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Healthy Snack Ideas for Busy Teachers

Are you a teacher looking for some good snacks for the school day? Check out this list of healthy snack ideas for busy teachers!

An apple sitting on top of a pile of books with the text "Top Healthy snacks for busy teachers"

When I was younger, I thought teachers were superheroes.

Now that I have a young daughter in school, I know for a fact: They are, indeed, superheroes.

They’re on their feet 6+ hours a day. They keep the attention of 20 kids as long as possible. And even during their lunch break, they eat fast to get to recess duty.

I’ve seen it first-hand, now that I volunteer at Allison’s school. You teachers are amazing and I don’t know how you get all this hard work done.

With this kind of busy schedule, I’ve heard teachers say they don’t have a lot of time to do healthy eating… like eat healthy snacks or drink water.

I know it’s so easy to grab a candy bar from the machine while going over your lesson plans. A small snack like that, though, will leave you craving for more 30 minutes later.

The good news is, there are plenty of easy healthy options for snacks nowadays! The following list of healthy teacher snacks is organized into shelf-stable snacks and refrigerated snacks, because I know sometimes it’s hard to keep something cold in the classroom. Use these all throughout the school year!

Other Tips for Eating Healthier

  • Drink water as often as possible. Keep a water bottle on your desk at all times! Keeping hydrated reduces food cravings and can prevent irritable moods.
  • Always keep some kind of food with you. When we wait too long to eat, we become ravenous and more likely to overeat at the next meal. Even if it’s a handful of nuts, just a little bit of food can help you last until lunch.
  • Eat a wide variety. To stay full and satisfied as long as possible, good nutrition is key. Eat a mixture of protein/carbs or fat/carbs. Whole grains are best for the fiber, like whole wheat crackers or wheat bread.
A bowl of almonds and cashews with text "Shelf stable snacks"

Healthy Shelf-Stable Snacks for Teachers

If you only have a little time between classes, you may need something from your snack drawer to grab real quick!

Peanut butter crackers

This is a really good snack because it contains a few grams of protein- something we all need to stay fueled and energized! If you can find some made with whole grain crackers, use those for an extra fiber boost.

Fresh fruit

The best part about fruit is that most of them come with their own wrappers. Bananas, apples, pears, grapes… all you have to do is give most of them a good wash and they’re ready to go!

Trail mix

Trail mix can be a good homemade snack, or one you can buy pre-packaged. A lot of pre-made ones contain lots of added sugar, though.

Good ideas to add to trail mix include:

  • Nuts (Peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews)
  • Seeds (Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds)
  • Dried fruit (Raisin, craisins, bananas)
  • Carb (Pretzels, Chex)
  • Small treat like chocolate chips

Snack bars

Snack bars can be one of those tasty treats that are actually healthy. Look for bars with low added sugars and few ingredients. My favorite ones are Larabars, which can easily be stored in your desk drawer for an afternoon snack!

I love the Peanut Butter Cookie ones, with my second favorite being Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip for a bit of extra sweetness. They have tons of different flavors, too.

Protein bars are also a good choice, because of the high protein content. I like RXBars and even the Natural Valley protein bars.


Dried meat is full of protein, which helps keep you full a lot longer. Turkey and chicken have high protein and lower fat. I’m also a fan of the Epic bars, which are shaped like a snack bar but are a soft jerky!

Fruit cups

This one might be a little messy because of all the juice, and you’ll need to keep plastic forks or spoons around. But this is a good shelf-stable option! Look for fruit cups made with 100% fruit juice rather than light syrup.


If you have a popcorn maker, awesome! If not, store-bought is fine. I love the SkinnyPop brand.

String cheese on a table with the text "Cold snack ideas"

Non Shelf-Stable Snack Ideas

String cheese

Most dairy products will need to be kept in the fridge, like string cheese. This is a good source of protein and fat, which will give you an extra boost of energy through the school day! It’s also a low-carb snack, a good option if you need that type of food.

Yogurt parfait

This is honestly my idea of a perfect snack. I eat this a few times a week!

Use Greek yogurt for extra protein. Add a fruit like strawberries or diced apple, and a couple tablespoons of granola. For an extra sweet treat, add some chocolate chips! The combination of protein, fat, and carbs will last you the morning.

I love using Mason jars for these because they’re highly portable.

Sliced veggies and hummus

Hummus is an excellent healthy dip for most things, including crackers and veggies. It’s made from chickpeas and usually olive oil, so you’re getting a good serving of protein and healthy fats. You can buy individual cups of hummus to make life easier!

English muffins with cream cheese

This might sound more like a breakfast, but who said you had to eat breakfast foods at breakfast time? Whole wheat English muffins are a great way to get in extra fiber and protein; and cream cheese provides fat to keep you satisfied until lunch.

How to Store Snacks

Most of the snack foods above come in their own package. But sometimes you make your own or need another way to transport them. Here are some suggestions:

  • Divided containers: These are good for foods like yogurt and fruit, where you might want to keep them separate until ready to eat.
  • 4-cube snack containers: Make your own Lunchable snack with these! Who said snack time had to be boring?
  • Re-usable zipper bags: If you’re environmentally-conscious, re-usable bags are a great idea. You simply wash them each night and they’re ready to use again the next day!

Easy Homemade Snack Meal Prep Ideas

Do you like the idea of making your own snacks? I have a ton of easy recipe ideas. These are a huge hit with busy moms, too! They have simple steps and are quick to make. Some of these are freezer friendly, too!

Although time is definitely an issue in school, teachers can still eat healthy food! Stock your drawer with these school snacks and keep the hunger at bay.

What are your favorite fun snacks to take to school? Leave a comment and give us ideas!

Happy Meal Prep

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

Great snacks ideas for a busy schedule. Will love to bookmark this! Thanks.

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