For all of our food changes over the past few years, snacks are consistently the hardest part. I feel like we do really well for breakfasts and dinners (you can see posts on what we do for those two meals) and for lunch we do okay. But snacks. ARGH. It’s hard to find healthy snacks that the kids enjoy.
So many snacks are grain-based and sugar ridden. I’m not in the All-Grains-Are-Bad camp, but I think we as a culture eat waaaaay too many of them — and usually the wrong kinds. And let’s face it, a kid can only eat so much string cheese before . . . you know.
I’ve had several companies reach out to me lately and ask me to try their snacks. Each company has a list of reasons why their snack is a wise choice, and I chose to try each of these for different reasons. Some were bigger hits than others, but I would recommend each one depending on what you’re looking for.
As you know, I eat a strictly gluten free diet. I love chips – tortilla chips, corn chips, potato chips . . . I love ’em. Although I think I like corn more than it likes me. I try to limit my consumption of corn-based chips. Plus almost all corn is genetically modified unless it is organic, and that gets to be a little bit pricey!
Beanfields Chips are made from black & navy beans and rice. They are both gluten and corn free and non-GMO. They are also free of the top 8 allergens so kids who are allergic to milk, soy, nuts, and peanuts can enjoy them too. They also contain 4 grams of complete protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving.
They are tasty on their own or as a vehicle for your favorite dip. We particularly liked the pico de gallo flavor.
Angie’s Kettle Corn
I won a box of Angie’s Kettle Corn from R‘s blog giveaway, and I’m here to tell you, this is one tasty treat. Angie’s Kettle Corn is made with only four ingredients: Popcorn, Corn Oil, Cane Sugar, and Sea Salt — again, with no wheat or nuts or dairy products at all, making it the perfect treat for those allergy families you may know and love. In fact, it is certified gluten free.
My only concern is GMO, as it is not organic and most non-organic corn is GMO. I didn’t inquire about that, though, so I can’t say for sure. This is one of those times when ignorance is bliss!
As it turns out, Angie’s claims to be GMO-free. Here is their GMO statement for those who are geeks like me and like to read up on this stuff.
By far and away, my favorite flavor is the Classic. The Caramel was a bit too sweet for me, and the Lite was too, well, light. You know me, give me the full fat please!!! The kids ate that, though, and didn’t seem to notice. And the Caramel WAS good. I just really, really love the Classic. I’ve found Angie’s Kettle Corn at my local whole foods mart so I can keep myself well stocked. YAY!
I do have a penchant for sweets, and candy bars are no exception. With my new real food lifestyle, a candy bar is a rare treat — usually when I find myself in a hotel room stocked with food. I cannot deny myself a Snicker’s bar when it’s sitting right in front of me. But I digress.
HALO bars, from the makers of PROBAR, are designed to be a healthy candy bar that you can feel good about giving your kids (or sneaking in a hotel room late at night). HALO bars are organic, dairy-free/Vegan, low-in-sugar, and some varieties are gluten free. I asked about GMO and this is what they told me: “we are 99% sure that there are no GMO ingredients involved. The little bit of canola we use is organic and the only soy involved is in the making of the Vegan Marshmallows, which are made by another company (http://www.chicagosoydairy.com/). The only bit we aren’t 100% sure about is if our marshmallow vendor can independently certify all their ingredients are GMO free (they make the claim, but have not finished the independent audit).”
We received our box and dove in. I have to say, they aren’t as good as I was hoping. The only one I tried was Rocky Road, and they are right about them not having a ton of sugar. As a result, they aren’t very sweet. Some of my kids liked them, though, so they certainly didn’t go to waste. I really like the concept. I definitely appreciate having a candy bar option that isn’t totally junkfood, and this is something I’d buy for my kids to put in their lunch boxes or to take on road trips so they can have a sweeter snack that is made with wholesome ingredients.
When you’re talking about healthy snacks, you can’t go wrong with fruit. ZESPRI reached out to me and offered to send me some kiwifruit to try. My kids love kiwi so she didn’t have to ask twice! Kiwifruit originated in China and was brought to New Zealand in 1904. Exports to Europe began in the 1950s, and it came to America in 1959. That’s a bit of kiwifruit history for you!
ZESPRI is the brand name for all kiwifruit grown in New Zealand, a country known for its green, clean environment. Kiwifruit is one of the most nutrient dense fruits, and it is delicious. I’ve hardly met a person who doesn’t like it. It’s also easy to eat. Just cut it half and scoop it into your mouth!
There are also tons of recipes using kiwifruit, many right on the ZESPRI website. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t use my kiwifruit to make anything. I’ve been so busy between getting back from Type A and leaving today for a family beach getaway that we just ate them straight up. But the recipe possibilities are endless, and I’d encourage you to try some new ways to eat this fabulous fruit!
And also? There are some cocktail recipes in that link. I’m thinking of trying the Frozen Golden Kiwifruit Margarita with Grenadine for the 4th of July. I mean, really. How yummy does that look!?
Win a prize pack with some of these delicious snacks. Just leave a relevant comment on this post. I’ll randomly select a winner sometime next week! The winner must have a U.S. mailing address.
UPDATE: The prize pack will include a variety pack of Beanfield Chips, a box of HALO bars in assorted flavors, a variety pack of Angie’s Kettle Corn and a sampling of ZESPRI Kiwifruit.
Also, Probar is offering a one-time 40% off to all Musings readers — just enter BLOGGER in the discount code section, upon checkout.
Disclosure: I received samples of these snacks to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are strictly my own.