Use code SIDECHEF for $10 off your first shoppable recipe order.

Healthy Snack Hacks

When the school year or workweek gets busy, it’s tempting to rely on pre-packaged snacks that are easy to grab. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of healthy substitutions that all contain simple and accessible ingredients.

SideChef

Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
GO TO BLOG

Love This Recipe?

SideChef

Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
GO TO BLOG

Back to Snack

A backpack full of new school supplies is one of the best parts of the back-to-school season. Freshly sharpened No.2 pencils, wide-ruled notebooks, smooth ballpoint pens, and beautifully bright highlighters all symbolize the excitement and potential of a brand new school year. For us, even more exciting is a kitchen packed full of after-school snacking possibilities. Whether you’re creating snacks for yourself or your kids, here are easy substitutions for all your favorite pre-packaged treats.

Ice Cream

If your kids run in the door, throw down their book bags, and dig right into the ice cream, offer them a thick and creamy smoothie instead. If they need some convincing, serve the smoothie in a bowl and set out small helpings of different toppings (granola, chopped fruit, nut butter, shredded coconut, etc.) for them to sprinkle over their smoothie bowls. Healthy and fun!

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Avocado Chocolate Smoothie

Live Eat Learn

With just 5 ingredients, this simple Avocado Chocolate Smoothie is a healthy and decadent start to your morning!

Pizza

Have hungry teenagers who eat you out of house and home? Keep some frozen pizza dough and pizza sauce on hand, chop up whatever leftover veggies, meat, and cheese you have in the fridge and you’ll be well on your way to easy pizza muffins that are healthier and less expensive than delivery.

EASYPEANUT-FREE

Pizza Pie Meal in a Muffin

Where Your Treasure Is

These little Muffin Tin Pizza Pies are made with pie crust, Italian sausage, tomato sauce, vegetable toppings, and mozzarella cheese, all prepared in a muffin tin to make a delicious "Meal in a Muffin." If you have the meat, sauce, and dough prepared ahead of time, they come together in minutes.

Cheese and Crackers

There are few snacks as satisfying as a plate of crisp crackers and a big stack of sharp cheddar cheese. While not inherently unhealthy, we suggest changing it up on occasion by swapping in some veggies for the crackers. Even better, make a big batch of hummus and chop up veggies on a Sunday. Keep these ingredients in a prominent place in the fridge for easy and healthy snacking.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Smooth Garlic Hummus

30 Pounds of Apples

Smooth and creamy garlic hummus perfect for dipping!

Fruit Snacks

While they may be a dentist’s worst nightmare, there is something undeniably fascinating about fluorescent-colored fruit snacks. No need to ditch these snacks entirely, just make your own healthier version. Live Eat Learn’s version contains only 3 ingredients and has a beautiful, natural red hue.

GLUTEN-FREEPEANUT-FREE

3 Ingredient Fruit Roll-Ups

Live Eat Learn

These 3 Ingredient Fruit Roll-Ups are a simple and delicious way to make your own fruit leather, without any fancy equipment or ingredients!

Granola Bars

Granola bars are excellent to have on hand when you’re running errands or dropping kids off at their various activities. However, these bars often contain added sugar and preservatives. Make your own version and you’ll have a healthy alternative to turn to when time is tight. If you have picky eaters, let them assist in the cooking process and they may be more likely to give the final product a try.

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Grain Free Coconut Energy Bites

Girl Eats Greens

This recipe uses hazelnut flour, almonds, and unsweetened shredded coconut instead of oats. And you know what? Flavor explosion.

Big Appetites

Do you have a teenage boy who likes to bring his friends over? We feel for you and your grocery bill. When a crudités platter just won’t cut it, consider a heartier snack like these BBQ Pulled Pork Waffles. Separate the waffles into quarters and place them on a large platter, then serve along with some cut-up fruit. Watch them disappear in a matter of seconds.

TREE NUT-FREEFISH-FREE

BBQ Pulled Pork Waffles

Pressure Cook Recipes

Got leftover pulled pork from last night? Make these BBQ Pulled Pork Savory Waffles! The buttery waffle is crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Stuffed with creamy cheese bits and smoky BBQ pulled pork, these sweet and savory waffles are delicious till the very last bite!

Potato Chips

Resist the allure of crunchy empty calories and try your hand at making your own savory snack. These Sweet Potato Fries are served with a creamy avocado dipping sauce perfect for snacking on after school or with dinner.

