Help: Need Primal Snacks Non-Primal Kids Will Like

My wife and I are following the Primal Blueprint, and we’ve got a question for you fellow Primal people out there. Our first-grader’s classroom is organized as a “garden,” and twice per academic year each child is “gardener of the week.” Among other things, that child brings in snacks for the class every day of that week.

This is easy for kids whose parents will pack them Oreos. Our pantry has only real food in it.

So, what do you all suggest we pack when our Veronica is gardener of the week? We need four separate snacks, one for each of the four days she’ll be doing it. They need to meet these criteria: (1) be Primal, (2) be something Veronica can eat (dairy and almonds are out for her), (3) be something that won’t be over-the-top expensive, and (4) seem non-lame to non-Primal kids.

Any suggestions?

(Be sure to follow my wife’s great blog for our Primal experiences!)

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  • Wade Buchanan

    Tom, The favorite with a lot of kids is fruit… So I would cut up a fruit platter for them.  It makes for something colorful and not crazy expensive and the kids always seem to like fruit when it is offered.

  • Thomas Elger

    This is one of my favorite

  • Bob Robertson

    When I had my daughter’s 4th birthday party, other than the cupcakes everything was “primal”, a meat/cheese platter and fresh veggie platter from Sams club. The kids were all over the veggies, carrots, celery, brocoli, etc.

    I’ll also echo the fruit Wade mentioned, and add nuts. The polypragmatoi were all over “don’t give nuts to children”, but mine had no problems with my putting out bowls of nuts and raisins as “snacks” rather than crackers or candy.

    And they both just DEVOURED jerky. Honestly, jerky is just too expensive to give them all they wanted of it.

  • Karl Bucus

    Two words: Pork rinds.

  • ED

    Carrot sticks,celery sticks,canteloupe slices,honeydew melon slices,strawberries,blueberries,raspberries.Dehydrated berries,beef jerky,turkey jerky and protien powders for shakes are good quick snacks too.

  • Matvei

    apple or pear slices with chunky peanut butter on top. :)

  • Sol Black

    I put this on the FB page as well…

    home made jerky. There are
    tons of tutorials out there how to make it, but basically oven on
    150-200, cook for 8 hours, meat at 1/4″ thickness, not too lean, use a
    home made spice rub like sage, rosemary, pepper, maybe puree some fruit
    and marinade it first for a bit of sweet. keep the salt light, as the
    drying seems to intensify it.  This link also has some good ideas:

  • Bob Robertson

    Is the stevia powder really necessary? The natural sweetness of foods seems like it should suffice.

  • Charles Pearson

    Grind up almonds with a little honey to make an “almond crumble”, then mix that with plain yogurt and blueberries.

  • Anthony May

    Honey covered dried banana chips are really yummy and very primal :)

  • None

     That’s def not primal. Mark would totally be against that suggestion.

  • Anonymous

    I was going to say jerky; I see others already have. If you have a food dehydrator, jerky is fun and easy to make, and that’s a lot less expensive than buying it.

    Most fruits and many vegetables dehydrate quite well. You’ve probably had “sun-dried” tomatoes. Large fruits and anything with a skin (pears, cherries, blueberries, etc.) should be sliced or at least cut in half before drying otherwise it takes forever.

    Dehydrated strawberries are nothing short of awesome. But you have to be careful because a pounds’ worth of fresh fruit is only a handful when dried.

  • The Anti Al Gore

    Hardboiled eggs splattered in habanero tabasco, moose jerky, dried squid, and chocolate covered grasshoppers (dark chocolate, of course).

  • None

    I see quite a few suggestion that although considered “healthy” are quite anti-primal. Mark is pretty clear, fruits, nuts, sweetners (like honey) should be consumed quite infrequently.

  • Charles Pearson

    Which part? Yogurt is debatable among primal eaters, but it’s one of the more allowable dairy products. And he just wrote an article on honey last week which certainly didn’t condemn it.

  • 4 Liberty

    Primal Candied Nuts

    1 1/2 cups of walnuts and/or pecans4 shakes of sea salt (maybe more)
    1/4 cup of maple syrup (can substitute honey, but they’ll be less crunchy)
    Wax paper

    1.  Toast nuts with salt on medium heat until you smell the aroma (about 10 minutes).  Spread them in the pan evenly and toss them around so they toast equally.
    2.  Turn heat to medium high and pour in maple syrup (syrup will bubble).  
    3.  Stir and even coat nuts (about one minute – don’t let them dry out).  BE CAREFUL:  the mixture will be plasma-like and cling to/burn skin!
    4.   Immediately pour onto waxed paper.  Spread nuts apart evenly and let cool. 
    5.  Portion into small handfuls and place into small plastic bags with ribbon (you can find them at craft stores)

    Can also be dipped in dark chocolate (over 70%) for an “adult” taste.

