And somehow, unsurprisingly so, it feels like there’s just not enough time in the day to check off everything on our ever-growing to-do list. So, how can we stay on our A-game without turning into a hangrier version of the Grinch? According to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT, a registered dietitian based in Charleston, one smart way is to stock up on healthy snacks that can help sustain your energy levels throughout the September sprint (and beyond).
- Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, registered dietitian and prenatal and postnatal health expert
Whether you’re gearing up to send the kiddos back to class, you're the student yourself, or you're just bracing yourself to bid farewell of summer Fridays (sigh), having a few RD-approved back-to-school snacks in your proverbial—and literal—back pocket can be your saving grace. After all, can we all agree the slogan “Trix are for kids” is totally bogus? Snacks definitely *aren’t* reserved for just school kids, IMO.
6 RD-approved back-to-school snacks (for kids and adults, too)
According to Manaker, these snack bars are made with a short, simple, and delicious list of wholesome ingredients that are definitely RD-approved. The bars come in different kid- and adult-friendly flavors like PB&J and feature ingredients like gluten-free oats, creamy peanut butter, and organic honey. “They are a perfect choice when you need a quick, simple, and nourishing snack to toss in a lunchbox or in your bag to have on the go with the kids. Each bar offers up to eight grams of protein per bar and three grams of heart-friendly fiber,” Manaker says.
If crunchy food is your love language, these crispy chips are for you. “Sea Salt Popchips are a perfect solution for both kids and adults who love the crunch of classic potato chips but want something will a little less saturated fat. Popchips are never fried and contain half the fat of fried chips,” Manaker says. Try her brilliant trick and stuff some into a sandwich for some extra crunch (IYKYK).
If a long day of work and over-exerting every last cell in your brain leaves you feeling like the Cookie Monster, these choco-chip cookies will bring you back to life. Manaker points out that Mavericks Cookies contain 40 percent less sugar than the leading natural kids’ cookie brand, with only five grams of sugar per eight cookie serving. “Mavericks Cookies deliver the tastes kids crave, but with the ingredients they deserve. They’re plant-based, certified non-GMO, and made in a nut-free facility, meaning they are school safe,” she explains. P.S. They come in birthday cake flavor, too.
Consider this the modern-day Chex Mix we didn’t know we needed… until now. “These convenient snacks combine two beloved snacks that both kids and kids at heart love—cheese and pretzels—into one bite,” Manaker says, and she’s certainly not wrong. Seriously, we can never be too old for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel. And when you can’t run by the mall to scoop up one of those giant pretzels, these cheese and pretzel bites will hit the spot. Plus, they’re packed with six grams of protein per serving and loads of calcium, thanks to the number one ingredient on the list, *swoon* cheese.
IMO, anything that has brain and butter in the name is guaranteed to be a back-to-school snack winner. According to Manaker, this healthy, protein-packed almond butter is packed with brain health-supporting nutrients like choline, lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, they come in convenient individually-portioned pouches perfect for slathering on apples, crackers, or (let’s be honest) a spoon. She also says that their chocolate-flavored nut butter is the perfect substitute for more sugary hazelnut spreads.
Okay, okay, and if Cheez-Its are your ride-or-die snack, these “cheesy” squares will definitely hit the spot—especially for those who follow a plant-based diet. Manaker says these are a must-have in her house because they’re super satisfying and are made with vegan-certified ingredients, like cauliflower and cassava.
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