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The Cost of Convenience – Snack Time


One of the things that gets me almost every time is food on the go.  We are extremely busy 80% of the time.  Rushing here or there, no time between activities and thus no time to eat.  In the “olden” days, I always carried granola bars, bags of nuts and other healthy but long lasting snacks to tide kiddos over.  But now with all the peanut allergies, well, that’s not an option anymore.

So I’ve been struggling with this ALOT and little Gymnast is especially affected by it because he has such a high metabolism and spends so much time in the gym, he is ALWAYS hungry and if not fed will have meltdowns.  (We’re not going to start on the self-control that I think he should have by this time, but it’s proven over and over again that when he gets fed he can calm right down.  He’s 9 for anyone who wonders.)

This week, I made a trip to Sams Club and broke down and bought one of the $40 bags of protein powder and some nut free protein bars.  We are going to try these and see if they do the trick, but I have to say, the price tag made me nervous.  $40 is almost half of my weekly grocery budget.  I know it’s a big bag, but whoa.

I’m keeping little tupperware containers in my bag with the powder in them.  And we have one blender cup that my little brother left here when visiting one time.  But I figure otherwise, it can just be mixed with a water bottle which I always have in the car.

Do you have some go to snacks that you keep with you all the time for kiddos who just need something right then?  Or maybe even go to snacks for yourself that you keep in your gym bag or purse?  I really need something that doesn’t have the common allergens in it AND can last as I just keep them in my bag all the time.


  • Reply Den |

    There are lots of homemade granola recipes out there with honey, brown sugar, oats, dried fruits, and nuts – and if there is a peanut allergy, you can substitute almonds or other nuts (or omit nuts completely). We’ve also used dried fruits (apricots, mango, banana chips), beef jerky, pringles (I know they are not healthy, but sometimes the saltiness gets the kids thru until dinner), applesauce cups/pouches, fruit snacks, yogurt covered pretzels, a bag of apples:)

    Cheese, pepperoni/salami and crackers need to be fresh, but they work wonders on hungry kids. Frozen grapes are refreshing. And homemade rice krispie treats (omit the butter) are low fat and full of a sugar buzz – again, not the healthiest, but good occasionally.

  • Reply Marzey doats |

    Self control? My sister is 25, and she still has a meltdown if she isnt fed! Sunflower seed butter is very tasty, nut free and lasts a long time. Filling with crackers or pretzels which also last and last.
    You can make your own trail mix with raisins, dried cranberries, chex ceral and any nuts the kids can tolerate. Make a big batch and keep portions in smaller airtight containers so it doesnt get stale. Not exactly healthful, but goldfish crackers are satisfying, and apparently will survive the apocalypse.

    • Reply Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore |

      I am 23 and I still get “hangry” too. Some people are just like that I think. I don’t even realize I’m being “hangry” until I’m fed and then I feel bad for the things I said and how I acted while I was hungry.

  • Reply Connie |

    I understand little Gymnast’s quandary. I give warnings to my friends that I’m hungry and that gives them about 20 minutes to find somewhere to eat. That said, I think $40 for a big bag of protein bars that he may not like wasn’t your best choice. When I’m in my car a lot I keep beef jerky, dried fruit, raisins, pretzels and little portions of cheese n crackers along with water. I’m not allergic to anything so I also keep peanut butter, but other nut butters might be OK for you. BTW, is it other kids you drive around who have allergies or yours? Or you’re just worried that someone you give a ride to might? If it’s the latter, maybe just post a sign “this vehicle carries peanut and other nut products”. Just kidding.

  • Reply Kili |

    I really like bananas for a quick energy boost.
    And I also think apples are great (and way less prone to getting squashed in a book bag).
    Dried fruits are also quite filling in my opinion.
    I also think prezels are a somewhat healthier snack than chips & a lot of other stuff.

  • Reply Kristen |

    I have been making “Nut Bars” for my son and I, instead of buying granola bars. I buy the stuff in bulk at Winco which is way cheaper than anywhere else I have found. I blend these together in the food processor – peanuts for my son, none for me because yucky, whatever other nuts I have, usually almonds and cashews, unsweetened coconut, dates for sweetness and sticky, granola, cinnamon and cocoa powder. I’ve been experimenting with adding flax seed powder, pine nuts, chia stuff, whatever sounds healthy. My son loves them and I tolerate them, but the nuts give a good boost of protein for emergency car situations which seem to happen almost daily. I just press the mixture into a pan, let them dry out a bit, cut and wrap them in foil. You could totally mix the protein powder in too and never taste it.

    My sister does the same, but dips them in chocolate. Too much work for me.

  • Reply Mel |

    You’ve gotten a lot of great suggestions. Anything with protein and/or fat is going to hold you over longer…nuts, peanut butter, cheese, jerky, etc. Dry cereal is an awesome snack food. Anything from cheerios (toss in some raisins – yummy!) or other healthy options to the sugary stuff, depending on your goal/situation.

    Some super cheap snacks I make are banana-oat cookies and peanut butter oat cookies (but you run into the freshness/allergen issues here).

  • Reply Tamara |

    I’m 35 and I can still get cranky when I’m hungry! I think some people’s blood sugar just dives faster than others. Sometimes I’m okay, but often my brain just shuts down.

  • Reply Kerstin |

    I love Primal Packs or PaleoStix or jerkey from Steve’s Paleo Goods. I have carry them around with me everywhere and they save me. No allergens and no sugar to spike my moods which then lead to greater crashes. I also like Justin’s packages of almond butter-not sure if you can do almonds. But Lara Bars are great in a pinch as are Think Thin Bars (but may have nuts other then peanuts-not sure what all the allergens are you are avoiding). You can also make your own homemade versions of protein balls or bars that are delicious. I find protein powders mixed with water to be gross and prefer my protein to be in the form of jerky. In the cooler months I pack extra HB eggs in my lunch bag and it stays cool during the day and I snack on those. I also have meltdowns if I’m not fed and I’m 36! 🙂 It’s a challenge that you are not alone in facing! If you MUST eat out sharing a chipoltle salad bowl with guac (its’ huge!) for $9 isn’t too bad.

  • Reply Kerstin |

    And don’t forget if you don’t like the protein powder you can return it to Costco/Sams. If your son doesn’ like it don’t keep it. That stuff really isn’t the best way to get nutrients. 🙂 But I know you know that! Years ago I survived on myoplex and myoplex lite protein drinks. They didnt’ go bad in the heat and tasted good. A bit sweet, but if your son likes them they were an easy meal on the go. Isagenix also makes the best tasting protein powder I’ve ever had if your son likes that as a snack/meal. Good luck!

So, what do you think ?