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At the beginning of the year, my first-grader ate whatever I put into her lunch box. It came back empty every day. These days, however, I guess the honey wheat pretzels and animal crackers I’ve been sending aren’t cool. There have been many days her box comes back full to the brim minus the sandwich (or bagel) I’ve put in. This past week I even got a call from the teacher. Big Girl, she told me, was refusing to eat lunch because it wasn’t a “proper” lunch. Her sandwich keeper fell into the backpack, so she thought I didn’t send her an entree. And since I didn’t have time to pack snacks into her little snack keeper I threw the full serving bags into her bag. She didn’t approve. LOL.

Anyway, last night I told her that aside from the fact that I didn’t like to see her possibly hungry at school, I don’t like wasting food. So from now on she’s going to pick her snacks. I’ll pack them, but she’s got to pick. This morning she picked raisins, popcorn, and two vanilla cookies. She told me she wants cantaloupe and strawberries as options. I need to go to the store. But she also said she needs more choices. Okay, that I can do. A while back I put out a call for healthy snack suggestions. I got a bunch of ideas. Here are some of the ones we’ve tried and liked. (And some that we’ve eaten for a while.)

FruitaBu: When I was little I got to eat Fruit Rollups. Here’s the problem with them: They have a lot of added sugar. A lot. And other chemicals, too, like Red 40, Yellows 5 and 6, and Acetylated Mono and Diglycerides. FruitaBu is the same thing (you can even get the roll up kind) but the only ingredients are fruit. And more fruit. And they are really yummy.

Funky Monkey Snacks. When I was little I loved dried fruit. Our options were limited: dried apples, bananas, and apricots. Funky Monkey is an update to the dried fruit snack. There are seven flavors — banana and cinnamon, for example, or pineapple and guava. The nice part: no added sugar, no colors, just plain old dried and yummy fruit.

Healthy Handfuls. We get these at WholeFoods. So yummy. Cookies and crackers that are organic and free of chemicals and junk. Love the Lemon Vanilla cookies. Just love them.

Panda Licorice. I can’t keep these in the house. They are so yummy that I eat them. But the fact that I can buy candy for Big Girl that isn’t filled with artificial colors or chemicals is pretty nice.

There are more, of course, but these are the ones we’ve tried lately and liked. Are there any great snack foods you’ve been packing into your kid’s lunch box? I’m always looking for suggestions.

5 Responses to “Healthy Snacks that Don’t Suck”

  1. MarthaandMe says:

    Letting your kid pack it herself it definitely the best option. I had the same problem with both kids and once I had them do it themselves, they were very happy. I used to make my own trail mix and my son loved it, so you could experiment with that.

  2. Shari says:

    Annie’s Fruity Bunnies are a favorite at our house, Joe Joes (Trader Joe’s version of the Oreo), Snyders pretzel snaps or rods, brown rice krispy sqaures (Trader Joes), and squeezable yougurts like Stonyfield Tubers.

  3. kb says:

    Chris loves Joe’s Joes, and Katelyn loves the Fruity Bunnies. (And Cheddar Bunnies, too!)

    –KB

  4. kb says:

    Ahh, but we are not all chefs like you are! Seriously, making my own trail mix sounds like fun. Have any good recipes?

    –KB

  5. Marie says:

    I love your suggestions.

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