· By Julia Boase

Dietitian Approved Healthy Store Bought Snacks for Kids


So let me guess, you love the idea of baking snacks for your kid's lunch boxes but the reality is you don't have time to be endlessly stuck in the kitchen? Well guess what? Neither do I! Families are busier than ever and for most of us we need to buy some of our snacks, to simply make it through the week. I'm here to tell you that you definitely don't need to feel guilty about this. There are plenty of store bought snacks that get my tick of approval as a dietitian. I do try, where possible, to buy items in bulk to avoid single use plastics and contributing to waste, but I also recognise that's not always possible (and sometimes you also just need some grab and go options!). My own philosophy is I do what I can, when I can, and that every little thing I CAN do helps. 

One of the best things you can do is learn how to read a Nutrition Information Panel (NIP). You can use this information over and over again to decipher foods you find in the supermarket and make the best choice. If you'd just rather steal my ideas for snacks, then feel free to scroll on down.


Understanding Nutrition Labels….

Ideally most of the food we purchase should be minimally processed and from the 5 major food groups. Many processed snacks for kids are high in refined carbohydrates, meaning they are often low in fibre (and other essential nutrients), and higher in sugar, fat or salt. Understanding nutrition information panels (NIPs) can be a powerful tool for helping you make better choices when it comes to the foods you select at the supermarket. 

Example Nutrition Information Panel 


Servings per package: 1        Serving Size: 35g


Average Quantity per Serving

Average quantity per 100g



644 KJ

154 Kcal

1840 KJ

440 Kcal



5.6 g

Fat, total


  • saturated









  • sugars








Dietary Fibre






* Contains on average 10g of wholegrain 

Ingredient list: whole grain oats (15%), Whole grain oats flour 14%, coconut butter (cream), Brown Sugar, Wheat flour (folate), golden syrup, berries (cranberries 6% (cranberries, sugar, sunflower oil), blueberries 2%), grape juice, grain dextrins, baking soda, antioxidant (rosemary extract)
Contains: Oat, wheat and milk.

What to look for..

Per Serve or 100g?: Using the per 100g column will allow you to compare different products. 

Energy: For snacks, 600kj or less is desirable

Fat: Look for products with less than 10g of fat per 100g.

Carbohydrates - Sugars: Sugar from natural sources such as fruit or milk (lactose) are not associated with health problems. Ideally we want to minimise added sugar in our diet. Foods with more than 15g of sugar are likely to be high in added sugar. Check the ingredient list to check for sources of both natural and added sugar. Ingredients will be listed from least to most, so if sugar features in the first few ingredients the product has more added sugar.


Watch Out!: added sugar comes in many forms! Look out for these words: sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, glucose, maple syrup, honey, golden syrup, rice syrup, coconut sugar.


Fibre - Not always included on NIPs. Look for products with more than 3g of fibre per 100g

Sodium - Choose the item lowest in sodium. Less than 400mg of sodium per 100g is desirable. 

Want to know more about reading food labels, head here.


My Pick of Supermarket Snacks for your Lunch Boxes

Roasted nori sheets -

These are a great source of iodine. 1 small 8g packet provides 30% of a young child’s daily iodine requirement. It should be noted that these are very high in salt but as the serving size is so small (8g) the total quantity of salt consumed is small. 


Fruit/Raisin bread - 

I’ve always got a loaf in my freezer. Sure it has some added sugar, but most of the sugar comes from the added dried fruit. It’s low GI, filling and has around 120 calories per buttered slice (1 slice is plenty for a recess snack). Tip top have also have a wholemeal Raisin toast and that’s got my tick of approval


Cheese and Crackers -

Even when you’re low on time you can still still grab a handful of crackers and cut a slice of cheese (or a cheese stick if you really need to). Not all crackers are created equal though. You definitely want to focus on buying a wholegrain variety (look for those with at least 3g of fibre per 100g) and with a sodium content less than 400mg/100g (harder to find). 

My top picks would be Ryvita wholegrain crisp breads, Vita-Wheat crisp bread range and crackers (note these all exceed 400mg of sodium/100g,but most are under 500g/100g) and Sakata Wholegrain rice crackers (contains an impressive 9.6g fibre per 100g and has less 400mg of sodium/100g). 

Team with your child’s preferred cheese and you have a filling snack option high in fibre, B vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids (from the seeds), calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

Roasted or puffed Chickpeas and Fava Beans -

The crunchy texture of these products will appeal to many kids. 

They come in plain (lightly salted), as well a variety of other flavours. They also hit the mark for fibre content, sodium and overall calories, not to mention they also count towards your child’s daily intake of vegetables!

Popcorn -

Look for those with a lower sodium content, ideally less than 400mg per 100g. I’d also stay away from any of the sweetened varieties, children don’t need the extra sugar in these products. My pick would be CobsR natural sea salt variety. I buy it in the large packs and portion it out to save money, but if you’re really low on time you may prefer the individually packed option.

Coles “buddy” dried fruit and seed packets -

with a few varieties on offer there should be something here that most kids will like. Some varieties contain “fun” foods like mini marshmallows and chocolate buds. This personally doesn’t bother me and I find the inclusions of some fun foods in a trail mix makes it more likely my kids will eat the whole thing. 

Fruit straps -

There are a few different options on the market now, for example The Fruit Wise, Carmen's and Bear Yo Yo’s. All brands are made from 100% dehydrated fruit with no added sugars or fillers. Per serve these products contain about 1/2 the calories of a fresh piece of fruit. Most people don’t find them as filling as eating fresh fruit (because the water content has been removed from them) and of course being quite sticky they aren’t a great option for your child’s teeth. I wouldn’t make this your every day fruit option but they’re a reasonable back up. 

Fruit Bars -

We love The Mood Food Company’s range of Natural Wellbeing Bars. They are free of added sugars and made entirely of fruits, legumes and seeds. They’re also boosted with inulin a gut loving prebiotic fibre to support optimal gut health. 

FodBods Protein Bars -

My pick out of the very many options out there. These are probably the only protein bar I've ever had that actually taste good. Designed specifically for people with FODMAP intolerances, they are suitable for everyone. Designed with dietitians, these bars are made from 100% natural  plant based ingredients. They even have a small "buddies range" for school (I love the strawberry shortcake flavour) and the traditional protein bar is great for active teens (my boys love the peanut choc chunk). 

Messy Monkeys -

Out of all the flavoured savoury snacks/biscuits on the market for children these would probably be my pick. They are high in fibre (2g per serve) and don’t contain artificial flavours or flavour enhancers, the salt and fat content is however quite high (as are many other similar products in this category).

Sunrice Mini Bites -

Another good pick in the savoury snacks category. Made from brown rice the fibre content is good, the fat content is less than the Messy Monkey’s above and sodium content is similar (above 400mg for all flavours). Contains natural flavours.

Pretzels -

We like pretzels for their no fuss ingredient lists. Beware though many brands are excessively high in salt. Our pick are the Parkers mini pretzels in the multi pack (unfortunately the bulk pack has much higher sodium levels)

Mini dips and baby cucumbers -

We love the Obela mini dips for the convenience of their grab and go size!  Keep and pack of baby cuqs (cucumbers) on hand and have you have a super healthy snack prepared in 30 seconds!

Yoghurt Pouches -

Look varieties with no or low added sugar such as Jalna Purity Range or Rafferty’s Garden. Higher protein ranges like Chobani FIt or YoPro's are great for active teens. 


1 comment

  • Thanks this was really helpful :-)

    Kelli on

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