While we try to make sure that the kids eat healthy and prefer to pack fresh fruits, vegetables and home cooked meals for their lunches (leftovers from the previous night’s dinner usually), their daycare asks that we have extra non-perishable snacks for them, too, in case they’ve refused their meal or when they need an extra snack. Often, it’s also easier to grab a package on the way out the door for our weekend outings rather than preparing food in advance. Here are some of our preferred, non-perishable, healthier store-bought snacks for the kids:
1-5) Freeze Dried Fruit/Vegetables: We love unsweetened freeze dried fruit. We initially got them from Trader Joe’s, but they have since become extremely popular and we see them everywhere now. Our favorites from Trader Joe’s are the 1) strawberries, 2) raspberries and 3) bananas (other brands make them, but the ones from Trader Joe’s were Lion’s favorites). Blueberries get messy very quickly so we stopped buying them. Lion also likes the apple slices, but it’s not his favorite brand. You can purchase them on Amazon, but if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they’re much cheaper at between $3 to $3.50/bag.
Target’s Simply Balanced also makes several and we particularly like pineapple (haven’t found pineapple from other companies yet), mangos (thinner and easier to eat than the ones by Trader Joe’s) and edamame. We can’t stop eating the edamame whenever we open a bag and it’s high in protein, but it does have added oil and salt unlike most of the items in this section which are 100% fruits or vegetables. We also recently discovered cinnamon apple ones that are unsweetened but have that extra cinnamon flavor. With the Target brand freeze dried fruit, we have to read the package carefully to make sure we don’t accidentally pick up the sweetened version. I have a hard time finding them online, but there’s half an aisle dedicated to the product in the store.
If you shop at Costco, they have Kirkland brand apples and seedless grapes. These apples are Lion’s favorite because they’re a bit “fluffier” and less dry that the ones by Trader Joes. They also don’t have skin on them so they’re easier for smaller babies, like Panda, to munch on.
Lion started eating these at about 5 months old, beginning with strawberries. Panda is now starting to test them out, though we have more luck with fresh fruits with him.
6-7) Snapea crisps: There are many brands out there, but we enjoy the ones by 6) Harvest Brand (original flavor) and 7) Trader Joes’ Inner Peas because they have fewer additives than some of the other ones. This is one of Lion’s favorite snacks and we like that it has fiber and protein in it.
8) Roasted seaweed: I buy a lot of roasted seaweed from the Asian market. I couldn’t find the brand I normally buy online, but there are many options out there, like 8) this one available on Amazon. He will eat it straight out of the package, or together with rice.
9) Chickpeatos: As I was checking out at the grocery store recently, I picked up a bag of 9) Chickpeatos as an impulse purchase. Chickpeatos are chickpeas roasted in olive oil and seasonings, like rosemary, garlic powder, and salt. While they are a bit on the drier side, Lion seems to really like them and because there are days where I worry he doesn’t get enough protein, it’s always nice to have some snacks that give him a bit more from this food group. There are a few different flavors, but we’ve only tried the rosemary ones.
10-13) Two ingredient fruit bars: Lion goes through phases where he loves these two-ingredient fruit bars (apple plus a second ingredient) and will gobble up three at a time, and other times where he wants nothing to do with them. When he’s not interested, Mr. Dolphin is usually pretty happy to eat them. Trader Joe’s makes a variety such as 10) apple and coconut or 11) apple and mango, but we also find the 12) apple and cherry and 13) apple and blueberry ones by That’s It at most grocery stores.
What are some of your favorite go-to packaged snacks?