Someone asked me recently what snacks I carry around in my purse for the kids. I learned the hard way that snacks like string cheese, fresh fruit and granola bars don't hold up in my purse when it's hot outside. There's nothing like reaching down into the bottom of your purse and feeling something squishy, slimy or just plain rancid.
So, after experimenting a lot this past year, I started a list of my new favorite snacks for when we're on the go.
Granola: Granola in a snack cup or baggie travels really well. Bonus: Loose granola tends to be higher in protein and lower in sugar than granola bars. Our favorite right now is Bear Naked brand. It's whole grain, contains no high fructose corn syrup. Plus, it's super yummy and my kids think it's a treat. At home, Kris eats it with milk like cereal.
Raisins: They're already dried, so what's a little desert heat? I always have a few mini boxes of organic raisins tumbling around the bottom of my purse.
Bars: Okay, so I still buy bars occasionally. I like theClif Kid ZBar in Honey Graham or Blueberry. Kashi's crunchy granola bars in pumpkin spice flax are a favorite too. I avoid bars with chocolate or peanut butter because they melt easily.
Seeds: Roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower kernels are durable and travel well, as long as you don't mind finding a few seeds in your kids' pockets or in their carseats.
Carrot sticks and cucumber slices: Durable. Healthy. And if I happen to forget about them at the bottom of my purse, they just get shriveled, not rancid.
Honey Stinger Stinger Waffles: Okay, truth be told, this is a treat for me and the kids. These little organic waffle cookies are crispy, buttery and chewy and just melt-in-your-mouth good. They're an American version of the stroopwafel you find in Europe. Honey Stinger makes them for athletes to gain some quick energy on the go. But they're also perfect for stashing in your purse as a bribe (er, I mean treat).
Rice crackers/rice cakes/rice chips: My kids have a weakness for potato chips ("salty chips" as B calls them), but they'll accept rice. At many stores you can find whole grain brown rice cakes and chips which are super yummy and healthier.
Roasted seaweed: These are usually stashed in the Asian food section of your store. We get them at Trader Joe's and the kids love it. I've seen other kids (and adults) who hate seaweed too, so you'll have to do a taste test. The flavor isn't for everyone. I like eating roasted seaweed with rice cakes or rice crackers.
Snapea Crisps: Another slightly healthier alternative to chips. Very yummy, easy for little fingers to hold, and easily packed in my purse.
Banana Chips: We either buy banana chips in bulk or Trader Joe's has freeze dried banana and strawberry slices that are so yummy and melt-in-your-mouth.
What do you guys pack for your kids to eat on the go? As I look at my list, I realize most of my convenience snacks are prepackaged and store bought...do any of you make your own snack mixes or bars for your kids? Got any recipes to share?