If you have kids going back to school this fall, you might already be planning your schedule (and pantry) for another busy academic year. To help you stock up and get those family-approved snacks, school snacks, lunches, and after-study bites, look no further than Canada’s favourite bulk grocery retailer, Costco. Costco comes in clutch for feeding large families, and it will make packing school lunches that much easier and cheaper. So head to the store and get your pantry stocked up with these back-to-school foodie faves from Costco.
Related: 10 Costco Finds for the Ultimate BBQ
Columbia 3-piece Set Expandable Lunch Bag
If the new school year means a new lunch bag, Costco has you covered with this three-piece set. The padded lunch bag expands to fit more when needed, and it comes with a leak-proof food container and ice pack so that you’re ready to send your kiddos off, no matter what you’ve packed. It comes in five colours so you can grab a few if you have multiple little ones (without getting them mixed up!).
School Safe Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Bars
It’s always a good move to have allergen-free snacks to send your children off to school with. These banana chocolate chip muffin bars are dairy- and nut-free and contain no artificial flavours and colours, making them a classroom-approved snack for all. Plus, the 20-pack breaks down to an affordable 65 cents per bar. If you have bigger kids with heartier appetites, we also love the Kirkland brand banana chocolate chip muffins from their bakery section.
Babybel Light Cheese
Ensure your kids are getting enough protein to keep them focused throughout the school day. Perfectly-portioned Babybel cheese is a high-protein and surprisingly lactose-free snack. Bonus: They’re already conveniently individually wrapped! Just make sure to include an ice pack in the lunch box to keep this dairy product cold until lunchtime.
Welch's Juicefuls Fruit Snacks
Coming in two fruity flavours (Mixed Fruit and Berry Blast), these portable gummy snacks may just be the highlight of your children’s school lunches. They’re another affordable addition, coming in at just under 50 cents a pop.
Bon Matin 14-Grain Bread
Besides plenty of produce (that you can find in bulk in Costco’s grocery section), it’s more than likely that your household will need to stock up on sandwich fixings for school lunches. Bon Matin’s 14-grain bread is a versatile ingredient for busy breakfasts as well as school sandwiches. There are so many ways you can switch your fillings up to keep the flavours fresh for your studious little ones (like this trendy Tamago Sando, for example). Bread also freezes well if you’re finding it takes a while to get through this bulk-sized three pack. Just bring to room temperature on the counter before prepping, or toss a frozen slice directly into the toaster.
Thermoflask Kids Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottles
Staying hydrated, especially in the late summer when temperatures can still be warm, is a must. Ensure that your little ones are drinking their H20 (while saving plastic) with these kid-sized insulated stainless steel bottles. They’re guaranteed leak-proof and will keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours. A tip if you’re young students don’t love regular water — try adding in low-calorie water enhancers for added flavour and electrolytes.
Kirkland Signature Soft and Chewy Granola Bars
Always a classic, granola bars are the ultimate portable snack. While you can certainly make your own (hint: these No-Bake Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars are to die for), it’s always helpful to have a bulk-sized box on hand for those hectic weekdays. You absolutely can’t beat Costco’s house brand for value, either. Coming in at just 22 cents a bar, these are a hot buy.
Fontaine Sante Mini Traditional Hummus
If savoury snacks are more the speed of your kids, Costco has you covered there, too. Cut up fresh veg and serve this traditional hummus as a dip for a vegan school lunch idea. They’re individually portioned for on-the-go enjoyment and just over 50 cents per pack.
Rougemont Juice Boxes
Give your kids the variety to choose their favourite drink boxes with this value pack that comes in four flavours: apple berry, apple juice, fruit punch, and peach cocktail. They come in at an affordable 36 cents per drink, too!
Iogo Assorted Nano Drinkable Yogurt
Drinkable yogurt is a great snack to start the day with, whether a morning snack or a school bus breakfast. Kids of all ages are sure to love slurping up these strawberry and raspberry drinks. The Costco-sized packs also come in at an affordable 65 cents for an affordable school lunch grocery haul.