Super Simple Plastic Free Snacks For Families

Did you know that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year? That’s equivalent to a garbage truck dumping a load of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day. (source)

A major source of plastic waste comes from our food packaging, which is why it’s important to do what we can to prepare plastic free snacks to reduce our plastic waste. 

plastic free snacks
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

As a family of 5 with 3 young daughters, snacks are a big part of our day.  The girls are constantly asking for snacks – or so it seems.  

When I took a hard look at the snacks they were eating, I knew that our family could do a better job of reducing the food we buy that comes in plastic, single-use packaging. 

While our family is far from perfect, we have been working towards zero waste for a couple of years – reducing single-use plastic in many ways. This includes reusable snack containers and bags, reusable water bottles, reusable straws, zero waste shampoo and conditioner, and more. 

However, an area that we have not succeeded in yet is reducing the food packaging. This especially hit home after watching the movie, The Story of Plastic

I highly recommend watching the Story of Plastic to anyone that really wants to understand the plastic pollution crisis and is ready to take the next step on their zero waste journey.  After watching it myself, I was fired up and ready to start focusing on reducing plastic food packaging in our household. 

To get our family ready for this, I began researching plastic free meals and plastic free snacks. I wanted to share some of the awesome recipes that I have gathered to help get us – and you – started on the right foot! 

If you visit Simple Plastic Free Meals {That Even I Can Make!} first, it will help you learn how to prepare for plastic free meals, how to perform a trash audit, shop for plastic free ingredients, and store your food with plastic free products. Plus, you’ll get tons of recipes for plastic free breakfasts, lunches, and dinners! 

After visiting that page, come back here for all the amazing, simple and delicious plastic free snack ideas – plus some plastic free sides, sauces and garnishes!

Want to save time and money finding the zero waste swaps for your family? Download the FREE guide to 9 Zero Waste Swaps Every Family Can Make!

SIMPLE, EASY PLASTIC FREE SNACKS

The easiest way to start is with simple plastic free snacks that don’t take a lot of preparation. This list will get you started and the ideas flowing but by no means is all-inclusive.  Use it as a starting point for thinking of easy ways to eat plastic free snacks. 

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Green smoothies
  • Nuts (in bulk bins)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Homemade granola
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Cereal (in bulk bins)
  • Homemade popcorn on the stove or made in a paper bag
  • Homemade bread (see the recipe for sourdough bread below)
  • Homemade muffins or other baked goods

Of course, to make sure that you are reducing your plastic waste, when possible, try to shop for these snacks at the following locations:

  • Local farmer’s markets (don’t forget your own reusable bags/basket)
  • Zero waste stores
  • Shop in bulk 
  • Buy food in bulk bins
  • Try a produce subscription service such as Imperfect Foods or Misfits Market 

If you would like to spice up your snacks a bit, check out these recipes that can complement some of the simple snacks listed above. Some of the recipes also make great side dishes with your meals! 

PLASTIC FREE SNACK RECIPES

Sourdough Starter (Plus Recipes!) – 

sourdough bread - plastic free bread

Finding bread in your local grocery store without plastic packaging is hard to do.  I’ve struggled with this for a long time.  As part of Plastic Free July, I decided that I need to make my own bread instead.  

A friend of mine shared her sourdough starter with me and this great blog post with everything I needed to know. The process was simple and my first loaf of bread was a success! Next, I plan to try some of the other recipes, including the sourdough crackers!

Melitzanosalata (Greek Eggplant Dip) – 

Melitzanosalata eggplant dip - plastic free snacks
Photo by: A Hedgehog In the Kitchen

Substitute store-bought Greek yogurt for homemade Greek yogurt (recipe included in the Plastic Free Breakfast recipes).

Oven Baked Zucchini Chips – 

oven baked zucchini chips - plastic free snacks
Photo by: Low Carb Yum

Use a silicone baking mat instead of the parchment paper to reduce your waste, or you can use compostable parchment paper. 

Homemade Popcorn – 

homemade plastic free popcorn - plastic free snacks
Photo by: Creative Green Living

I’m not sure if you can buy plastic-free popcorn kernels where you live, but either way this is way better than buying plastic bags full of pre-popped popcorn or the packets of microwave popcorn. Plus, it’s healthier!

Oven Baked Kale Chips (only 3 ingredients)

oven baked kale chips - plastic free snacks

Here’s another great recipe to use a silicone baking mat instead of the parchment paper to reduce your waste. 

Oven Baked Beet Chips – 

oven baked beet chips - plastic free snacks
Photo by: Pink Fortitude

This 3-ingredient recipe is a great way to avoid the bags of plastic chips from the grocery store Plus, beet chips are healthier and Paleo, Whole30, and Keto approved!

