5 from 2 votes

16 Snacks for Kids Perfect for Back To School

Whether you’re looking for breakfast ideas before the kids head off to the bus stop, back to school treats to pack in their lunch boxes, after school snacks for kids, or a treat to wrap in a care package for your college student, I’ve got ideas for every palate (yes, even the most persnickety will find something here!).

Host Zoe Francois with her sons, Charlie and Henri, taste the squash scones, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.
Tasting homemade squash scones with my sons Charlie and Henri on my TV show, Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network.

If you’re looking for a project for your little ones, baking is an excellent way to teach children about math and science, but also about what it takes to make delicious food and how a recipe comes together. My sons love to be in the kitchen—Charlie even had a baking business one summer when he was younger and Henri recently started his own cooking channel on YouTube. I could not be more proud! You can also see me bake with my (very much grown up) sons in my new show, Zoë Bakes on Magnolia Network.

Snacks for Kids

The story of my life with sweets started with an auspicious meeting with Twinkies. I would never presume to create anything as iconic as the original, but these homemade Twinkies are freakin' delicious.
Get the recipe
These fun orange creamsicle pops could not be easier to make! They get dressed up with a bit of chocolate and some fancy sprinkles.
Get the recipe
These no-bake chocolate pepita crunch bars are a candy and a brownie all in one. There is no baking, so they are a perfect holiday treat to go along with all the cookies you’ll be trading at your cookie swaps this season.
Get the recipe
"Morning, sunshine!" That's what this Peach Rye Cake says to me and what a joyous way to start the day. Sure, it's cake and can be served with ice cream as a dessert too, but the rye and honey evoke more of a morning muffin vibe, so I am suggesting this with a dollop of yogurt to start your day.
Get the recipe
The perfect popover is crisp on the outside, tender and airy on the inside and at its very best when served right from the oven. This is a super easy and yet very impressive recipe, that even a first time baker can master and feel like they've made magic. Recipe is from Sarabeth's Good Morning Cookbook.
Get the recipe
Unless you made them yourself, you'd never know these are gluten-free oatmeal cookies. They are perfect! Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The flavor is all about the maple and oats.
Get the recipe
This biscuits recipe uses the perfect combination of all-purpose and cake flour, buttermilk and cold butter to produce tender, flaky biscuits every time.
Get the recipe
I stock my freezer with these delicious strawberry hand pies for a fast and easy treat. The pies are sweet and just a little tart, making them perfect little homemade breakfast pastries
Get the recipe
Perfect blueberry muffins are studded with fruit, with blueberries in every bite. It should have a crunchy streusel top and be tender inside. These blueberry muffins deliver on all of these.
Get the recipe
Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts and I assembled these in individual jars for a sweet treat in an adorable portion size. This version has a hint of lavender from lavender simple syrup.
Get the recipe
I've spread Nutella on just about everything, but one of my favorites is freshly baked banana bread. In an "aha! moment" I decided to swirl the nutella right into the batter and bake them together. I'm not claiming to have discovered this combo, but I believe this may be the tastiest pairing ever there was.
Get the recipe
These bars from Edd Kimber’s book, One Tin Bakes, are rustic in their beauty, but magnificent in flavor. Plus, they’re super simple to make. This will become a favorite recipe. One you’ll bring to every school function, picnic, family gathering and the treat you snuggle on the couch with.
Get the recipe
Whenever I bake this homemade granola the smell brings me back to my childhood living on a commune in Vermont. It's so delicious, I can't wait for you to try it!
Get the recipe
These are the brownies I made for a care package for my son, Charlie, and his roommates at college. I made four different kinds because each of the boys wanted their favorite brownie. It's an easy way to please a crowd!
Get the recipe
What could be better than picking your own apples and making baked goods and applesauce with your bounty? When making applesauce, I like to use a variety of apples, so the sauce has a mix of tart, sweet, firm, and softer apples. It makes the applesauce taste better and have a more interesting texture.
Get the recipe
This chocolate microwave mug cake is one of those cakes you’ll rely on when you need to indulge at midnight. Just you, Donna Summer and a crazy-satisfying mug of chocolate cake. I added Caramel-Peanut ice cream to the top, because who eats chocolate cake at midnight without ice cream?
Get the recipe

