Finding healthy store-bought snacks is a big back-to-school focus, but having had my kids home on summer break for nearly two weeks now, I realize that I’m in need of easy, on-the-go snacks now. With our summer schedule taking us out and about most days, I’ve had to stock up on snacks that can fit easily in my bag and keep in the heat; that both the kids and I like because we’re together more than usual; and that will give us a genuine boost of energy to sustain big adventures—or at least being active outside most of the day.
These 9 store-bought snacks are keeping us healthy and well-fed on the go all summer long.
— Extra cool! Scroll down to learn more about my fab Able Made tote & how to win your very own. —
I discovered Made Good snacks during the school year while looking for allergy-free products that the kids could bring to school. Since all Made Good products are manufactured in a facility free from the 8 most common allergens, these became an instant go-to for the kids—then I tired them. These little bites are super tasty and some are even made with veggie powder (that you cannot taste). Also, because they come in fairly small portions, these snacks are wayyyy lower in fat and calories than most granola products and, yes, I need built in portion control, thank you very much. So now the boys have to share.
Mamma Chia Vitality Bars
Granola bars are a lifesaver, but also typically packed with sugar. With only 4 grams of sugar—plus 3 to 4 grams of protein and 1000mg Omega3s—these tasty Mamma Chia Organic Chia Vitality Bars are an exception. The Maple Sea Salt is my favorite and the kids’ favorite, too, which makes toting these super easy.
Mamma Chia Squeeze
I rarely call out more than one product from the same brand because I’m all for discovery, but I can’t leave this up to chance. I’ve tried an endless number of squeeze snacks over the years targeted to older kids and adults and, honestly, these Chia Squeeze packs are the only ones that don’t make me and the boys feel like we’re eating baby food. With great, natural flavor and that chia pudding texture that we happen to love, these snacks refresh with a hit of plant-based protein.
Justin’s Nut Butter Squeeze Packs
When I’m feeling low on energy or having one of those days when I’m just hungry all of the time, nothing gives me a satisfying boost like nut butter. Justin’s nut butters are all-natural, super tasty, and easy to take on the go in these handy squeeze packs. Plus, built in portion control for me. The boys, on the other hand, can down 2 or 3 of these in all of 5 minutes. If your kids are the same, you might want to pair this snack with something since these can get pricey.
Bee’s Knees Flavored Nuts
I’m all for boldly spiced nut mixes and have met my match in Bee’s Knees Foods. Their perfectly sized packs of spiced and candied nuts are outrageously delicious with combinations like Salted Honey Lemon Cashews, Curry Roasted Peanuts (my favorite), and Szechuan Roasted Peanuts. The one thing here is that not all of the flavors work for my little guy who’s more sensitive to spice. But my older son and I fight over these, they’re so good.
GoGo Squeez Yogurtz
You are probably familiar with GoGo Squeez apple sauce, but they’ve just launched a new product—GoGo Squeez Yogurtz—and I’m as obsessed with it as my kids. It’s incredibly tasty yogurt that you can take on the go without having to refrigerate. You read correctly: no refrigeration! The yogurt has been heat treated, so it doesn’t have the same probiotic content as you normally find in yogurt, but all the other good stuff is still in there. And honestly, my kids and I love the flavors way better than all the other yogurt squeeze pouch and tubes we’ve tried. The banana flavor is addictive!
Popcorn is the ultimate guilt-free snack and nobody does it better—or more naturally—than SkinnyPop. Without any artificial ingredients and made from non-GMO corn, this preservative-free snack is a good source of fiber and just plain tasty. I love the plain, which has the perfect salty bite, but the kids get extra excited when I buy the Dusted Dark Chocolate flavor, which I happen to enjoy too.
Carrington Farms Flax Paks
It may seem strange to carry flax seed around, but these handy Carrington Farms Flax Packs—which are filled with ground flax seeds, the way you need to eat them in order to reap the full nutritional benefits—are awesome for anytime we end up grabbing a yogurt, frozen yogurt, or smoothie on the road. Sprinkle them on top or hand the pack over to be blended into your smoothie concoction for an instant extra dose of health without any sacrifice or extra work.
Okay, if you don’t know about Bark Thins or haven’t yet tried them, I’m sorry for being the source of your new snack addiction. These are beyond delicious and my entire family is obsessed with this fair-trade, non-GMO snacking chocolate. Yes, this is quality dark chocolate (the healthier kind) that comes in snack portions with other nutrient-dense mix-ins, but more than that, Bark Thins has gotten the ratio of chocolate to add-in’s down perfectly. I’m a sucker for the Dark Chocolate Coconut with Almonds, while the kids crave the Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt. But honestly, every single flavor is delicious, so try a few. One bag is not enough, anyway.
Extra Cool! If you happened to notice my fabulous Able Made McKenzie Tote bag in the picture at the very top, I have exciting news: You can win one of your very own. And it’s seriously as easy as sending an email or hopping onto Instagram—whichever is easier for you. Find the giveaway details on the Able Made site, and enter before July 7, 2016.
I’m sharing a What’s In My Bag feature on the Able Made blog, where you can see what, besides snacks, I always have on me for busy mama life on the go and also learn more about how to enter to win your own McKenzie Tote, which normally retails for $299. Made in the USA, the tote combines a bold design with responsible manufacturing and high-end eco materials. Plus, proceeds of their sales support city youth health through the Ucal McKenzie Breakaway Foundation Soccer and Health Clinics—and you know how we feel about cool companies that give back.
So go ahead: Have your snacks and carry them in style too.
Thanks to Able Made for giving me my new favorite purse that I’m trying not to wear out too fast.