What to put in those lunch boxes? You need a snack your kids will find exciting (or that has high trading value) and a snack that you can feel good about. You also want a snack that you would want to have around the house for your own nibbling pleasure. And you may also have some dietary issues to contend with, like a gluten-free member of the family, or a vegan, or someone who has food allergies. Here are some fresh snacking ideas, solutions for those times when you want something healthy but absolutely satisfying at the same time. From the crunchy to the chewy, the salty to the sweet, there should be something here for everyone.
01 of 08
This company makes a great assortment of not-your-everyday snacks, in attractive interesting single serving bags. Some will appeal to kids, but lots are great for adults, too, and many boast nice amounts of fiber and protein, all clearly marked on the packaging, along with the calorie count.
The combos were varied and delicious: Berry’d Treasure are blueberry-apple granola bites, Hot and Popular is a blend of spicy peanuts and half popped corn kernels, Mocha-mazing is cocoa-dusted almonds and mocha, Coco'nilla Crunch is crunchy, coconut-vanilla granola bites, Cinn-Sational is cinnamon-spiced apples and almonds. You can order these online, and there are great assortments available so you can try them all out and see which are your favorites.
02 of 08
You could put these away by the handful. The crackers come in cute shapes, geared toward the younger set, but we all enjoyed the flavors. The cheese version was great, made with organic wheat and organic cheese. Everyone also liked the sweet graham versions, which came in chocolate, cinnamon, and honey flavors. And it’s nice to know that Horizon works with 700 organic farmers around the country.
03 of 08
My boys are big beef jerky fans (and by boys I mean my sons, my husband, and also my dog), and this was a very popular contender in the jerky department. It’s made with all-natural pasture-raised beef. Lone Mountain Wagyu is one of the few American Purveyors of 100% Fullblood Wagyu beef, which is bred from a highly prized type of Japanese cattle, and it’s made by hand. Thicker, with a more real-meat texture.
04 of 08
This brand had a variety of interesting chip snack options. These lentil chips had a pretty cool texture, a softer crunch, and were a lot of fun to snack on. There was just the right amount of salt, a delicate flavor and I loved the wonderfully short ingredient list. There is also a really good Creamy Dill flavor, as well as Bruschetta and Jalapeno.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
These had a more pronounced flavor, fairly garlicky. One of the tasters said of the Sea Salt version, “They remind me of Fritos, but healthier.” They also come in Roasted Red Pepper, Spicy Chili Pepper, and Tomato Basil. They have 50% less fat than regular potato chips, which is not too shabby.
06 of 08
Broad beans are another name for fava beans, and this is a new roasted snacking bean that’s gaining in popularity. We liked these because they had a very mild, soft flavor, and tasted salty even though the sodium was reasonable for a packaged snack. Flavors include Mesquite BBQ, Sriracha, Wasabi and – as usually happens, our favorite, the most straightforward flavor – simple Sea Salt. Really good source of protein and fiber. Vegan and Gluten-free.
07 of 08
These were light and airy and crispy, and my younger son, in particular, loved the herby seasoning of the Garden herb variety, while I definitely went for the Sea Salt. There is an actual serving of vegetables in each serving of this snack, it’s organic, and the ingredient list is wonderfully short and you will recognize all the words in it, which is always happy-making in a packaged snack. Rich in protein, fiber, and iron. Gluten-free.
08 of 08
Lightly spicy, crunchy, the chickpeas are baked, not fried, and these are an awesome source of protein (6 grams) and fiber (24% - nice!). There are a variety of flavors, including one that is slightly sweet (Honey Roasted), and each has a very straightforward ingredient list. Our favorite was the Habanero. Gluten-free.