What Are Good Snacks to Give Before a Test?

BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Nutritious food fuels your child's body and brain so she is able to better focus on studying and test-taking. Skip the sugary snacks on test day as the energy boost ends much sooner. Instead, send nutritious snacks for your child to eat before her test. And send a bottle of water for your child to wash down her snacks to keep her hydrated and better focused on the testing.

Nut Butters

Nut butters pack protein that provides longer-lasting energy than sugary snacks. Peanut butter is easily accessible and travels well. Try half a peanut butter sandwich or 2 tbsp. of peanut butter with pretzels for dipping. Check with the school before sending anything containing peanuts, though. Many schools maintain a peanut-free environment because of the potential for allergic reactions. Other variations of nut butter include almond, cashew, hazelnut, soybean and sunflower butter. The nuts themselves are also an option and are even more portable than nut butters.


A container of low-sugar cereal made with whole grains supplies your child with complex carbohydrates. Like protein, the complex carbohydrates fuel your child's body and brain, allowing her to function better on her test. Use a plastic container with a lid instead of a plastic bag to carry the cereal so it doesn't turn into crumbs in your child's backpack. Shelf-stable milk is available in individual cartons if your child prefers to drink milk with her cereal. Other whole-grain foods are also a snacking option, including crackers and granola bars.


Most fruits and vegetables travel well, making them a snack option before testing. Fruits such as apples, bananas and oranges that are easy to eat whole or peel and eat are ideal. Send fruit like melons and berries in a small plastic container with a tight lid so the juices don't leak in your child's bag. A container of peeled and washed vegetables is another snacking idea for kids. Send an individual size container of salad dressing for dipping the vegetables.

Cold Snacks

If your child brings a lunchbox with an ice pack, consider sending a cold snack before testing. Cheese is a protein-rich snack for a long-lasting boost. Send crackers along with the cheese for a combination of protein and carbs. A yogurt cup with chopped fruit or hard boiled eggs are additional protein-rich options. Spread a mini bagel with cream cheese for a carbohydrate-rich snack.