added sugars such as sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened coffee and tea beverages, and sodas.
- Limit 100% fruit juice drinks to 4oz per day, or choose whole fruit for added fiber. Before age 12 months, 100% fruit or vegetable juice should not be given to infants.
- Consider infusing water with fresh fruit, such as lemons, limes, strawberries, or oranges for added flavor. Store in the refrigerator.
Create a trail mix
Create your own trail mix and portion into single servings to include in a snack box.
Choose grains whenever possible and avoid sweetened cereals
- Shredded wheat cereal
- Other whole grain cereals
- Small whole wheat crackers
Unsweetened (or with as little added sugar as possible) dried fruit
- Dried apples
- Banana chips
Raw or roasted unsalted, unsweetened nuts and seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Check out our recipe to Create Your Own Snack Mix (and more!) at https://buyeatlivebetter.org/recipes.html
Ideas for Snack Boxes
For the cubboard
- Canned fruit packaged in water or 100% juice
- Dried fruit, such as raisins
- Fruit cups
- Nuts (peanuts, pistachios, almonds, etc.)
- Peanut butter
- Nuts and raisins (trail mix)
- Low-fat granola bars or breakfast bars
- Whole wheat pita bread with hummus (refrigerate hummus)
- Air popped popcorn
- Brown rice cakes
- Whole grain bagels
- Whole wheat or whole grain crackers
- Baked chips
For the refrigerator
- Celery sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Cottage cheese
- Low-fat yogurt
- Cheese cubes or slices
- String cheese
- Dips such as hummus, guacamole, yogurt and peanut butter, or ranch dip; pre-portioned into serving sizes.
- Homemade fruit salsa, banana and yogurt snacks, or other kid-friendly snacks which can be found on our website at https://buyeatlivebetter.org/recipes.html