Slow Cooker Applesauce

slow cooker homemade applesauce - plastic free snacks
Photo by: Strength & Sunshine

My kids love applesauce pouches but the plastic pouches are so wasteful and not recyclable. This recipe in the slow cooker is the perfect solution and can be stored in glass jars. 

Healthy Hummus

Photo by: My Plantiful Cooking

To further reduce the plastic in the recipe, substitute canned chickpeas for dry chickpeas and buy your tahini in a glass jar vs. plastic. 

Best Guacamole Recipe

best guacamole recipe - plastic free snacks
Photo by: Food Folks and Fun

You can’t go wrong with guacamole! This homemade version is a healthy, plastic-free way to enjoy this favorite.

Dried Fruit & Chocolate Granola Recipe – 

DRIED FRUIT & CHOCOLATE GRANOLA RECIPE
Photo by: Francine’s Place Blog

This is a great recipe if you can get the ingredients in the bulk bins! Store it in a glass jar for a plastic-free snack or breakfast.

PLASTIC FREE SIDE DISHES

Mexican Fruit Salad

Mexican Fruit Salad
Photo by: Easy Budget Recipes

This versatile fruit salad can be made with fresh produce – without the plastic packaging – and you can substitute different fruit that you have on hand or goes on sale. 

Easy Dill Pickles from Fresh Cucumbers – 

dill pickles from fresh cucumbers
Photo by: Creative Green Living

Try to source your spices for this recipe from bulk bins or in glass jars, if at all possible. 

Roasted Potatoes Peppers & Kale – 

roasted potatoes peppers and kale
Photo by: Oh! Homesteading

This side dish is not only healthy and plastic-free but also beautiful and easy to assemble. 

Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms

roasted asparagus and mushrooms
Photo by: My Pure Plants

To ensure that this recipe is waste free, line your baking sheet with compostable parchment paper or a reusable silicone baking mat. Also, mushrooms typically come in a plastic wrapped container.  See if you can find a plastic-free option at a farmer’s market or produce stand. 

Italian Style Zucchini & Mushrooms – 

Italian style zucchini and mushrooms
Photo by: Christina’s Cucina

Do your best to buy your produce without plastic packing and use a cast iron frying pan to avoid the plastic chemicals in teflon

Rainbow Roasted Vegetables

rainbow roasted vegetables
Photo by: Tasty Galaxy

These rainbow roasted vegetables are beautiful, healthy and plastic-free.  What a great combo! An extra bonus is that your kids will think these are so cool that they might actually eat their vegetables! 

PLASTIC FREE SAUCES & GARNISHES

Lettuce Pesto

Lettuce Pesto
Photo by: My Millennial Kitchen

I love that this recipe uses leftover lettuce or wilted spinach to make a tasty, easy pesto! What a great way to reduce your food waste in general!

Easy Pasta Sauce

easy pasta sauce
Photo by: Natural Goodness

This easy pasta sauce is made from scratch with no cans or tomato paste! Store the sauce in a glass jar if you are not enjoying it right away. 

Green Tomato Salsa

green tomato salsa
Photo by: Compost and Cava

This is a great recipe for people who grow their own tomatoes and may have too many green tomatoes on hand. Plus, it has diced avocado… yum!

Mango Salsa

mango salsa
Photo by: Veg Recipes of India

Mango salsa is not only a delicious snack or garnish but also full of fresh produce and healthy!

Quick Pink Pickled Onions

quick pink pickled onions
Photo by: The Granola Diaries

You can save glass jars from other pickles or sauces to use in this recipe! A great way to reuse!

FINAL THOUGHTS ON PLASTIC FREE SNACKS 

In the end, remember that the changes you are making to reduce your plastic waste and serve more plastic free snacks are something to be proud of! Maybe you are well on your journey to a zero waste lifestyle and have some tips and plastic free snacks to share with us.  Please leave a comment below and let us know your favorite plastic free snack or recipe!

Related articles:

Simple Plastic Free Meals {That Even I Can Make!}

DIY Healthy Lunchables for Kids

Is BPA-Free Plastic Safe?

Avoid Plastic In Your Kitchen (Because It’s Harming Your Health)

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plastic free snacks

Want to save time and money finding the zero waste swaps for your family? Download the FREE guide to 9 Zero Waste Swaps Every Family Can Make!

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2 Comments

  1. July 26 / 10:05 PM

    This is so extremely important and I just don’t see enough people caring. Thank you for bringing it up and hopefully the awareness will continue and we will all keep trying to do better.

    • Rebekah
      Author
      August 1 / 5:02 PM

      Thank you, Christina! I hope so too!

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