Snacks: 10 healthy store-bought options
Packaged foods are getting healthier, but you have to know what to look for. A quick comb of the options turned up some nice surprises.
The dreaded snack aisle
The old snack aisle: She ain’t what she used to be. Luckily, pre-packaged snacks are getting healthier as people become more conscious of what they're eating. We've compiled a list of snacks that your kids will love... and that you'll feel comfortable giving your little ones in their lunch boxes or between meals.
Good old Triscuits have the shortest ingredient list of all the packages on the never-ending shelf of options. Choose the plain Thin Crisp version and be able to serve twice as many for half the calories. For crackers, these ones are lower in sodium and quite high in fibre.
It’s a good idea to get off wheat on occasion. Crunchmaster has a delicious multi-seed, Roasted garlic rice cracker that is gluten free and yet filled with flavour. Using whole grain brown rice flour and quinoa as well as flax seeds makes these bites much more filling than the white alternative.
Single serve cookies
Studies have shown that when we become aware of how much we are consuming instead of eating from the box, we tend to be more satisfied with less. In the packaged food topic, that’s a good thing! LeClerc Praeventia makes ginger snaps in 140 calorie packs. The cookies are fortified with rolled oats and a beta Glucan fibre (Which they claim activates immune cells. The jury is still out on that but they are a darned good cookie in a reasonable serving size).
Whole grain cookies
Blue Menu does a great job of keeping whole grains in foods and their Blueberry Lemon Biscuits with Flaxseeds are delicious to boot. Four cookies provide an impressive 2 grams of both protein and fibre (kind of unheard of in a cookie).
Once upon a time, granola was the healthiest word in our language. And then packaged “granola bars” hit the market as more “sticky cookie” with sugar and white flour and less protein and fibre. (As a double bonus, you can have some “chocolatey coating”, ick.) Enjoy Life has a Sunbutter Crunch bar that has high protein, high mineral sunflower seed butter as its primary ingredient: Worth the search.
Of course an apple eaten out of hand can’t be beat. But we all know kids leave the bounced and bruised fruit in the bag. Applesauce may be the answer and PC Organics Unsweetened apple-cinnamon appletreet cups have no sugar, flavour or color added.
What could be better than a portable, organic, easy to serve squeezy pack of organic apples, pears, oats, butter, cinnamon and lemon juice? These creative Baby Gourmet packs can be squeezed into a bowl and served the traditional way or “squeeze fed”. These packets are suggested for 8 months+ but there are likely loads of teens who would be thrilled to find them in lunch boxes (especially the vanilla banana berry risotto or the old-fashioned apple crisp).
Deep fried potato chips are enemy #2 in our obesity crisis (soda beverages are #1, in case you were wondering.) But, kids love them and the occasional crispy potato package is a childhood treasure. Baked chips are an option but they can taste a bit fake and spongy. Popchips, on the other hand, come in all the classic chip flavours but they are hot air popped and much lower in fat and calories.
Hummus and crackers
You could, but you don’t have to, package your own little containers. Summer Fresh has created fabulous snack packs with just enough hummus to be able to count as a protein and a few crisp breads to spread them on. Fabulous after school, before soccer/ballet/hockey/tennis/...
Photo by di.wineanddine via Flickr
Good fats are hard to come by in a kid’s diet, (Raw almonds? Baked fish? Extra virgin olive oil?) but coconut oil is one of the best. What fun was finding it, organic, in a frozen ice cream treat. Sweetened only with agave nectar, So Delicious, Minis Coconut Almond Bars are a hit.
More smart choices
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