15 Homemade Fruit Chew Recipes That are Great for School Lunches
Fall might already be underway, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not constantly collecting new ideas for delicious and creative things to put in our kids’ lunch boxes for school! After all, if we give them the same thing everyday, they’ll get bored and we’ll find out they haven’t been eating their snacks. We try our best to swap snacks out, give them a new treat every once in a while, and also make sure they’re always getting the nutrients they actually need rather than just piles of sugar in junk food snacks. You can probably imagine, then, how excited we were when we discovered the glory of homemade fruit chews.
Just in case your kids like fruit snacks just as much as our do, here are 15 delicious homemade fruit chew recipes that will be such a huge hit on lunch hour this fall that you’ll have parents from all of your kids’ classes asking you for the recipe!
1. Fruit puree and lemon juice fruit chews
Whether you have a quality blender or food processor that’ll help you make the fruit puree yourself or whether you have a particular brand of apple and fruit sauces that you trust the sugar content of and know your kids like, you’re set either way for making these delicious little fruit gummies from Story of A Kitchen! They guide you through the process of moulding little snacks in fun shapes using lemon juice for a little extra flavour.
2. Homemade apricot Fruit Roll-Ups
When we were kids, we mostly enjoyed the basic fruits that you’d expect kids to enjoy; apples, bananas, strawberries, and the like. Our kids, however, tend to be huge fans of things like plums, apricots, and little fruits that we wouldn’t try as youngsters and we’re so glad! Some of the softer fruits, however, don’t fare well in a school lunch bag that gets put in a backpack, though. That’s why this alternative apricot snack from From Which Things Grow is such a great idea! They show you all the steps for making an apricot fruit roll up so that your kids get a treat just like the ones their friends have from the store, but it tastes like an actual fruit that they’ll actually enjoy more.
3. Fruit and nut granola bars
This particular snack might not look like a fruit chew, nor have the same texture, but you’re actually still using a similar technique to make the fruit filling layer in the centre as you would to make chewy snacks or roll ups. Just A Pinch shows you how to combine that fruity layer with delicious oats and nuts to make a granola bar that’s a little bit more filling. It’s the perfect homemade snack for eating right after school but right before all the after-school activities that will be starting up once more for your kids this fall.
4. Homemade strawberry fruit leather
Did you like the idea of making a fruit roll-up or fruit leather but you’re just not sure that your kids will still like the apricot flavour once the texture has changed? Then try making them a more classic flavour instead! We love this recipe from Canadian Home Trends because it’s just about as natural as you can possibly get in a homemade fruit chew snack but it’s still completely delicious.
5. Bite sized berry fruit snacks
Are your kids quite small and attending the younger grades or day care this fall, so you think they’d have an easier time snacking on small, bite-sized fruit chews rather than larger ones that need unrolling? Then we think maybe you’d prefer this recipe from Hip 2 Save instead! These ones are made with a mixed berry combination that you’ll have trouble not snacking on yourself while you pack your kids’ lunches.
6. Healthy homemade fruit snacks
Do you like the idea of making fruit snacks that taste as close to the store bought kind as possible so you can help your kids make the switch to homemade snacks in their lunches rather than mass produced ones without much of a taste difference? There have been a few times where we’ve swapped things out for the more natural version for our kids and even though they actually do like the new snack, they’re wary of it solely because it’s different. Desserts With Benefits can actually help you out with that because their recipe, while still natural and homemade, is quite sweet compared to some of the other on our list. We’ve tried the classic strawberry flavour and loved it!
7. Juicy berry fruit snacks in fun shapes
If you’ve eaten delicious gummy candies before, you know that there’s a difference between a sweet, juicy gummy and a healthier fruit snack that you might regularly pack for your kids for school. Sometimes, though, the candy kind is really what we want to give them as a little treat. In that case, you might prefer these juicy berry gummies from Designs by Birgit! They might have a little bit more sugar than others on our list, but they continue to be a healthier choice than most “penny candies” from the gummy section in the candy store.
8. Cherry fruit snacks with vanilla and coconut cream
Perhaps your kids are quite willing to try new things or you’re actually makin the gummies for yourself, so you’re looking for something much different in flavour than store bought gummies, even though you still want to make fruit chews? In that case, this awesome, creamier recipe from The Coconut Mama might be more up your alley! Calling something with a chewy texture “creamy” might sound a little misleading, but you’ll see what we mean once you start working with the cherry, vanilla, and coconut cream that make these snacks happen.
9. DIY fruity gummy bears
Speaking of fruity candies, are there certain snacks that you wish you could recreate at home, whether you want to do so just for fun or because you want to tweak the ingredients slightly to cut out sensitive ingredients like high sugar content or red food dyes? Then here’s a recipe you’re definitely going to enjoy! Desserts With Benefits walks you through the process of making your very own Gummy Bears that taste just as great as the ones you’ve always loved from the store.
10. Two ingredient strawberry lemonade fruit snacks
Maybe you’re interested in making your own fruit snacks because you’ve always thought there are so many other flavours out there that would taste great, but that don’t usually come in the packages of store bought fruit chews? In that case, you’ll should definitely check out this recipe from Butter Believer! Rather than just showing you how to make regular strawberry chews, they suggest creating candies using a strawberry lemonade mixture for a bit of extra flavour.
11. Fruity energy gels with a yummy sugar coating
When you started thinking of making your own fruit snacks, did your mind actually go first to the kind that are meant to build up energy before or after a workout, rather than the kind that are just meant as a quick yummy treat while you watch a movie? In that case, The Iron You has a recipe that we think you’ll like better than what we’ve shown you so far! These organic homemade fruit cubes help give you a bit of a natural boost when you need it throughout your day rather than just pumping you up with pure sugar, despite the fact that they do have a light sugar coating to keep them sweet.
12. Bite sized orange creamsicle fruit snacks
Are you still thinking about all the different flavours of fruit snacks that you can’t find in stores in the pre-packaged snacks section, but that you still think would be completely delicious? Then here’s another more uniquely flavoured option for you! The Coconut Mama shows you how to make orange creamsicle flavoured fruits snacks that are sweetened with honey and vanilla.
13. Homemade strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups
We’ve shown you how to recreate a number of store bought snacks in your own home by now, but here’s one more, just for good measure! When we were kids, Fruit Roll-Ups an Fruit by the Foot were some of our very favourite lunch snacks, so we’re always bought them for our kids too, but recently we realized that they enjoy eating things a lot more when they’ve actually helped make it themselves! That’s why we keep this awesome homemade strawberry fruit roll-up recipe from Tip Hero on hand. We tend to make these all year round but our kids certainly go through a phase of wanting them even more each fall when they’re suddenly getting school lunches again!
14. Yummy blueberry fruit chews
Have you always thought that the blueberry chews in any pack of store bought fruit chews were the best ones, but you find that the flavour is either included less than others or not at all? In that case, you’re going to love this recipe from Avocado Barrel because it shows you how to make decently large quantities of specifically blueberry fruit chews to your heart’s content! The best part is that they’re made with natural ingredients, so you don’t have to feel as guilty about eating them as you might otherwise.
15. Watermelon fruit snacks
We’ve definitely seen watermelon fruit snacks in stores before, but we also know that manufactured watermelon flavour tastes much different than the natural flavour of the fruit you love. That’s why we love this recipe from The Larissa Monologues! They show you how to make watermelon fruit chews that have a taste much closer to the fresh melon you’ve enjoyed all summer so you can take that taste through into the fall and put it into your kids’ lunches so they get to enjoy it too.
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