As the excitement of the new school year is beginning to wane, the realities of homework and the challenges of finding new and healthy snacks for school lunches and after-school nourishment have become a reality. We scoured the supermarket shelves to find nutritious snacks that contain natural, wholesome ingredients and make the grade in providing protein for energy, but are also suitable for most dietary needs. Many are organic, non-GMO, gluten, dairy and nut free, vegan and kosher. We’ve found snacks to suit all tastes from sweet to salty to spicy.
Blue Diamond Natural Almond Nut-Thins Nut & Rice Cracker Snacks are tasty, lightly salty and crunchy round crackers that are kosher and wheat and gluten free. The Smokehouse variety is more flavorful and the square Multi-Seeds variety is reminiscent of a Japanese cracker, but is made of healthier ingredients, such as sorghum flour, millet, flax seeds, quinoa seeds, black sesame seed and amaranth seeds.
Lundberg Rice Chips with Sea Salt are made with organic whole grains, are wheat free, gluten free and non-GMO. They are crisp and crunchy, and have an addictive salty flavor, yet each serving has just 110 mg of salt. The Fiesta Lime has a citrusy bite, the Smoky Maple has a delicious smokiness blended with a hint of sweetness and the bold Wasabi and even bolder Sriracha flavors truly live up to their names.
Mary’s Gone Crackers hearty Super Seed Crackers, are organic, gluten free, non-GMO, whole grain, soy free and vegan—and have a delicious nutty taste. They’re made from organic whole-grain brown rice and quinoa, pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame and poppy seeds and seasonings. For even more flavor, try the Herb and Hot ’n Spicy Jalapeño Crackers.
Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips are made from organic, non-GMO ingredients, such as kale and other vegetables, sunflower seeds, tahini and spices, are gluten free and vegan, and are available in tasty flavors like Texas BBQ, Zesty Nacho, Kool Ranch, Bombay Curry, Mango Habanero, Pineapple Coconut, Honey Mustard and Original.
Kind offers a variety of nutritious snacks including granola clusters and different shapes and types of bars filled with healthful ingredients. Kind Plus Almond Cashew with Flax + Omega-3 bar is all natural, non-GMO, and gluten, sodium and dairy free. It’s made from whole nuts and looks like real food, not processed unrecognizable ingredients. Our tester said that it’s a great balance of sweetness and nuttiness and was one of the tastiest, crunchy bars he’s ever had. The Nuts & Spices Madagascar Vanilla Almond and Fruit & Nut Nut Delight, also packed with vitamins and protein, were absolutely delicious. Kind Healthy Grains are small granola bars filled with super grains, such as oats, sorghum, millet, amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat, and are available in Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt, Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate.
Freeland Foods Go Raw Junk-Free Food offers an extensive selection of bite-size snacks, nut mixes and bars made from real-food ingredients and are organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten free and a good source of iron and fiber. The bite-size Sprouted Flax Snax in Spicy Fiesta is a delicious nutty and crunchy blend of flax, sunflower and sesame seeds with a little kick—and is also available in pouches of seed mix.
Each serving of Annie’s Homegrown Cookie Bites have four grams of whole grains, plus they’re made from organic, non-GMO ingredients without artificial flavors, synthetic color or preservatives. These bite-size Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal and Lemon Drop Cookies come in a resealable bag.
Kind Healthy Grains Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters are delicious plain or over cereal and yogurt. Just a half cup is packed with 10 grams of protein. Plus, it’s gluten free, non-GMO and made with five super grains—oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. The Cinnamon Oat Clusters are deliciously cinnamony and crunchy.
Freeland Foods Go Raw Junk-Free Food Sweet Spirulina Sprouted Bites only contain sprouted sesame seeds, bananas, coconut, dates and spirulina. For a slightly sweeter flavor, the Sweet Crunch Sprouted Cookies are simply made from coconut, sprouted sesame seeds and dates, and the Choco Chunk Coconut Crisps only contain coconut, coconut nectar, cacao and Celtic sea salt.
Annie’s Homegrown Berry Patch Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks are a mixture of strawberry, cherry and raspberry gummies. Certified organic, these vegan and gluten-free bunny-shaped fruit snacks are made with real fruit juice, contain 100 percent of the daily requirement for Vitamin C and come in convenient single-serving pouches.
Crispy Green Crispy Fruit is all natural, nut free, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, non-GMO and kosher freeze-dried fruit with no added sugar. Packed with fresh flavor, the delicious, convenient and crunchy single-serving fruit pouches contain 35 to 55 calories, no fat and about a third to a full cup of Banana, Pineapple, Tangerine, Mango, Cantaloupe, Apple or Asian Pear.
Clif Kid Zbar in Chocolate Brownie is organic, kosher and contains eight grams of whole grains, 12 vitamins and minerals, plus a rich chocolate taste.
Healthy Valley Organic Blueberry Cobbler Multigrain Cereal Bars are organic, kosher, low fat, contain fiber and vitamins, offer a yummy fruit flavor—and are manufactured for the nearby Hain Celestial Group in Lake Success.
Viki’s Granola is made with all-natural, gluten-free and non-GMO ingredients, doesn’t contain preservatives, sodium, trans fat, dairy or added sugar, comes in convenient 1.5 ounce pouches, is kosher, comes in Original, Blueberry Almond and Maple Cranberry—and is manufactured locally in Bethpage.
Daily Greens Half Pint Vegetable & Fruit Smoothie in flavors such as Green Thing Fruit & Greens Smoothie; Peel Out Chocolate, Banana & Strawberry; and Berry Tasty Mixed Berry Smoothie are organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, are made from cold pressed fruits and veggies, have a great flavor and are loaded with vitamins.
OK, so maybe this isn’t a superfood, but imagine your favorite colorful chocolate candies minus the artificial ingredients, flavors and colors. Little Secrets Premium Chocolate Candies in Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter, Milk Chocolate Smooth & Creamy, Dark Chocolate Rich & Creamy and Dark Chocolate Raspberry are naturally tinted using beet juice, beta carotene and spirulina extract, contain between 40 and 64 percent cocoa and Fair Trade Certified ingredients. Indulging never felt so right!
Of course, many of these natural and organic snacks are available at specialty markets, such as Whole Foods and Fairway, but as retailers have expanded their healthy selections, many can be found at mainstream groceries, drugstores and even mass merchandisers like Target. Check each company’s website for nearby locations.