15 Healthier Alternatives to Fruit Snacks That Kids Will Still Love

Oct 26 2020 - 10:45am

One walk down the snack aisle [1] at your grocery store, and you will be sure to find a sea of neon-colored, superhero-shaped, fruit-flavored snacks that kids seem to be willing to do whatever is necessary to add to the cart. While these snacks may be convenient [2], they are not the best choice when it comes to nutrition.

As a registered dietitian and a mom, I classify these sugary gummies as treats or candy instead of a healthy snack [3] or a balanced part of a meal. Even if they have added vitamins like vitamin C, they are still full of artificial ingredients and sugar — items that are reserved for a special occasion in my home.

Thankfully, there are some better-for-you fruit snacks that are a great alternative to the traditional ones. While they may not be neon-blue or shaped into your kid's favorite cartoon character, they are often made with real fruit and are not loaded with added sugars or artificial colors. Here are 15 alternatives to sugary fruit snacks that I'm happy to feed my daughter and are just as satisfying as her beloved candy treats.

Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars

Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars [5] ($29 for 48-pack) are triple-layered, sweet/tart snacks that are certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and made with fruit and vegetable juices and purees. These snacks are free from any artificial flavors, preservatives, or synthetic colors and taste just as good as the classic choices.

Peaceful Fruits

Made with basically just fruit, Peaceful Fruits Strips [6] ($14 for 12-pack) are simple and delicious. While some varieties like mango are just one flavor, others are made with a drizzle of açai for an extra antioxidant boost. After one taste of these fruit strips, you'll wonder why any company uses added sugar in its snacks.

Rind Snacks

Did you know there are tons of nutrients naturally found in fruit peels and rinds? While it may look surprising, Rind Snacks [7] ($19 for three-pack) keeps the peel and rind of the fruit before drying them to make a chewy, no-sugar-added snack. A watermelon rind is surprisingly satisfying!

Clif Kid ZFruit Organic Fruit Rope

Clif Kid ZFruit Organic Fruit Rope [8] ($20 for 18-count) is a tangy, chewy, organic fruit snack made with fruit puree concentrate and an excellent source of vitamin C. Zfruit is USDA-certified organic and contains zero grams trans fat, partially hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, or synthetic preservatives.

That's It Mini Fruit Bars

That's It Mini Fruit Bars [9] ($20 for 24-pack) are made with fruit — that's it (hence the name)! These mini fruit bars fit perfectly into little lunch boxes and are an appropriate size for tiny tummies.

Stretch Island Fruit Leather

Superyummy Stretch Island Fruit Leather [10] ($10 for 30-count) are made with 100 percent fruit ingredients and no GMOs. What more do kiddos need?

Good and Gather Twisted Fruit Ropes

Good and Gather Twisted Fruit Ropes [11] ($4) provide 1/4 cup fruit per rope and are made with all-natural products. Gluten-free, non-GMO, and individually wrapped, these snacks are a perfect alternative to the old-school fruit-flavored snacks.

Wild Made Organic Fruit Rolls

Fruit rolls that won't turn your tongue blue may be disappointing to some kids, but parents should look at that as a positive. Wild Made Organic Fruit Rolls [12] ($4) have the appeal of the classic fruit rolls but are made with real fruit and no added sugars. Plus, each roll is considered to be half a serving of fruit.

Veggie Go's Fruit and Veggie Strips

If you aren't above sneaking veggies into your child's day, Veggie Go's Fruit and Veggie Strips [13] ($21 for 20-pack) need to be in your snack drawer. These strips are made with a combo of fruits and veggies that, when blended together, make for an awesome kid-friendly snack that gives a boost of nutrition.

Bear YoYo Fruit Roll

Bear YoYo Fruit Roll [14] ($9 for five-pack) is made with real fruit and "no added nonsense." No gumming agents or concentrated fruit juices here! And fruit rolls are always fun to eat.

Peeled Snacks

Gently dried mangoes are what make Peeled Snacks [15] ($10) delicious. Just as sweet as a classic gummy or fruit roll, these snacks are made from fruit picked at their peak and then dried to preserve their sweet, juicy flavors.

Life's Grapes Dark Chocolate Dipped Dried Grapes

Grapes are already a natural fruit snack that is both chewy and sweet, but not all kids love the taste. But dip them in chocolate, and we are in business! Life's Grapes Vine-Dried Grapes [16] ($30 for three-pack) are dipped in dark chocolate for an extra antioxidant punch.

Ekoa Natural Fruit Bars

Ekoa Natural Fruit Bars [17] ($20 for 12-pack) are dried fruit bars made with minimal ingredients to maximize the nutrition. Each bar has a max of three ingredients and is a great on-the-go snack for busy families.

Joolies Organic Medjool Dates

Organic medjool dates have a naturally chewy consistency and caramel-sweet taste that kids tend to love (especially if you stuff them with nut butter and top with chocolate chips, as I like to do). Joolies Organic Medjool Dates [18] ($22 for two-pack) are a great alternative to sugary fruit snacks that provide fiber, calcium, and iron.

Plum Organics Teensy Snacks

Plum Organics Teensy Snacks [19] ($18 for eight-pack) are a toddler-friendly fruit snack that is soft and yummy. Made with real fruit, these snacks are a great way to get some fruit into your little one's diet.

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