25 Snacks Ideas for School & Work

All of the following are dairy-free (though you don’t have to be dairy-free to enjoy them!), and there are many snack options for vegan, gluten-free, paleo, and multiple food allergies, too. Even if you don’t have any food restrictions, you will still find some great back-to-school and work snacks to choose from. Plus, it never hurts to be prepared for any milk-, nut-, or peanut-free policies!

  1. Whole Fruit – Known as nature’s original pre-packaged snack, you can’t beat fruit for its portability, nutrients, and wonderful sweet taste. The following fruits were mentioned as favorites for school and work snacks: Bananas, Apples (if sliced, dip in citrus to prevent browning), Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Grapes, Blueberries, and Raspberries.
  2. Chopped Fresh Fruit Salad – It will keep for a few hours in your lunch sack, but if you have refrigeration available, even better. Put any of the following in some portable containers: Diced Mango, Pineapple Chunks, Melon Balls (watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe), and Kiwi.
  3. Dried or Dehydrated Fruit – When you need some energy foods with a longer shelf-life, dried fruit comes in very handy. For straight-up snacking, these were the top picks: Blueberries, Raisins, Cranberries, Apricots, and Mulberries.
  4. All-Natural Bars – For shelf-stable convenience, stash a few of these bars for work snacks: Larabars, Kit’s Organic Bars, Clif Mojo Bars, LUNAbars, and Kind Bars (note that a few flavors of Kind do contain dairy).
  5. Peanut Butter & Pretzels  – You can keep this allergen-free with SunButter and Ener-G pretzels.
  6. Nut or Seed Butter with Sliced Apples – To up the flavor factor, stir a little cinnamon and/or vanilla into the nut butter. If you’re bored with peanut butter and almond butter, then make your own nut butter with your favorite nuts and/or seeds.
  7. Hummus with Cut Veggies – Our group voted for baby carrots, celery, and sliced red bell peppers.
  8. Hummus with Olives and Crackers or Pita Chips – For gluten-free, Mary’s Gone Crackers was a dipping favorite.
  9. Smashed Avocado with Baby Carrots – To keep the avocado from browning, mash in some lemon or lime juice. You can even season to taste with salt and spices for a quick guacamole-to-go!
  10. Canned Wild Salmon Salad with Crackers or Lettuce Wraps – Tuna works well, too, but our group liked the salmon for the extra omega-3’s. A couple mentioned enjoying it straight from the can with whole grain crackers, but you might like the salmon salad recipe below instead.
  11. Hard-Boiled Eggs – Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, and paprika for a tasty twist.
  12. Grilled Chicken Breast – Yes, at only 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and with 25 grams of protein, this is one low calorie, protein-packed snack!
  13. Jerky – Seek out organic and all-natural options if possible. And yes, there is vegan / vegetarian jerky, but see below for a healthier, homemade recipe.
  14. Trail Mix – It doesn’t get much easier than trail mix. Toss your favorite dried fruits, nuts, and other tasty items (dairy-free chocolate chips anyone?) into some Ziploc baggies and away you go.
  15. Dates Stuffed with Almonds – I popular Larabar-like snack.
  16. Figs Stuffed with Hazelnuts – Why should dates have all the fun?
  17. Yogurt or Kefir – There are now so many dairy-free varieties available! You can even find “Greek” non-dairy yogurt and kefir from companies like So Delicious Dairy Free. Top the yogurt with diced fruit, whole grain cereal, chopped nuts, chia seeds, or ground flax for an extra flavor and nutrition boost.
  18. Protein Powder – Keep a stash of packets or baggies to mix into water or juice when on-the-go. Brands like My Vega are dairy-free and come in a variety of flavors.
  19. Graham Crackers – Great for noshing on their own, or you can make cracker-style PB&J sandwiches. Graham Crackers are really tasty and you don’t have to worry about smooshed bread!
  20. Frozen Mini-Muffins – Pop them in your bag or purse, and they will defrost just in time for the munchies. See below for some healthy mini-muffin recips.
  21. Dark Chocolate – Enjoy a square or three – it’s healthier than donuts! Recommended brands from the chat included attune probiotic dark chocolate bars and Enjoy Life chocolate chunks, but you can find an abundance of brands in the No Dairy Product Lists.
  22. Cereal – For super easy kid-friendly and work snacks, pack up to-go containers of your favorite munchable cereals. Have a nice assortment to fit changing appetites. There are many dairy-free and gluten-free cereals available, in addition to granolas and tasty whole grain cereal options.
  23. Baked or Low Fat Tortilla Chips & Salsa – Did you know there are even gluten-free, fiber-rich bean-based tortilla chips out there?
  24. Green Smoothies – Grab a thermos, and fill it with a nutrient-dense juice or smoothie. A good quality thermos will keep beverages cool and soups hot for hours.
  25. Homemade or Store-Bought “Chips” – Apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, even eggplants can be lightly seasoned and dehydrated, baked, or pan-fried into chip form. If you lack the resources, check the snack section in the natural food aisle for some great, healthy varieties.

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