My kids are big snackers, and they probably get it from me: I often skip dinner entirely (not good, I know!), and then spend the rest of the evening snacking—a bowl of cereal, some grapes, toast, or maybe if I’m feeling ambitious, a sliced cucumber with some feta cheese, drizzled with Olea Blue.
I try to encourage my kids to sit down to three meals a day and keep snacking to a minimum, but this is often not realistic. My mom’s most popular post ever is this one, which provides “recipes” for ten super simple, truly healthful snacks for kids. I know this list has been a game-changer for many of us, but what about those times when we don’t even have time to slice a carrot, let alone make kale chips? For modern mommas, there are simply a lot of instances when we need packaged snacks–whether it’s for handing out in the car or stroller or throwing in a lunch box.
Here’s a round-up of my ten favorite, totally guilt-free, packaged snacks. These aren’t just Okay Stuff in my opinion–they are truly the Good Stuff, making me feel great if my kids eat any of them as part of their dinner!
1: Brami Snacking Lupini Beans
With no weird oils or preservatives, Brami’s lupini beans are a Mediterranean snack with more protein and fiber than most beans and nuts (and without the soy concerns of edamame).
2: SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed
Not only are the SeaSnax brand seaweed snacks organic, but (unlike the Trader Joe’s version) they use olive oil instead of canola. Sea vegetables are a great source of minerals, including magnesium, iodine, calcium, selenium, potassium, and zinc.
3: Ruby Rockets Veggie & Fruit Pops
My kids always request Ruby Rockets when they are sick, and I’m happy to oblige. Available in three delicious flavors, Ruby Rockets are the only popsicle I’ve found that doesn’t contain any added sugar, and are packed with hidden veggie purees (not just juice!)–from organic beets to sweet potatoes.
4: Wallaby Organic Greek Yogurt
Since my kids won’t eat completely plain yogurt, I’m always on the lookout for the healthiest flavored version. Thus far, I’ve been unable to find a brand that contains zero sugar, so we like Wallaby’s organic honey variety.
5: Larabar Minis
My kids would live on ZBars if I let them, but those are decidedly sneaky (with lots of sugar, soy, etc.). I love the Larabar Minis for kids: they are made of just nuts, dates, and fruit and happen to be crazy tasty (especially the cherry pie one, FYI). For more on energy bars, check out our Healthy Nutrition Bar Guide.
6: Nature’s All Foods Freeze-Dried Strawberries
When you don’t have fresh fruit on hand or you don’t feel like washing and slicing it, these organic freeze-dried strawberries are the perfect solution to toss in your bag. They are expensive, yes, but are also much healthier than any other “fruit snacks” out there.
7: LesserEvil Buddha Bowl Himalayan Pink Popcorn
Popcorn is a great, whole-grain snack for older kids (because of choking risk), but sometimes we don’t have time to make it in our hot air popper. On those days, I love LesserEvil’s Himalayan Pink Popcorn, which contains just popcorn, coconut oil, and Himalayan sea salt.
8: Rhythm Superfoods Beet Chips
Rhythm’s beet chips DO have sunflower oil (which is better than canola or soy, but not as good as olive, coconut, or avocado), but I don’t consider that much of a compromise if it means watching my kids take down an entire beet in a sitting.
9: The Good Bean Chickpea Snacks
Loaded with folate and protein, The Good Bean’s line of roasted chickpea snacks also contain safflower/sunflower oil, but are a delicious alternative to chips or crackers.
10: Plum Kids Organic Fruit Mashups
Yes, getting your kids to eat whole fruit is ideal, but I like Plum’s Mashup pouches because they don’t contain juices–just purees of organic fruits and berries. What’s more–the plastic used in these pouches is the safest kind out there. For
Please share below which packaged snacks are your go-tos for kids!
P.S.: You’ll notice in this post that I’ve linked a bunch of snacks to Thrive Market. If you aren’t familiar with Thrive, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s a Costco meets Whole Foods meets Amazon model, with hard-to-find healthful foods delivered, for free, at steeply discounted prices. (And our readers get a free jar of avocado mayo when they join via the link I just provided, since I have an affiliate account with Thrive).
P.P.S.: Wolfie isn’t a huge carrot eater, but when I buy the baby ones in little individual bags, he suddenly loves them. It just goes to show you how much my kids love any and all packaged foods!