GLUTEN-FREEPEANUT-FREE

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Avocado Sauce

Live Eat Learn

These Baked Sweet Potato Fries are crispy on the outside, tender on the outside, and dipped in a creamy, herby avocado sauce.

Pudding Pouches

Pouches of yogurt, pudding, and applesauce create unnecessary waste and are much more expensive when bought in individual containers. Make a big batch of pudding or applesauce at the beginning of the week and dish out as needed.

GLUTEN-FREEFISH-FREE

Sweet Potato Brown Rice Pudding

Joyous Health

This Sweet Potato Brown Rice Pudding checks all the boxes for a joyous-approved treat, making it both healthy and delish!

Applesauce

Save this recipe for Chunky Homemade Applesauce to your cookbook and you’ll be prepared when you end up with an excess amount of apples during apple-picking season!

EASYGLUTEN-FREE

Chunky Homemade Applesauce

Once Upon A Chef

Homemade applesauce is richly flavored, tart, and sweet, almost like apple pie filling, and a world apart from store-bought.

Happy Snacking!

With these healthy options on hand, you'll stop reaching for empty calories and store-bought snacks!

Sign Up for the SideChef
Newsletter
Get weekly recipes, grocery shopping, meal planning, and home-cooking inspiration sent straight in your inbox
Will be used in accordance with our PRIVACY POLICY.
TIPS & TRICKS
How to Make the Perfect Sushi Burrito
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Blogger Spotlight: Anthony Serrano, King of the Grill
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Blogger Spotlight: Jon Bailey of 2DadsWithBaggage
TRENDING
How To: Poke Bowls
RECIPE REVIEW
Here are the Winners of Our Mac and Cheese Taste-Off
TIPS & TRICKS
Healthy Substitutions
TIPS & TRICKS
Meal Planning on a Budget
FOOD & SUSTAINABILITY
How To: Conserve Water While Cooking
TIPS & TRICKS
The Perfect Charcuterie Board
LEARN COOK EAT
The Biga, the Better: Baking with Fermented Dough
ARTICLE
Quick and Easy Meals
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
4 Professional Bloggers on their Supermom Powers
TIPS & TRICKS
How to Make the Perfect Sushi Burrito
The instagramable fusion food turned into a perfect weeknight meal.
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Blogger Spotlight: Anthony Serrano, King of the Grill
Chef Anthony Serrano shares everything you need to know about how to level up your skills for the summer and grill meat and vegetables to perfection.
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Blogger Spotlight: Jon Bailey of 2DadsWithBaggage
Take a glimpse into doting father Jon Bailey’s insights on food and how they’re raising two teenage girls.
TRENDING
How To: Poke Bowls
Poke bowls are a delicious, compact way to enjoy a burst of Hawaiian flavor. Packed with fresh fish, tons of veggies, and a sprinkling of savory toppings, they are super nutritious and easy to put together. Get ready to say aloha to your new favorite meal!
RECIPE REVIEW
Here are the Winners of Our Mac and Cheese Taste-Off
Extra cheese, please! In our first culinary partner throwdown, Marley’s Menu’s classic mac and cheese recipe gets high honors
TIPS & TRICKS
Healthy Substitutions
Here are some of the easiest and most effective healthy substitutions to make any recipe guilt-free.
TIPS & TRICKS
Meal Planning on a Budget
Cooking at home can spare you money, calories, and even time if you play it right. We're here to guide you through the art of meal planning!
FOOD & SUSTAINABILITY
How To: Conserve Water While Cooking
By being mindful of your habits and following this simple guide, you can conserve this precious resource you may be wasting in the kitchen.
TIPS & TRICKS
The Perfect Charcuterie Board
Charcuterie boards are like the elegant older sister of the deli platter, a simple yet impressive snack for guests to graze on before the meal.
LEARN COOK EAT
The Biga, the Better: Baking with Fermented Dough
Take your dough to the next level with the secrets behind this Italian baking technique that results in extra light and healthy bread!
ARTICLE
Quick and Easy Meals
A collection of quick and easy everyday recipes.
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
4 Professional Bloggers on their Supermom Powers
Motherhood is hard work, but the amazing moms of our Culinary Partner Network sure make it look easy!
You're one smart cookie! 🍪
By using this site, you agree to the use of cookies by SideChef and our partners for analytics and personalized content. ACCEPT
SideChef: 18k Recipes, Meal Planner, Grocery List, Personalization
INSTALL APP
Make cooking easy
Discover personalized recipes, organize your meal plans, shop ingredients, and cook with confidence alongside our FREE, step-by-step cooking app.