Back to school season is upon us! Get ready to show your mommin' skills with these easy snack ideas for back to school. You'll love how cheap and simple these are and the kids will love how delicious they are!

Variety of snacks on a plate, from Shelf Cooking.

Anyone else's kids come home from school starving like they haven't eaten in years?! Satisfy those growling tummies with these cheap and easy snack ideas for back to school.

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Whether you need something that travels to school well, or you just need to fill hungry bellies when they get home, there's a snack on this list to please everyone! Sweet, fruity, salty, and everything in between—we've got you covered!

So go ahead, mama, get your speech ready. These easy snack ideas for back to school will have you winning the “best mom” awards all year long!


The key to keeping those hungry, hungry hippos happy is to make a back-to-school snack plan ahead of time. Trust us, you don't want to be left empty-handed when the school bell rings. Include snacks in your meal plan and your food prep so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time asking about their day!

These snacks aren't just great for after school, either. Most are easy to pack up and send to school as well! Keep reading to get all the easy snack ideas for back to school. Plus, we have tips for how to pack them!


Homemade fruit leathers rolled up in a cup from Shelf Cooking.

Satisfy their hunger and fill them up with something healthy. Skip the overpriced, unhealthy store-bought snack items that are chock-full of sugar. These easy snack ideas are good for them and your budget.

  • Fruit Leather – Walk on by the fruit roll-ups at the store and make this easy homemade fruit leather instead!
  • Peanut Butter and Banana Roll-Ups – Cheap, easy, and made with ingredients you probably already have, this snack feels like a treat! Simply spread peanut butter on a tortilla and wrap a banana up inside.
  • Apple Nachos – Make caramel apple nachos, but swap the caramel with warmed nut butter and topped with a few chocolate chips. Yeah, sign us up!
  • Fruit Salad – Our fruit salad recipe so good, they'll be asking for it daily!
  • Homemade Applesauce – Take those too-soft apples and turn them into applesauce using your slow cooker. Fill reusable applesauce pouches and these are ready to send to school!
  • Smoothie – Whip out the blender and toss in fruit, greens, milk or juice, and voila! The result? A healthy snack for all! Prep ahead of time with these smoothie packs or grab some popsicle molds and freeze a big batch of smoothie pops.
  • Yogurt Dipped Strawberries – Dip strawberries in greek yogurt, freeze on wax paper, and watch little hands devour after a long day at school! Just a delicious as chocolate-covered strawberries, but protein-packed.
  • Fruit Kabobs – While your kids may not get pumped about a bowl of fruit, they'll go crazy for fruit on a skewer!

These easy snack ideas with fruit are cheap and delicious. They'll be a hit for them, but not a hit on your pocketbook!


Get in those 3-5 servings with a school-time snack they'll love! These veggie snack ideas are a crowd-pleaser, for sure. Bonus: They don't even have to know it's good for them. 😉

  • Egg Muffin Cups – Our kids love these! They're even good cold if you ask us. You'll love how easy our egg muffin cup recipe is and you can use whatever veggies you have on hand!
  • Zucchini Pizza Bites – A healthier and WAY cheaper alternative to Bagel Bites or Totino's!
  • DIY Go-Gurt – These genius homemade yogurt pouches have added veggies in them! Simply blend one cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup fruit, and 1/2 cup of veggies, then add to popsicle bags. Refrigerate or freeze, and then enjoy!
  • Ants on a Log – This is a classic snack that should never go out of style. Mix it up with different nut butters and toppings!
  • Buffalo Cauliflower – Make a batch of these tasty buffalo cauliflower ahead of time and reheat in the oven as the week goes on!
  • Pinwheels – These are great for making ahead. Try this yum sauce pinwheel recipe from Thirty Handmade Days.

Snacking on vegetables never tasted so GOOD, right?


Energy bites in a white bowl from Shelf Cooking.

These easy snack ideas for back to school check all the boxes. Cheap, simple, easy to transport—you just can't go wrong with any of them!

  • Easy Energy Bites – If you've never tried these easy energy bites, then stop what you're doing and run to get the ingredients from your kitchen right now! Trust us, once you make these, they'll become a staple.
  • Chips and Pretzels – A kid favorite. Don't buy the pricey pre-packaged snack packs. Instead, bag your own and save big!
  • Yogurt and Granola – Use this homemade granola recipe and save a ton!
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs – Cheap, easy, and protein-packed. We even have four different ways to make hard-boiled eggs. Mix it up and devil some, too!
  • Homemade Hummus – Blend chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, and your herbs of choice for a healthy, cheap snack. Then, dip some fresh veggies in it!
  • Popcorn – We just can't leave popcorn off the list. It literally costs pennies and is full of fiber! We use an air popper for easy, stress-free homemade popcorn.
  • Banana Muffins – Turn this banana bread recipe from our sister site, Fun Cheap or Free, into muffins for an easy, transportable snack!
  • Granola Bars – Don't spend your hard-earned money on the expensive store version. We'll show you how to make your own granola bars easily. Plus, they take less than 15 minutes!

With SO many incredible snack options, those hungry tummies will be happy and full before you know it. By preparing a few of these tasty options ahead of time, you can spend less time worrying about snack time and more time living life! Rotate your snack ideas and they'll never get tired of them. #MomWin


A back-to-school snack is only as good as its ability to travel to school, right? Here are some of our best tips for packing those goodies for snack time at school:

  • Use a Thermos – Grab a handy snack-sized thermos to keep your hot snacks hot and your cold snacks cold! For non-liquid items like egg muffin cups, place a paper towel in the bottom to absorb any extra moisture.
  • Pre-Pack Snacks – Quit buying over-priced snack bags and portion them out yourself with some ziplock bags. You'll save big and you'll be able to grab-and-go when you're running late!
  • Make Your Own Dip Cups – Hummus, peanut butter, ranch, or any other dip that floats your boat! Grab some 2-ounce cups for easy traveling. No spills and cheaper than prepackaged store-bought cups!
  • Homemade Bento Boxes – Fill a sectioned food container with any combination of these yummy snack ideas for a fun variety! Make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge for little hands to grab and take. Check out our DIY lunchables post for even more ideas!
  • DIY Ice Pack – Can't find an ice pack? No problem! Add four cups of water and 1.5 cups of rubbing alcohol to a gallon-sized baggie and freeze for a moldable ice pack. Perfect for keeping snacks chilled until the afternoon!

No more stressing about snack time with these easy snack ideas for back to school. Your kids will have happy bellies and you'll be a happy mama, too! Sounds like a winning school year if you ask us.

Do you have a favorite back to school snack or tip? Comment below and let us know if you do!

Image with text that reads "snack ideas for back to school", from Shelf Cooking

Want more kid-friendly recipes and meal prep hacks? If so, check out these posts!

Happy snacking!