People often use my easy bread recipes from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day series to bake with kids and it really couldn’t be easier. They will love watching the dough bubble up on the counter as they wait for it to rise before biting into a slice of bread they’ve made themselves. We even have a new book out (available for pre-order now and out just in time for the holidays!) that includes the best of all of our recipes over the years. Put it on your holiday wish list now! It’s called The Best of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

Cake is another perfect idea for kids, check out my newest book Zoë Bakes Cakes for tons of easy cake ideas kids will love to make with family and friends.

Of course, who can resist a perfect cookie (especially children!)?! Do you remember my lovely friend Sarah Kieffer’s book, 100 Cookies? There are so many delicious recipes in this book that are perfect for baking with kids. Sarah also has a brand new book out now called Baking for the Holidays but the recipes are really great for any time of year. Grab a copy as we head into the holiday season and let your kids help make a plan for cookie swaps and incredible pastries for all your upcoming festivities.

Peanut butter cookies doused in sugar

12 Snacks for Kids: Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are such a fun snack to make with kids. They love sprinkling the dough in sugar, smashing with a glass and then using a fork to create that iconic crosshatch pattern before putting them in the oven. I know lots of schools don't allow peanut products due to allergies, so this easy recipe from David Lebovitz's book Ready for Dessert is a great one to do at home as an after-school treat!
5 from 2 votes


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder that seems like a lot, but intentional
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more for top of cookies
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter Skippy or something else like it, not natural-style
  • 1 egg room temperature


  • In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Using a 1-inch cookie/ice cream scoop, portion out the cookie dough and line them up on a baking sheet. They can be tightly packed, because you'll be refrigerating them. Once they are chilled you can easily move them apart onto multiple baking sheets. I do this with most of my cookie dough, then I toss the chilled balls of dough into a plastic bag and freeze them. It is a great way to have cookie dough at the ready for a fast onset craving. 
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least a couple of hours or overnight. Once you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment and position the dough balls on the sheets so they have plenty of room to be smushed down.
  • Generously cover the dough balls with sugar.
    Covering peanut butter cookie dough with sugar
  • Using a glass, smush the cookies until they are about 1/2-inch thick. If the dough is sticking to the glass add more sugar next time.
    A child smashing peanut butter cookie dough with a glass.
  • Make the crosshatch pattern with the tines of a fork. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes (or up to 12 if you like a crisper version).
    Using a fork to make a crosshatch patter on peanut butter cookie dough


Check out all my cookie baking equipment recommendations in my Amazon shop.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Share this post

4 thoughts to “16 Snacks for Kids Perfect for Back To School”

  1. 5 stars
    You have so inspired me to bake! I love watching Zoe Bakes on the Magnolia Channel. I love that you explain the how and why when mixing and adding ingredients. The first recipe I am going to try is your BeeHive Cake. My husband has a birthday coming up and he loves all the flavors in this cake. I’ll be sure to let you know how it all turns out! So nice to see that Charlie and Henri enjoy being in the kitchen with you! By the way, I love your eye glasses! Care to share the brand?

    1. Hi Lorraine! Thank you so much for your kind words. Most of Zoë’s glasses are from See Eyewear. https://www.seeeyewear.com/ So excited to hear you’ll try the Beehive Cake and we can’t wait to see how it turns out. Happy baking!

  2. I love to bake but right at the sametime I discovered my love for baking I was diagnosed with Graves Disease so that means NO gluten ):. I found your gluten free baking cookbook I had no idea who you were I just loved the cover of the book and thought maybe I could learn how to make bread that doesn’t taste like a shoe and now here you are on the Magnolia network. As I’m lying here watching you bake this amazing bread I said “wait a minute, I think I have her book” tomorrow I will bake some bread, tomorrow I will try something from your cookbook (: wish me luck!! And Thank you for just being YOU, I love watching you bake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating