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Hungry While Holiday Shopping?

November 16, 2012

Try these healthy snack alternatives!

By: Julie Follansbee
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Julie Follansbee
As the Holidays approach and I get too busy, I tend to grab the least healthy snacks...or hit the drive through window to stave off hunger.  I want to give you some suggestions for alternatives to grab before you leave the house for you and your kids so that when or if that moment arrives when you just HAVE to have something, you are prepared!
As you know, if you are a faithful reader, I just attended our annual Macaroni Kid Publisher Meet Up and was introduced to some healthier snacking options that I'm eager to share with you!  All of these companies (except for the pomegranates...I just love them!) are FOMs-Friends of Macaroni and they have given me product to taste test!

Here is the Video segment from WTAJ

"Crunchmaster" Multi Seed Crackers: 100% natural whole grain, gluten-Free and peanut free. Cheddar Cheesy Crisps, Cinnamon and Sugar Grammy Crisps and many other flavors!  Baked! Cab satisfy your savory cravings.  Sign up for a $1 off coupon here 
Crunchmaster website 
Available at WalMart, Some Giant Eagles, Martins, Sams Club, Weiss Markets.

"Buddy Fruits": "Real Fruit, Real Fun, Real Easy"!  This on the go snack was developed by a chef from France who was on a trip to the US and took his family on the famous Route 66.  He was surprised and disappointed to find that Americans didn't eat their fruit in a pouch (which is common in France) let alone eat much fruit at all!  He packed up his family and returned to the US to start his company and bring fruit and vegetables in a pouch to us!!  I'm glad!  
These treats are all natural with no rBST hormones in the smoothies, no artificial colorings, no genetic modifications, no preservatives, gluten or artificial flavorings. They come in many flavors and forms- fruit bites, blended fruit, Pure Fruit Jiggle Gel, blended fruit and milk, coconut milk and fruit.   Buddy Fruits Website 
Available at Walmart.

"Funky Monkey" Crunchy Fruit Snack:
A great alternative to dried fruit leathers.  The freeze drying process retains most of the nutrients of fresh fruit and makes the snack crunchy!  There is also no need for added sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup. Comes in Applemon, Bananamon, Carnaval Mix, Jivealime, MangOJ, Pink Pineapple, and Purple Funk (banana with Acai).
Available at Target, Whole Foods and on Amazon.com.

"Chiquita Bites": Washed and ready to eat fruit and vegetable snacks with 30–80 calories and half-cup of fruit or vegetables per serving.  Great way to serve fruit and veggies on the go.
Come in Juicy Red Apple Bites®, Juicy Red Apple Grape Bites®,Juicy Red Apple Bites® with Caramel, Juicy Red Apple Bites® with Yogurt, Juicy Green Apple Bites®, Juicy Green and Red Apple Bites®, Peeled Apple Bites®and Chiquita Crunchy Carrot Bites® with Ranch dressing
Fun Apple Trapper game that you can play and earn coupons!
I also have coupons for you if you e-mail me!  [email protected] While supplies last!
Chiquita Website
Available at Giant Eagle.

"Stoneyfield Farms" Organic Yogurt: Yogurt is a great snack and easy enough to take with you and get dairy, fruit and vegetables into your child!
YoBaby Meals, YoToddler includes both fruit and cereal and fruit and veggie flavors and every cup includes omega-3 DHA, an essential fatty acid important for your child's development.  Every cup of YoToddler has added omega-3 DHA, an essential fatty acid that helps support brain and eye development. Each serving of YoToddler includes 4g of the protein. Made with certified organic ingredients produced without the use of persistent pesticides, synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics.  No artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives.