    Cut fruit (kiwis, orange wedges, strawberries, blueberries, etc) into different shapes and put on skewers.  Emphasize mixing the colors up to attract the kiddies.  You may want to cut off the sharp end of the skewer lest the kids get too primal and start using them as pigmy blow-darts (put them inside straws).

  • 4 Liberty

    Or Walnut butter (a little more Primal).

  • Duddley Dewright

    We like pepperoni chips for snacking on. Put the sliced pepperonis on a baking sheet and cook until nearly crisp. They crisp up quickly when taken from the oven. If you leave them too long they taste burned. The way I judge the doneness is when I can smell them cooking from the other room, I know it’s time to take them out. 

    Or how about sweet and salty garbanzo beans like this –
    (might need to tweak this as it has a bit of brown sugar in it, but find a substitute and let me know how it goes! I’m anxious to try them myself!)

    Or a primal trail mix

    Or some sunflower sesame crackers

    Or zucchini chips

    Here’s a link to some kale chips –

    Also a whole page of ideas!

  • lyda

    We have a child with a dairy allergy, too.  Day 1–Red Pepper strips with hummus, Day 2 orange wedges and roasted pumpkin seeds, Day 3 ants on a log (celery sticks spread with sunflower seed butter, and raisins on top for the ants), Day 4 homemade zucchini flaxseed muffins sweetened with cinnamon and stevia

  • Kevin Hughes

    Give them apples, bananas, and baby carrots.  When they complain, start explaining how you walked barefoot to school every day, in the snow, uphill, both ways.

  • Joel Poindexter

    She can’t eat almonds, dude.

  • Deborah

    Here in Texas you can’t bring home-made food to school. It all has to be store baught and packaged.

  • Ken MacMillan

    Fruit isn’t very good for you but it will work for a kid’s snack.

  • Steve Jones

    Cranberry Pecan Muffins



        1/2 margarine,
    softened (Butter is best but daughter can’t do dairy.)

        1 cup sugar

        2 eggs

        1 teaspoon vanilla

        1 cup sour cream but sub apple sauce because daughter can’t do dairy.

        2 cups all-purpose

        1 teaspoon baking

        1/2 teaspoon
    baking soda

        1/2 teaspoon
    ground nutmeg

        1/4 teaspoon salt

        3/4 cup coarsely
    chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

        1/2 cup chopped


        2 tablespoons

        1/8 teaspoon
    ground nutmeg




        In a mixing bowl,
    cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each
    addition. Add vanilla. Fold in sour cream. Combine the flour, baking powder,
    baking soda, nutmeg and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until moistened.
    Fold in cranberries and pecans. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups
    two-thirds full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over batter. Bake at 400
    degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5
    minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

    Don’t use less fruit or bake too long or they will be dry. You may sub other fruits and nuts too. I’ve used blue berries and walnuts before – yummy

  • Christopher Hoops

    Ants on a log… Peanut butter with raisins on top Celery. At a health food store (we can here in the Bay Area) you may be able to make your PB fresh so you know there will be no Almond dust or anything in it.

  • Steve Jones

    Another idea is strawberry shortcake.  Angel food cake ups filled with fruit with dab of non dairy cream on top. Don’t forget plastic forks.

  • Chris M. Zinner

     Dried squid?!

  • Zebram Zee

    Fruit juice has a lot of sugar in it, but if you wanted to make some fresh juice, I recommend an orange/grapefruit juice mix.  Just mix like 1/4 grapefruit juice with 3/4 orange juice.  It tastes delicious.

    Also, for solid foods, something like guacamole might be nice. 

    For dessert, the kids can each get one krill oil omega 3 pill.

  • Ken MacMillan

    Just though of deviled eggs.

  • Anonymous

    Bacon + blueberries, Larabars are primal compliant but a little carby.  Apples + almond butter.  >85% dark chocolate.  Dehydrated fruit.  Beef jerkey.

  • Ken MacMillan

    You have to be careful with that though, it’s not very healthy. It’s got entirely too much sugar.

  • Ken MacMillan

    All this talk of food is making me hungry. Hey, Tom, I just wanted to say that if you’re ever in Philadelphia there’s a restaurant that cook traditional 18th century food with all the trimmings & a complete colonial theme, period furniture, clothing, China, &they even have a Harpist, lol. It’s called City Tavern Restaurant.

  • Ken MacMillan

    Also, if you search PBS you can see the head chef cooking at Monticello from Jefferson’s garden. The show is called a taste of history with Walter Staib.

  • Jay Quick

    Ants on a log is the bees knees. Like. Smiley Face.

  • Greg

    i don’t know about everyone else but when i was small (and now) i LOVED raw carrots.  nutritionally raw carrots are fairly empty but i think they work as a snack…

  • Kingofbaconandeggs

    sliced cucumbers with sea salt and ground pepper

  • Daniels_adam

    Nuts and seeds as some sort of primal trailmix would probably pack pretty easily in a bookbag.  Fruit would work as well, or maybe some kind of guacamole mix would be tasty and healthy with sweet potato chips (depending on how well that packs).  

