Field trips are some of the most memorable educational activities school-aged children partake in, but they’re not the easiest trips to pack food for. Typically, bagged lunches and snacks are required on field trips. It may sound like a tall order to find healthy snacks that travel well, fit inside a lunchbox or backpack, and are something your child actually wants to eat.
We’ve scoured the snack aisles and done the homework for you. Here are some of our favorite healthy, field trip snacks for your child to enjoy on their next excursion.
Snacks for Field Trips
It can be easy to pass field trip snacks off as just for fun or a treat, but they hold so much more value. Snacks help energize children between meals and can contribute valuable nutrients, like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, to their daily intake. That’s why it’s important to choose healthy snacks.
Lots of snacks contain added sugars, salt, or unhealthy fat that don’t benefit a child’s nutrition. Instead, we recommend looking for snacks that are made with wholesome ingredients and contain under 5 grams of added sugar per serving. Snacks that contain protein and fiber help kids stay fuller longer, so they can have fun on their field trip.
In addition to nutrition, snacks for field trips should ideally be easy to eat, produce minimal waste, and shelf-stable without the need for refrigeration.
Field Trip Snack Ideas
Here are 11 ideas to help you plan healthy snacks for field trips.
1. Beef Jerky
If you’re looking for a protein packed snack for a field trip, jerky is the answer. Chomps makes mini versions of our original meat sticks, called Chomplings, that are perfect for snacking. Chomplings are available in two protein choices: 100% grass-fed beef or antibiotic-free turkey. They contain zero sugar, no weird additives, and are flavored with simple ingredients, like garlic, salt, and pepper.
2. Fruit Snacks
Most kids enjoy the sweet taste and chewy texture of fruit snacks, but not all brands are created equal. Look for fruit snacks that contain real fruit and are low in added sugar, like Annie’s Organic Fruit Peel-A-Parts. The pull apart design makes this a fun to eat snack, plus they’re naturally colored with fruit and vegetable juice, and contain just 4 grams of added sugar per serving.
3. Fruit Chips
For kids who love sweet snacks, chips made from fruit are another great natural option. Bare Baked Fruit Chips come in snack-size packs of either apple, banana, or coconut chips. The apple and banana chips contain just one ingredient: baked fruit. The coconut chips do contain some added sugar, but it’s just 4 grams per serving.Try mixing fruit chips with dry cereal, nuts, and/or chocolate chips to create a sweet and savory trail mix.
4. Applesauce Pouches
Fruit pouches are easy for young children to eat, but they also make an excellent field trip snack for kids of all ages because most don’t require refrigeration. You can find plain applesauce, cinnamon, and applesauce blended with other fruits and even vegetables. GoGo Squeez Fruit & Veggie pouches blend carrots, sweet potatoes, and more with applesauce for several tasty flavors with no added sugar or junk ingredients.
5. Fresh Fruit
Many fresh fruits are easy to pack as is and require no refrigeration. Think: bananas, apples, grapes, and oranges. To make it more fun, pair fruit with individually packaged dips, like Brainiac Brain Butter, which are nut butters made with choline and omega-3 fatty acids to support brain health. Be sure to check whether your child’s class and/or school allows nut-containing foods, as some children are highly allergic.
Popcorn counts as a whole grain and is a good source of fiber. The healthiest popcorn is popped in quality oil and free from added sugar and additives, like artificial flavorings and color.
LesserEvil is a great choice for individual snack-sized bags of popcorn. Their popcorn is 100% organic, popped in coconut oil, and seasoned simply with Himalayan pink salt. One serving delivers 4 grams of fiber.
7. Fruit Snack Bars
While granola bars are a portable snack option, most contain a good deal of added sugars. A healthier option is to choose snack bars made with dried fruit, which is naturally sweet and eliminates the need for extra sweeteners.
Skout Snack Bars are made with 100% organic ingredients, like dates, almonds, seeds, and berries, and contain zero added sugar. They come in a ton of kid-friendly flavors, like Apple Pie, Chocolate Brownie, and French Toast. We recommend Chocolate Peanut Butter, which has 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per bar.
8. Peanut Butter and Jelly
PB&J sandwiches are a classic kid favorite and totally count as a snack. If you’re making your own, try sandwiching natural nut butter and reduced sugar jelly on whole grain bread and slicing it into finger sandwiches. You can also spread it on sandwich crackers or a tortilla, roll, and slice it into pinwheels for bite-sized snacking. If your child’s class does not permit peanut butter, try sunflower seed butter.
Chubby Snacks has healthier individually sealed and packaged sandwiches made with peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter, naturally sweetened jam, and organic bread. One sandwich packs 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of filling fiber.
9. Roasted Chickpeas
For students who prefer crunchy, salty snacks, roasted chickpeas are a great alternative to less nutritious chips and pretzels. Chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and iron.
You can roast chickpeas at home or try The Good Bean, which are Project Non-GMO Verified, available in individual snacking packs, and come in flavors like Sea Salt, Classic Hummus, and Sweet Sriracha.
10. Veggie Crisps
Healthier chips and crisps made with veggies and legumes make it easier to sneak some added nutrition into your child’s lunchbox, while still being fun to eat.
Off The Eaten Path Veggie Crisps are made with simple, non-GMO ingredients, including green and yellow peas, black beans, rice flour, and sunflower oil. A single snack-sized pack provides 4 grams each of protein and fiber.
11. Smoothie Pouches
Typically, smoothies aren’t an easy to take on-the-go snack, especially for kids who are prone to spills. You can solve that problem with individual smoothie pouches — yes, the same kind you see toddlers sipping from.
Noka Superfood Smoothie Pouches are 100% organic and non-GMO and made with wholesome fruits, brown rice protein, and “superfoods” like flax seed, camu camu, and acai for a punch of antioxidants. Each smoothie contains 5 grams of protein and 5 or 6 grams of fiber.
Pack the Best Field Trip Snacks
Field trips are a special occasion for school-aged kiddos. Packing your child nutritious snacks from brands that prioritize wholesome ingredients, like Chomps, helps fuel your child’s adventure and gives them something fun to munch on their big day out. Chomplings are individually wrapped mini meat sticks, making them the perfect field trip beef jerky.