Yo Baby (6-18 mos.) comes in Simply Plain, Banana, Vanilla, Peach and Blueberry.  Peach and Banana drinkable.
Yo Toddler (for kids 1-3 years)  Comes in Raspberry pear with DHA and Strawberry Banana with DHA
Yo Kids (for kids 2-6+)is a good source of calcium as well as vitamin D and comes in Strawberry & Banana Strawberry, and Blueberry & Strawberry Vanilla, Raspberry and Strawberry Greek Style and Strawberry, Cherry & Berry and Blueberry and Lemonade Squeezers.
Stoneyfield Farm's website is full of great information from recipes to suggestions for picky eaters to coupons and blogs.  
Available at Walmart 

"SOYJOY" Baked Whole Soy and Fruit Bar:  This could be the answer if you need a boost of energy between meals while shopping!  SOYJOY is made with ground whole soy and real fruit.  It's a great snack because it provides protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals—and is naturally gluten free.  and can add a little bit of bone building calcium and magnesium plus vital iron along with potassium and folic acid to your day and they are only around 135 calories and 3 grams of fiber per bar.  Fits in well if you are on a gluten-free, vegetarian, or carbohydrate controlled eating plan.
They come in a nice variety of flavors- Dark Chocolate Cherry, Cranberry, Apple Walnut, Banana, Berry, Blueberry, Mango Coconut, Pineapple, and Strawberry.
SOYJOY website
Available at Giant Eagle

Pomegranate Seeds:  Called the "Jewel of Autumn", Seeded Apple or Chinese Apple (and possibly THE apple that Eve shared with Adam!) this beautiful magenta fruit is a powerhouse of nutrition, easy to prepare, pack and eat! They are in season now so they are every where!
Pomegranates are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, low in calories and are high in all three important polyphenol antioxidants...most fruits contain only one.
I think some people are intimidated by this fruit but once they try it, it's simple to prepare!

Here is what works for me:
Make a slight incision in the skin and turn the cut side of the fruit AWAY from you (it might squirt if you punctured a seed).  Hold over a bowl in the sink and split the fruit with your hands...like cracking an egg.  I don't cut the whole way through because you are more likely to cut the seeds and if you split it by hand, it will split along the natural chambers of the fruit and be really easy to remove the seeds or "arils" as they are technically called!  Empty the seeds by scooping out with a spoon or with your thumb into a bowl.  After all of the seeds are removed, cover the seeds with water and the pith (like fiber from an orange) will float to the top and be easily removed.  Drain.  Eat the WHOLE seed!
Put some in a container and go! 

Pomegranate Website
Pomegranates can be purchased anywhere and I've even seen the seeds for sale at Sheetz!

My favorite snack:  WATER!  We have wonderful water in our area so why buy bottled water? If you spend $1 per 16 oz bottle of water, you are paying $8 per gallon!  That's twice as much as you pay for the gas for your car! 
Enter the OXO Good Grips Twist Top Bottle.  Like all of their other products it is designed to be the best!  No leaking with this one so you'll want to take it everywhere!  The cost you pay for the bottle will be recouped pretty quickly in the price you DON'T pay for bottled water!
Features include:
•Twist-open lid keeps straw clean and prevents spills when not in use 
•Soft, non-slip carrying loop 
•Large opening for filling, cleaning and adding ice 
•Convenient measurement markings 
•Dishwasher safe 
•24-oz capacity 
•BPA free
Comes in a variety of colors
Watch this video for some water savings tips!
OXO Bottle available at Bon Ton, Boscov's and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Zico Coconut Water:  
If your kids insist on those vitamin drinks or sports bottles, give coconut water a try.  I happen to like ZICO but there are many types now as coconut water pops up in more and more stores.  The benefits of coconut water are amazing...it contains sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium (as much as in a banana), phosphorus and can hydrate 10X faster than sports drinks.  Here's what I like-it is naturally low in acid (which sports drinks contain) that can be really hard on the enamel of teeth!  
ZICO comes in Natural, Passion Fruit, Mango, Pineapple and Chocolate.  When I first tasted the chocolate I thought it had a chalky flavor but realized that it was because they use real cacao.  My son liked it immediately!  Now we are all fans!
ZICO website 
Available at Giant Eagle and many other stores!  I've even gotten it by the case from Amazon.com and gotten free shipping!

As my husband likes to say "To be forewarned is to be forearmed!"  Half the victory is to be prepared with good food for yourself and your family! So don't get run down this holiday shopping season because you aren't eating well!!  Toss a few of these snacks in your bag on your next outing!

What are some snacks you pack or tips you use?  Share with us please!

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