7 Smart Summer Snacks
For the last few days, my daughter's plain graham crackers have been coming back in the lunchbox she takes to camp. When I asked her why she didn't eat them, her reason was clear: "I'm tired of the same stuff!"
OK, I get it. I have fallen into a rut at the supermarket buying the same snacks that I know are at least somewhat healthy rather than stopping to read all the ingredients on the packages of new products.
Then I had to invite a bunch of kids to an event for a story in an issue of Parents—and since I had to feed them something while they were there, I asked them to try a bunch of snacks and tell me which ones they liked best.
Here's what they thought was super yummy and what will be showing up in my daughter's lunchbox next week.
Horizon Snacks Crackers & Grahams
Kids recognized this brand from their organic milk and tried the company's new cracker line without hesitation. They liked all the flavors, including the cheddar snack crackers, organic cheese sandwich crackers, and chocolate grahams in the shape of cows and globes. Confession: I couldn't stop munching on the chocolate grahams either. Horizon.com
Late July Tortilla Chips
My daughter has been a fan of the company's Dude Ranch chips so I wasn't surprised that the restaurant style tortilla chips tasted amazing. The kids (and parents) liked the sea salt flavor, which is certified gluten- and nut-free. Just add salsa or guac. Latejuly.com
Wholly Guacamole Classic Snack Cups
The to-go pack is the perfect lunchbox addition since it comes in a portioned package of guacamole and tortilla rounds. It’s delicious, portable, and has no preservatives added. Eatwholly.com
Tree Top Applesauce Pouches
The kids particularly enjoyed the flavor of the apple and mango puree. Each 50-calorie pouch has 2 grams of fiber and all the vitamin C that kids need for the day. Treetop.com
Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar
It's so cheesy, yet it's baked, not fried, and has no artificial colors or flavors. It's made with corn, rice, and cheddar cheese. Bonus: Pirate's Booty is made in a facility that's free of peanuts and tree nuts (though still check labels for allergen information as ingredients often change). Piratebrands.com
Plum Organics Mighty Snack Bars
This is a grain-based bar that's filled with fruits and veggies in flavors like strawberry, blueberry with carrot, and pumpkin with banana. It also contains 11 vitamins and minerals. Amazon.com
Tasty Brand Chocolate Layer Cake Cookies
Of course, you're not going to give your kids cookies for snack time every day. But I do pack my daughter cookies in her lunch (for camp and school) once or twice a week. My philosophy: It's better to learn how to have sweets in moderation than avoid them altogether. The kids thought this brand, available at Whole Foods Market, tasted amazing and I like that I can recognize the ingredients listed on the label. Wholefoodsmarket.com
These pouches—about 30 percent fruit juice and 70 percent water—are perfect for kids who won't drink plain water. They're 40 calories each, and our tasters liked the Super Fruit Punch and Berry Berry Lemonade flavors the best. Amazon.com