We're pretty big eaters in our house. People are always surprised by the amount and the frequency that we eat. We don't skip meals, and in fact we usually eat in between meals. For times when life gets really hectic, or while we're traveling, healthy snacks on the go are really important. It's a convenience factor, and also a matter of proactively providing yourself a healthy alternative before you're starving and considering eating anything that can't outrun you (that might just be me, projecting).
I don't know about you guys but I'm picky when it comes to commercially prepared healthy snacks. Packing fruits and veggies and even your own meals is smart and can even end up saving you money, but sometimes you just need to be able to grab something and go. But when it comes to health snacks and meal replacement bars, a lot of them have... a taste. Some kind of weird, awful taste that just lingers. Do you guys know what I'm talking about? As in, the snack almost tastes like the wrapper it came in? And it's not just the taste; I also care about what's in the food that I eat. And a lot of the meal bars and foods that pose as healthy snacks actually have a lot of ingredients that aren't at all healthy or natural. I like simple ingredients. Organic is ideal. Even better if it's made by a company operating with good ethos. The snack should also be relatively filling, so you're not hungry again in 10 minutes.
Long story short, as I said before - I'm a bit picky when it comes to convenient healthy snacks. I want my food to taste good. Great actually. I like to enjoy what I'm eating. So after many years of desperately searching for flight snacks and in-between meal grabs and sometimes just general munchies, here's our list of favorite healthy on the go snacks that have passed a high standard for both taste and ingredients. Some of these are so tasty that we eat them for "dessert"!
FLAX4LIFE Blueberry Muffins - These are so delicious that I'm going to end up sounding like a spokesperson. They're made local to us in Washington state but have recently started to pop up all over. We've eaten them for years and they're great for mornings when you know you need a little substance but don't have time to stop and make yourself breakfast. These also come in chocolate, and a number of other flavors. They also make smaller chocolate brownie muffins (the ones I've linked here are chocolate & cherry) that we eat as dessert around our house. They're still made from simple ingredients but so dangerously delicious that you're going to want to taste at your own risk - just don't eat the whole dozen all at once! They are soft and have a very doughy texture. Plus, can you go wrong with chocolate? Now I'm hungry.
Organic Dried Mangos - These are so good they almost pass for candy - they make a great light snack in between meals. They're organic, with no artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, or preservatives. The only ingredient is mangoes; nice and simple.
Umchu Bars - This is another company that's local to us - lucky for you they're available online. My favorite of the Umchu bars is the coconut cocoa nibs. There are only three ingredients; unsweetened coconut, cocoa nibs, and brown rice sugar. You shouldn't make a habit of eating a large quantity of coconut (due to the saturated fat) but otherwise, these natural minimalist bars are filling and very tasty.
Kind Bars - These come in a large variety of ingredients and flavors, though the chocolate cherry cashew is probably my favorite. You can see many of the ingredients of these bars right through the package. They tend to be comprised of a variety of nuts, seeds, and fruits. These are pretty easy to find at most grocery stores and even some convenience shops.
Erin Baker's Breakfast Cookies - At around 300 calories a piece, these can really help hold you over in between meals, and even replace a small meal (especially if accompanied by a piece of fruit). These are whole grain, without any artificial flavors, and fruit is the recipe's predominant sweetener. One "cookie" has 22% of your daily fiber and they also have a well rounded macro makeup; a bit of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The company also has a program that gives back to kids in need, via the Boys and Girls Clubs.
Organic Dried Prunes - This is another dried fruit by Made in Nature - they do all kinds of great dried fruit but these are my favorites. One of my friends teased me for eating prunes but I made her try them. Later she called me and admitted that she had been hooked on them since. They are delicious. Soft and sweet and again, the only ingredient is prunes. They offer fiber, vitamins and a good boost of carbs to help keep hunger at bay until you're ready for your next meal. Don't let the idea of it being prunes weird you out; these things are tasty! They even passed the taste test of my 6 year old niece (a feat).
Moon Cheese - I know cheese doesn't necessarily fit the bill of a health food, and some prefer to go dairy free, but for the cheese lovers out there with the need for a quick snack, these taste great. One of my good friends shared some with me on a hike and I had to work hard to not steal the rest from him. The ingredients are minimal; it's really just cheese (that doesn't need to be refrigerated and can be easily shoved into a travel bag). It's a good source of protein and calcium. If you're trying to watch your carbohydrate intake, these are also a great low carb snack idea. Moon Cheese is another company that's local to me, so I'm not sure how easily it would be able to find in stores, but it is available online.
Anyone else love chips? These are made from a variety of root vegetables and are gluten free, non gmo & vegan. They also do a sweet potato and beet mix that I love. If you're looking for a good crunchy snack, you've got to try these.
Justin's Honey Peanut Butter Packs - I always pack these in my travel bag! I love that they provide filling fat and protein, with honey for a little kick of carbs. They also have options that are just the nut butter, if you want to cut out the honey. Great for stalling hunger when you're just not able to eat a good sit down meal right away.
Nuts - Almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts, pistachios - nuts are a great to-go snack and very easy to pack. These are easy to find in just about any grocery store; you can buy in bulk and portion it out for yourself (which will likely save you money) or buy smaller portions that allow you to just grab and go. Nuts are very calorie dense, so you'll want to be mindful of serving size, but they each offer different flavors, textures and nutrients.
Seeds - Another great dry goods option that is both calorie and nutrient dense that you can save on if you buy in bulk. Not only are these great in a time crunch, they also make tasty toppings for salads and the like. You can also make homemade salad dressings using ground seeds, herbs, and olive oil (you can even get creative and try mixtures with other healthy ingredients you've got in the kitchen).
Sea Salt Chickpea Snacks - If you love crunchy snacks, this is another good option. They're non-gmo, and the only ingredients are chickpeas, sunflower oil, & sea salt. They come in a number of different flavor options.
I'm sure I'll think of and find more snacks that I love, so I'll probably come back and add to this list. In the interest of full transparency; this is not a sponsored post, but there are affiliate links in this article. A lot of the reason why I wanted to make this list is because I like the products and some of them are from small companies; many are local to us. When we shop, or consume in general, we try to choose companies that are doing it right. You can vote with your wallet, you know? I thought I could help spread the word about some of my favorites and give you guys some ideas for some on the go nutrition. Of course, even with all of these options, making your own food with whole food ingredients is always optimal, but not always convenient or realistic.
Let me know if this has been helpful or if there's another favorites list you'd like me to tackle! And I'd love to hear - what are your favorites? What are your favorite go-to grabs for food and snacks when life gets hectic?