    I noticed a lot of suggestions on here that would take a long time to prepare and be difficult to transport.  I also wouldn’t worry much about fruit containing too much glucose (especially if it were organic fruit, but I would understand the unwillingness to purchase that for other people’s kids) if you go out and get the most primal fruits.  

  • Lindsay

    That is hard. We are not fully primal, but we do adopt a real foods diet and try to be wheat free. We used a gluten free chocolate cake mix with plenty of sugar and put coconut cream frosting thinking it would be a crowd pleasing treat, especially since some young cousins had liked them at our home, and they were rejected by most the boys’ classmates in German class. I know that my boys will eat almond butter but don’t like it as well as peanutbutter, and since they are not picky eaters, it makes me think that an easy option (like cashew butter, which I am guessing is the only easily available nut butter your daughter can have) might not be accepted. Most of the kids I know eating a standard American diet would not eat veggies without either nutbutter or a creamy salad dressing dip.

    I would probably serve some things that Veronica could not eat and have her avoid the things she couldn’t. Like, I might serve salami and cheese but just expect my daughter to avoid the cheese. Or perhaps provide veggies and offer Ranch dip to go with it for the other children?  I would probably cheat, too, and allow for peanutbutter even though it is not primal. What does your daughter do all the other weeks when things like Oreos are the snacks provided?

  • Ivan

    Dear Tom, leave the children enjoy life and eat whatever they want. :) The healthiest and longest living people in the world are Italians (whose main dietary items are bred, pasta and pizza – all the products of high agriculture, and the Japanese – whose main diet is rice, again, a product of agriculture). :

  • J/P

    I’d say skip it.  She’s only doing it twice a year and you don’t want the kids to be rude.  Kids can be mean.

  • Luke W.

    A book we have found recently:

    Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket ShipMy 8 year old really likes this one, has a story to help get kids more into eating clean as well as recipes.

  • Floyd Noel

    Peanut butter is definitely not primal, nor healthy. Peanuts are a legume.

  • johnny.deathmatch

    Really? The Japanese diet is not mainly rice. It’s mainly paleo seafood. Rice has almost no nutritional value, so if that was the case, the Japanese would be malnourished.

    Health in the Mediterranean diets also derives from paleo foods such as olives, seafood, etc.

    American versions of pizza, pasta, etc, really don’t even resemble actual Mediterranean foods, so calling pizza a healthy food because Italians eat it really isn’t correct.

  • AH

    1.) Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
    ( get a melon baller and scoop the stem and seeds out fill that with dark chocolate as well)
    a. Use farmers market fresh strawberries it will counter the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate.

    2.) Deviled Eggs
    a. Start eggs in room temp water and bring to boil uncovered. Once rolling boil starts remove eggs from heat and cover for 12 minutes 50 Seconds. Do not crowd eggs single layer only.
    b. Remove eggs to ice bath and chill for 5 minutes this will slow the cooking process.

  • Harold Ray Crews

    Beef jerky, this should about do it. 

  • Harold Ray Crews

    Mini boxes of raisins or craisins.

  • AH

    1. ) Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries. 

       a. Use a melon baller to scoop out the stem inside fill this area with dark chocolate too.
       b. Use lollipop sticks to make them kid friendly.

    2. ) Deviled Eggs

          a. Place eggs single layer in heavy bottomed pot, fill pot with room temperature water an inch above eggs. Bring to a boil on high (no lid). Once Rolling Boil Begins lid and remove from heat immediately. Leave for 12 Minutes 45 Seconds. Remove eggs and place in ice bath when timer is done.
           b. Turn egg cartons sideways. This will cause the yolk to center itself. Minimum 24 hours before handling.
          c. Choose your favorite deviled eggs recipe.
          d. Use a large zip lock bag to pipe the filling into the whites. By cutting a corner on the bag.

    3. ) Meatball Lollipops w/ Marinara Sauce

    There you go Tom now all you need is recipes easily found too don’t be discouraged. These ideas are easily catered to larger crowds. And will pass the young critics taste buds easily.

    Sorry no vegetable ideas as of now. Salsa always comes to mind.

  • Cathy Mckinnis

    1. Apples–small one per students, washed.
    2. Bananas–1/2 per student
    3. Grapes–clean and placed in individual ziplock snack bags
    4. Clementines–one per student.

  • Tim Herrick

    I would say bacon covered dark chocolate, but half the things you might bring that are primal will end up with social workers at your house, trying to take your kids for feeding them “junk.” Land ‘o’ the free.

  • Raymond Linares

    My friend is a mother of a growing baby boy and is active, along with her husband, in the primal blueprints. She has a great blog where she puts primal recipes for food, snacks and other treats that are 100% primal. Check it all out at You could also go straight to her blog site