A plate with a rice cake topped with peanut butter and four banana slices.

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

  1. Have two snack boxes: one for the refrigerator and one for the cupboard.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  • Pretzels
  • Small whole wheat crackers

Unsweetened (or with as little added sugar as possible) dried fruit

  • Raisins
  • Dried apples
  • Banana chips
  • Dates

Raw or roasted unsalted, unsweetened nuts and seeds

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • 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

  • Apples
  • Applesauce
  • Grapes
  • Oranges
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery sticks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • 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

Featured Recipes

Baked Cinnamon Apples

Preheat the oven to 350°F.Slice apples into small-medium pieces.In a saucepan or microwave, melt butterwith cinnamon.In a large bowl, add sliced apples anddrizzle melted cinnamon-butter mixtureon top.With a spatula, stir to coat all sides ofthe apples.Pour apple mixture into a large bakingdish and bake for 30 minutes.Serve alone, or add yogurt, oatmeal, orvanilla ice cream!


Energy Bites

Collect and measure all ingredients before starting to prepare the recipe.Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix ingredients with a spoon until combine.Using clean hands, shape the mixture into 16 balls that are approximately 1" in diameter.Store at room temperature in a sealed container. Eat within 3 to 5 days.