Healthy snacks for parties, morning teas and special events

Vegetable platter featuring fresh carrot sticks, sliced cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sliced red capsicum, celery sticks and fresh lemon wedges, with a hummus dip in the centre

When you think about snacks for kids’ birthday parties, staff morning teas, or game night, what comes to mind? Chips, lollies, and other ‘sometimes foods’ are a popular choice. While these certainly have a place on special occasions, there are plenty of easy, tasty, and healthy snack options too.

Serving healthy snacks not only provides a nutrition boost, but also caters to diverse dietary needs and preferences, while normalising healthy choices on any occasion. Read on to discover simple homemade and store-bought healthy snack options for kids’ parties and grown-up gatherings.

Why serve healthy snacks at special events?

Food provides us with much more than just nutritional benefits. It is central to our cultural and social celebrations. Sharing food helps us to connect with others and makes special occasions that little bit extra ‘special’. Snacks are a common feature of our celebrations, whether it’s a small home gathering of friends, a birthday party in the park, or a workplace morning tea.

Healthy snacks can support us towards meeting the recommendations of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Just like main meals, they are based on the 5 food groups – vegetables, fruits, dairy and their alternatives, wholegrains and cereals, and lean meats and their alternatives. These are also known as ‘everyday foods.’

Serving healthy ‘everyday foods’ at special occasions not only provides a nutrition boost but helps us cater to diverse dietary needs and food preferences and normalise making healthy choices available on any occasion.

Celebrate with healthier snacks

Some of the easiest and healthiest snack options require very little preparation but deliver big in terms of flavour. Whether you’re planning a kids’ party or are asked to ‘bring something to share’ to an event, these healthy options always hit the mark.

Homemade snack ideas

For a sweet and shareable snack, you can’t go past a fresh fruit platter. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser that is great for all occasions. Choose a variety of in-season fruit for the best flavour, quality, and price. Look at what’s on special and available in abundance at your local supermarket or farmer’s market.

fresh fruit platter featuring strawberries, pineapple and red grapes

For a savoury option, create a veggie platter. Slice up a variety of veggie sticks like capsicum, carrot, celery, and cucumber, add some cherry tomatoes and grainy crackers, and serve with avocado dip, hummus, or natural yoghurt dip. Transform your veggie platter into a smorgasboard of healthy snacks by adding cheeses like feta, mozzarella, or reduced-fat cheddar, plus unsalted nuts and dried or fresh fruit.

Store-bought options

We get it – life is busy and it’s not always possible to prepare homemade snacks. Choosing wisely at the supermarket can help save on prep time, while not sacrificing on nutrition.

Healthy snacks from the supermarket include:
• Air-popped popcorn (plain or lightly flavoured)
• Avocado dip, tzatziki, hummus or tomato salsa with pre-cut veggie sticks and wholegrain crackers
• Reduced-fat cheese and wholegrain crackers
• Roasted chickpeas or fava beans
• Unsalted nuts.

Food labels can help you make healthier choices when you know what information to look for. Check out our guide on how to read food labels.

Yummy snacks for kids’ parties

Little taste buds can be hard to please, but these tasty snack ideas are sure to satisfy even the toughest critics.

Make at home:

Store-bought options:

  • Zero-prep veggies and fruit, like cherry tomatoes, mini cucumbers, baby carrots, grapes, and bananas*
  • Tinned diced fruit tubs (in natural juice)
  • Yoghurt tubs
  • Pikelets
  • Mini fruit muffins
  • Dried fruit and nut packs^
  • Pre-cut cheese and wholegrain cracker packs
  • Individual packets of air-popped popcorn (plain or lightly flavoured)

*For fruit and veg with edible skin, make sure to give them a rinse first!

^Ask your guests if they have nut allergies before serving.

Remember, it’s completely fine to have sometimes foods on offer at kids’ parties too. Try offering a mix of everyday and sometimes snack options. This shows kids that everyday foods are for every day and every occasion, and gives them an opportunity to practice their skills in choosing how much and whether to eat, and supports them to develop a positive relationship with food.

A toddler reaches for a cracker on a veggie platter

Satisfying snacks for grown-ups

Hosting at home

Hosting a family BBQ, watching a movie with your housemates, or having a game night with friends? Whip up these nutritious snacks that are sure to hit the spot.

Morning teas

Morning teas are a common way of celebrating special occasions with colleagues, but sometimes the snacks on offer can be a little repetitive or, dare we say it, boring. Wow your workmates with these home-made healthy snack ideas that are easy to transport and serve.

chocolate and date bliss balls stacked in a small yellow dish

Last-minute dash

When there’s no time to prepare healthy snacks, try these healthier store-bought options for celebrations at home or your workplace:

  • Falafel with tzatziki or hummus
  • Baked pretzels
  • Roasted fava beans or chickpeas
  • Green olives with chili and garlic
  • Mini rice cakes with yoghurt or dark chocolate topping

The bottom line – whether you’re catering for little ones or grown-ups, remember that healthy options can be quick, easy, and delicious!

Healthy snack ideas graphics showing suggestions to make at home or buy from the supermarket


Content developed by Health and Wellbeing Queensland’s team of expert nutritionists and dietitians.

The recipes in this blog have been sourced from Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) Country Kitchens program, Queensland Association of School Tuckshops (QAST) Healthier Tuckshops program, and Health and Wellbeing Queensland. Visit these websites to discover more great recipe ideas.