03/18 2015

The Continuing Saga of Snacks

Is ‘snack’ a four five letter word in your vocabulary?

I am a big fan of snacking throughout the day as a means of managing my weight and controlling an otherwise ravenous appetite. Working from home greatly simplifies the snacking process, as I can walk over to the cupboard or fridge and grab a variety of foods. It’s not as easy if you’re at an office all day. Some of my personal favorites are: veggies and “magic cream sauce” or hummus, cheese and crackers, nuts, fruit and popcorn. A recent addition I’m not proud to admit — Half Pops.

Preparing snacks for my son, Luke, however, isn’t as easy. His likes and dislikes ebb and flow. He doesn’t like fruit or raw veggies as a snack. Though his favorites tend to be spanakopita and edamame, both have to be heated, complicating matters and negating a potential school day solution.

A Must Have

Even if you’re not a true snack believer, they are a reality for most people. I personally get grumpy if I’m hungry and can think more clearly if my belly is full. Luke is ravenous when he gets home from school, and he needs food throughout the long day to help him stay focused.

Blessing or Curse?

No surprise, research shows that eating unhealthy snacks like salty foods, sweets and sugary beverages can lead to weight gain. Often times, children can consume up to 27% of the day’s calories in snacks. Snacks can be a calorie trap for adults, too, if you’re not careful.

Eating the healthier options can help put a dent weight gain and WebMD suggests nutrient-dense options such as:

– Cheese and fruit
– Cheese and whole-grain crackers
– Yogurt and granola
– Hummus and veggies
– Peanut, sunflower, or almond nut butter with fruit or whole-grain crackers

While it’s optimal to eat fresh and wholesome snacks such as these every time, it’s not always practical or possible.

Enter Fit Snack

I recently received a Fit Snack box delivered right to my front door. It contained a variety of products ranging from pancake mix to protein powder to quinoa chips. The snacks are healthy ones designed for folks who lead an active lifestyle.

Our favorites were the veggie chips, nuts, quinoa and lentil chips. The protein powder was really tasty, too. Single-serve creamy nut butters are always great to throw in the purse for emergencies. I didn’t particularly like the pancake mix (Luke did!) and haven’t yet tried the cookie or energy chews, products I rarely eat anyway.

According to the company, each product always containing two or more of the following: GMO Free, High in protein, low in sugar, gluten free, organic, raw, vegan and all natural. They were also low in salt, a stark difference from salted nuts or crackers I tend to eat.

I loved the food labels which not only revealed “what’s” inside, but the “why” ingredients were beneficial. I think this would be particular important information for consumers who aren’t nutrition experts!

The snack box is valued at $30 and costs $19/month + $5 shipping (if you commit to a longer period, the cost per box comes down).

And the verdict is…..

While I don’t doubt the true value of the box, it still feels a bit pricey for bagged chips, given these selections were our personal favorites. Another option that might work for us is to select the products that go into the box – or at the very least, be able to opt out of the energy boosters. While the snack box is supposed to last for a month, we downed almost everything in a week (and there’s only two of us).

I appreciated that these snacks were much healthier than your average bag of chips or pretzels. The variety from which to choose was a bonus, too. Any time I don’t have to think about what to add to a school lunch is a big win.

Healthy, whole foods are always a first choice for snacks because they are highest in nutrients, but for a second best, Fit Snacks fit the bill.

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