Healthy Snack Ideas for Your Child’s Nursery Day


Packing snacks for your child’s day at nursery is more than just a routine task; it’s an opportunity to nourish their growing bodies and minds. Healthy snacks can keep children energised, focused, and happy throughout their day. Here’s a guide to the best healthy snacks you can pack for your child’s time at nursery in Glasgow.

Understanding the Importance of Healthy Snacking

Before diving into snack ideas, let’s understand why healthy snacking is crucial for young children.

Nutritional Needs of Children

Children have high energy and nutrient needs for their size, which means their food should be nutrient-dense. Healthy snacks can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for growth and development.

Establishing Healthy Eating Habits

The food preferences and eating habits developed in early childhood can last a lifetime. Offering a variety of healthy snacks helps establish a foundation for lifelong healthy eating habits.

Fruits and Vegetables: Nature’s Treats

Fruits and vegetables are ideal snacks as they are rich in essential nutrients and fiber, and low in calories.

Fresh Fruit

Pack bite-sized pieces or slices of fruits such as apples, bananas, grapes, berries, or melon. These are rich in vitamins and easy for little hands to eat.

Vegetable Sticks and Dips

Carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, or celery sticks can be paired with hummus or a yogurt-based dip. This combination offers a good mix of vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies

Blend a mix of fruits and vegetables with yogurt or milk for a delicious and nutritious smoothie. Use a spill-proof cup for easy drinking.

Whole Grains for Sustained Energy

Whole grains provide fiber, vitamins, and slow-releasing energy, keeping children full and focused for longer periods.

Mini Sandwiches or Wraps

Use whole grain bread, tortillas, or pita pockets to make mini sandwiches or wraps with fillings like lean meats, cheese, or mashed avocado.

Whole Grain Crackers or Rice Cakes

Opt for whole grain crackers or rice cakes as a base for cheese, hummus, or nut butter. These are convenient and less messy for little hands.

Homemade Granola Bars

Make your granola bars with oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. These are a great alternative to store-bought bars, which often contain added sugars and preservatives.

Protein-Packed Snacks

Protein is essential for children’s growth and helps keep them satiated between meals.

Cheese Cubes or String Cheese

Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. Offer it in bite-sized cubes or as string cheese, which is fun to eat.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent protein snack. They can be eaten whole or mashed and spread on whole grain crackers.

Nut Butters

Peanut or almond butter spread on whole grain bread or paired with apple slices is a satisfying snack. Check with the nursery first about any nut allergies.

Dairy Delights

Dairy products provide calcium and protein, essential for healthy bone development.

Yogurt or Greek Yogurt

Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is a great snack option. Choose plain varieties and sweeten with a drizzle of honey or fresh fruit to avoid added sugars.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese can be combined with fruit or used as a spread on crackers. It’s a versatile snack rich in protein.

Healthy Homemade Baked Goods

Baking your snacks allows you to control the ingredients and reduce the sugar and fat content.

Mini Muffins

Bake mini muffins using whole grain flours, mashed bananas or applesauce for sweetness, and add-ins like blueberries or oats.

Oatmeal Cookies

Make healthier oatmeal cookies with less sugar and fat, adding raisins or nuts for extra flavor and nutrition.

Snacks for Special Dietary Needs

For children with allergies or special dietary requirements, there are plenty of healthy snack options.

Gluten-Free Options

For gluten intolerant children, choose snacks like rice cakes, gluten-free granola bars, or fruits and vegetables.

Allergy-Friendly Alternatives

For children with nut allergies, use seed butters like sunflower butter. There are also many nut-free snack options available in stores.

Tips for Packing Snacks

Packing snacks efficiently can ensure they stay fresh and are appealing when it’s time to eat.

Use Reusable Containers

Pack snacks in reusable containers to keep them fresh and reduce waste. Bento-style boxes with compartments are great for separating different snacks.

Keep Temperature in Mind

Use an insulated lunch bag with ice packs for snacks that need to be kept cool, like yogurt or cheese.

Making Snacks Fun

Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of sandwiches, cheese, or fruit. A visually appealing snack is more likely to be eaten.


Packing healthy snacks for your child’s day at nursery is essential for providing the nutrients they need to grow and learn. By choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and dairy products, you can ensure that your child is getting a balanced diet. Homemade snacks give you control over ingredients, and with a little creativity, you can make them fun and appealing. Remember, healthy eating habits start young, and the snacks you pack can help set your child on the path to a lifetime of healthy choices.