Advice from the NHS to limit children’s shop-bought snacks to a maximum of two a day, each under 100 calories, is designed to make our lives easier – helping parents make quick, healthy decisions when buying food at the supermarket.


Figures from Public Health England show that the average primary school child could be consuming a whopping three times more added sugar than recommended daily limits. In response, the NHS’s Change4Life campaign encourages parents to make healthier choices when out and about, or doing the weekly shop.

The Change4Life food scanner app is another useful resource that shows parents how much sugar, salt and saturated fat is in a packaged product.

For hungry bellies during the afternoon slump, these healthy snacks are what's needed. They're perfect for little hands, too, and packed full of nutritional benefits. If you're looking for something to get kids in the kitchen, you'll be glad to hear they're easy to prepare as well. Check out our guide to kids' cooking projects for more ideas on delicious dinners that will keep budding chefs busy.

Discover our healthy family recipes, top 10 healthy meals for kids and school packed lunch ideas. Plus, read about sugar addiction and children.

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What about homemade snacks?

The current advice relates to shop-bought snacks only – this means that homemade snacks for kids are excluded from the two-a-day, 100-calorie limit. This is because making your own recipe puts you in control of the ingredients, and therefore they are likely to be lower in sugar, salt, saturated fat and additives. It's worth remembering that fruit and vegetables are not limited, and are always the best choice for children between meals.

Healthy snacks recipes

1. Pitta pocket

Pitta pocket

Ready in minutes by using a few wholesome ingredients, pitta pockets are the perfect solution to the mid-afternoon munchies. This wholemeal pitta stuffed with chicken breast, cucumber and sweet cherry tomatoes is under 150 calories and low in fat.

2. Red pepper hummus with crispbread snaps

Red pepper houmous

This red pepper hummus is a great way to sneak more veg into this delicious dip. Pair with crunchy courgette, carrot and cucumber batons for a simple, quick snack that's high in fibre. Plus, it's dairy- and gluten-free.

3. Fruitburst muffins

Fruit burst muffins

These bite-sized, low-fat fruity muffins are full of apricots, cranberries and blueberries, and make an ideal afternoon snack or on-the-go breakfast. You may want to double the batch and keep some for yourself!

4. Frozen fruit sticks

Frozen fruit skewers

These fun, fruity skewers make a quick and simple dessert or snack, and the lime and passion fruit drizzle adds another dimension to these DIY ice pops. They're packed with vitamin C, thanks to all the fresh fruit.

5. Instant frozen berry yogurt

Instant frozen berry yogurt

Three ingredients, 2 minutes and a blender are all you need to whip up this sweet, low-calorie frozen berry yogurt. It has the texture of ice cream, flavour of summer and fewer calories than your standard pud.

6. Rainbow fruit skewers

Rainbow fruit skewers

Full of colour and fresh fruit, these vitamin-packed skewers lend lunchboxes a bit of rainbow cheer. Kids like helping assemble them, and you can vary the colours and fruit varieties.

7. Fruity sundae

Fruity sundae with berries

This pot of yogurt swirled with mashed strawberries and topped with mixed berries is lower in sugar than shop-bought yogurts. And, instead of a long list of additives and ingredients, this is simply made with fruit and natural yogurt. Pack in airtight containers or a recycled screw-top jar and you’ll be cutting down on plastic waste, too.

8. Choco-dipped tangerines

Chocolate dipped tangerines

We all crave chocolate sometimes, and presenting it as a tempting shell for something fruity is a great way to satisfy tastebuds. These delicious tangerine bites are perfect for kids and adults alike.

9. Cheese wheatmeal biscuits


Our quick-cook biscuits combine wholemeal flour with oatmeal and cheddar for a savoury bite that's perfect for lunchboxes. They're low in sugar and made with none of the nasties you'll find in processed biscuits. Cut into your kids’ favourite shapes, or simply roll into balls and flatten.

10. Sweet potato crisps

Sweet potato crisps in a lunchbox

Made with just two ingredients – sweet potatoes and olive oil – these baked crisps couldn’t be simpler. Why spend money on processed packets of crisps when you can make your own in half an hour?

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What's your favourite go-to healthy snack? Let us know in the comments below.


All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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