back to school

The Best Back-to-School Grocery Snacks

updated Aug 14, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

When it comes to packing school lunches, a well-stocked snack stash is the secret to keeping the lunch box love alive. Buy too many plain pretzels and you will start to see those same pretzels again when your kid gets home. Buy some exciting new treats, though, and you will soon become a parent hero. (Yes, you!)

To kick off the 2019 school year, we decided to round up the best new lunch box snacks we’ve tried so far this year. They’re all decently healthy, safe for nut-free schools, and sure to please little mouths.

Credit: Grace Rasmus

1. Babybel Mini Rolls, $4 for five

That’s right: Babybel now comes in pinwheel form! They’re not quite the same as the classic wax-covered rounds — they’re softer, milder, and string-cheesier (only without the strings). They’re very tasty and definitely fun to play with.

Credit: Grace Rasmus

2. Biena Baked Chickpea Puffs, $4 for 3.2 ounces

These puffs are near dupes for Pirate’s Booty — and yet they’re made from chickpeas! (And so they have 7 grams of plant protein per serving.) They have the same stick-to-your-fingers residue and they come in Vegan Ranch (our favorite), a fiery Blazin’ Hot, and classic Aged White Cheddar.

Credit: Danielle Centoni

3. Noosa Blended Lil Tubs, $1.50 for 4.5-ounces

While these 4.5-ounce Lil Tubs have been in some stores for a bit, two new flavors came out that had us extra excited: blended mixed berry and strawberry. 

Credit: Danielle Centoni

If your kid likes Rice Krispies Treats, try these. They have a decent ingredient list and are made with real blueberries. The treats also come in Strawberries & Cream, Cinnamon Churro, and Mint Chocolate Chip, but this one is our favorite.

Credit: Lauren Masur

Just when you thought we’d reached peak cauliflower, we found the veggie in tortilla chip form. The Lime version reminds us of Tostitos Hint of Lime, and the Nacho one tastes decidedly like Cool Ranch Doritos.

Credit: Lauren Masur

6. Lesser Evil Egg White Curls, $5 for 4 ounces

These light and airy puffs are made from cassava flour and dried egg whites. They’re like Cheez Doodles, only made of eggs! And they come in fun flavors!

Credit: Lauren Masur

7. Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs, $7 for six 1-ounce bags

More snacks made of chickpeas! (Kids like hummus these days, so why not?) These now come in a lunch-worthy pack. Also, look for the Vegan White Cheddar flavor.

These sweet and chewy cookies are made with organic chocolate chips and cocoa powder. And they’re mini, so it feels like a treat to get to eat more than one.

Credit: Lauren Masur

9. Love, Corn Crunchy Corn Snacks, $4 for 4 ounces

If your kid likes corn nuts, he’ll love these. They’re incredibly crunchy with just the right amount of seasoning, and come in two flavors: smoked bbq and sea salt.

What are the lunch box snacks that you’re stocking up on this year?