26 DIY Lunchbox Snacks That Kids Will Absolutely Love
From granola bars to homemade trail mix, and so much more, kids will be delighted when they open up their lunchbox at school to see one of these easy, make-ahead snacks.
Apple Chips with Honey-Lemon Mint Yogurt Dip
With less sugar and processed ingredients than in store-bought varieties, these DIY lunchbox snacks are made with wholesome ingredients from your own kitchen. From popcorn to fruit bars to trail mix, we have the best healthy make ahead snacks for kids (and you, too!). First up—there's no need to buy pre-packaged apple chips when the real thing is so easy to make at home. These easy baked apple chips make a satisfyingly sweet—and nutritious—snack.
Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix
Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix satisfies a sweet and salty craving while giving you an energy boost throughout the day.
Cranberry Oat Bars
Kids will love to snack on these oat bars filled with a sweet cranberry mixture.
A chocolate-coated, powdered sugar-doused cereal treat is the perfect, portable dessert for shareable snacking. Classic Puppy Chow comes together in under 10 minutes using just a few simple ingredients. It's always a fan-favorite dessert, but if sharing isn't your style, curl up with your remote and a gigantic bowl and indulge all by yourself. Either way, we're not judging.
Peach-Strawberry Fruit Leather
This kid-friendly fruit snack recipe requires just 4 ingredients.
Cheddar Cheese Snack Crackers
Skip the store-bought version and create your own cheesy snack crackers for afternoon snacking.
Cheesy Pita Chips
Pair these herby, cheesy baked pita chips with your favorite homemade hummus recipe. If you don't have Manchego cheese, you can also use Parmesan cheese.
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
These bars are a perfectly portable snack you can prep on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge. The bars will continue to firm up as they chill.
Sea Salt Soft Pretzels
Twisted, buttered, and salted. Ball park soft pretzels can be enjoyed at home for a light snack or a crowd-pleasing party appetizer.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie Bars
They’re everything you love about a classic PB&J sandwich, but in cookie form (i.e. way better). These peanut butter and jelly bars feature a chewy peanut butter cookie layer, topped with a sweet-tart jammy layer, and finished off with a crunchy peanut butter streusel. While they would make for a perfect lunchbox treat to send with your kiddos (particularly if you’re not already packing them a PB&J sandwich), these nostalgic, deliciously balanced cookie bars are also a huge hit with the grown-up crowd. Pack them up for your next tailgate or potluck, and ready yourself for rave reviews. We went with grape jam for our bars, but feel free to use your favorite flavor instead.
Fruit and Nut Chewy Bars
Microwave Sweet Potato Chips
When the chip craving strikes, look no further than these healthy, homemade chips. Pro tip: You'll need a mandoline to slice the potato thin enough to crisp.
Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas
Dry your chickpeas as thoroughly as possible before cooking to ensure a satisfyingly crisp result. If you're planning to pack these flavor-coated, fiber-filled poppers as a to-go snack, be sure to allow them to cool completely on a flat surface first.
Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins
Smoked Paprika Popcorn
Inspired by the explosion of pre-popped popcorn on the market, we came up with some fresh and easy snacks of our own. The key to flavorful popcorn is to toss it very well with the butter first, then with the seasonings.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Dipped Pretzels are a salty, sweet pick-up dessert that's just as ideal for a snack as it is for a party.
Pistachio-Apple Bars with Chia Seeds
These homemade bars combine fruit and nut flavors to make a tasty snack.
Marshmallow Popcorn Treats with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Reminiscent of classic popcorn balls, these salty-sweet treats make for awesome low-fat, lunch box-friendly snacking. Make a batch with the kids this weekend to enjoy throughout the week.
Miniature Corn Muffins
Savory corn muffins are a delicious accompaniment to any lunch and a healthy alternative to high-calorie packaged muffins. Plus, the size makes them easy for little hands to manage.
Applesauce is a lunchbox staple. And when you make your own, you can customize the flavor by varying the spices, types of apples, and amount of added sugar.
Apricot Streusel Bars
These are a delicious alternative to boxed cereals and granola bars. You can tuck them in a lunchbox or carry in the car for an on-the-go breakfast. Play around with different nuts and preserves for an endless variety of flavor combinations.
Best Fudgy Brownies
Meet your new go-to recipe for homemade brownies. These decadent treats are extra rich and fudgy, thanks to a double hit of baking chocolate and bittersweet chocolate morsels. They’re incredibly easy to make, plus you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already. And while we’re definitely not above boxed brownie mixes, these homemade brownies would certainly steal the show at any party or get-together.
Pimento Cheese Puffs
Classic French gougères with a Southern remix. These airy pimiento cheese puffs make an impressive addition to virtually any party spread. While the choux pastry dough may seem intimidating to make, trust us—success is just a matter of not walking away from the pan. As long as you can stay put and keep stirring (so that your dough doesn’t burn), you can make gougères.
Copycat Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies
Is this recipe an exact replica of Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies? No. These are better. Rather than thin cakes, we went for oatmeal cookies that pack an almost peanut-butter-like flavor without any nuts. The crème filling completely nails what we love about the prepackaged pies, but takes things further with an almost airy, marshmallow-based consistency. If that doesn’t convince you, preparing these at home is just as quick (if not faster) than a grocery run.
Raspberry, Sumac, and Almond Snack Cake
Featuring a delightfully crunchy almond topping along with the delicate sunny brightness of sumac, this cake is effortlessly impressive. And given how easy it is to whip up, it’s a perfect go-to recipe for any occasion that calls for a special treat. Lightly toasting the almond flour before incorporating it into the batter imbues the cake with a delicious toasty depth; however, if you’re in a hurry, rest assured, the overall success of the recipe is not incumbent on this step. Serve as-is or with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Chai Swirl Cheesecake Bars
These eye-catching dessert bars taste like your favorite chai latte, reimagined in cheesecake form. Featuring flavorful swirls of chai-infused cream cheese filling, each bite offers richly aromatic, spiced flavor set against a cool and creamy vanilla cheesecake backdrop. They’re a simple dessert to make, but undeniably impressive.