‘Snacking’ is as American as apple pie. And much like anything as ubiquitous as snacking, there are a wide variety of opinions on what constitutes a ‘good’ snack, when snacks should be given and even if we should be snacking at all. Over the years, I have developed my own high-minded and philosophical opinions on the concept of snacking (you can read more about that in a post from last Spring here), but like many beliefs, it is one that continues to change and develop as I learn more about food and nutrition. This is such a popular topic, in fact that a lot of my community outreach and education is teaching families how to prepare healthy snacks that are affordable and can conveniently replace highly processed foods. At the end of the day, snacking is an opportunity to fill our kids (and ourselves) with nutrient dense foods that fuel our bodies. And as such, we need to recognize that we need different things from our snacks depending on the time of day, and that is why there is no one size fits all answer to the question of what should I serve for snack?’ For example before a soccer practice or something physical, your child will require something with more carbohydrates and even a little sugar, like a granola bar and apple, to help provide the energy needed to sustain them during exercise. After exerting the energy it is good idea to provide them with protein dense foods, like nuts, eggs, (and chicken?) to help rebuild the muscles.
The first step in making sure your kids get healthy snacks is setting yourself up for success. What this means in terms of snacking is stocking the kitchen with healthy options that make it easy to make good decisions when on the run. You can fill the “snack drawer” with nuts, fruits (dried or fresh), and granola bars. These things are non perishable and easily stored and packaged in snack size bites. Also, stock the fridge with hard boiled eggs, cheese, veggie sticks and hummus or ranch. I’m always searching for healthy options that add convenience to our busy lives. Another healthy option that is quick and convenient is one that I recently had the opportunity to test; a new protein snack called Bold Bites by Foster Farms. They are a great snack-on-the-go option for people with active lifestyles and busy schedules.
Bold Bites are pre seasoned and cooked chicken pieces that come in individually wrapped packages that pack in 15 grams of lean protein into each serving. They come in several flavors like Chile verde, Korean BBQ, and Little Miss’ favorite Parmesan Garlic. I always check ingredient labels and these pass the test because they don’t have added hormones, artificial flavors, or nitrates. They can be eaten alone or added to a tortilla or salad for a bigger meal.
Currently, they can be purchased in CA, Washington, and Oregon at Target, Safeway, Albertson’s, Save Mart and Walmart in the refrigerated snack section. Think about including them to your healthy snack menu and enjoy snacking guilt free!