We’re a snackin’ family, is all.
Pre-parenthood, my visions of mealtime were saccharine at best. Small heads gathered around a table, small hands folded in prayer. Three courses at the ready, three times daily. We’d pass bread. We’d bless the cook.
It is this, on rare occasions, but mostly it is not. Mostly it is kitchen counter stools, the slap of salami, the halving of apples. Other times, the tumbling of produce into a backpack and sneaking out to the secret pond for a slapdash meal on the trail.
For the latter, and for the curious, here’s what we pack:
I’m going on a 5-year love affair with this particular brand, ever since my first foray into Whole 30. The only downside is that I can’t find them locally, and of course, they’re pricey. We save these for road trips and longer adventures when a bit of extra protein is in order.
We’re not picky here, we’ll take any kind we can get. This is the one snack everyone in my family loves, so we’ve always got a few canisters on hand. Both sweet, savory and surprisingly filling – a few handfuls get the job done. (Often, we’ll throw a few raisins, almonds and cashews into the mix and store them here for a quick-and-simple trail mix.)
I could eat mango by the fistful. And yet: every time I attempt to cut it, I slice right through my finger. (Every time is not an exaggeration, so much so that Ken has put an official embargo on the fruit until his kitchen availability returns.) But dried mango? Two bandage-free thumbs up.
Apple Cider Vinegar Chips
We snag these locally and bring them along everywhere (they’re always one of the first to disappear at the neighborhood BBQ). For non-locals, our beloved back-up are these (click here for 25%). They’re purple, so the kids think they’re a magical treat even though they boast just 3 ingredients.
Lara Bar Minis
Bee used to call these cookies before she learned how to read, and aptly so. They’re sweet and dense, and the mini size is perfect for smaller appetites, smaller mouths, or simply those prone to dropping half on the ground for the dogs to lap up in a split second. (Just us?) Scout especially loves that he gets to indulge in the same snack as his sister, so these are in heavy rotation for daily adventures.
Olives are special treats in these parts, so we savor them as such. These are perfectly packaged for on-the-go explorations, and the variety of flavors is a nice break from our typical spread. On special days, we’ll pair these with a hunk of sourdough and a wedge of gouda for an impromptu picnic in the woods. It’s a win every time!
For the times when the littles are a bit cranky and blood sugar is low, a taste of these will perk them right up. We’re not fancy, so straight from the packet is generally our technique, but we’ve had good (messy) success dipping a few carrots right in there, too.
We’ve got Scout to thank for this addition, as Bee loves ’em just as much as he does. While we’re far past the baby food stage, we’re not above a bit of sans-spoon puree. (I still pack veggie purees in my suitcase when traveling internationally so I can boost my daily greens intake regardless of the local fare.) This is a well-loved flavor in our house.
Beyond that, of course, we’re not shy about toting around a sack of produce here and there. Just yesterday, I pulled a banana out of my purse, and if that isn’t Mom life, I suppose I don’t know what is.
Tell me: what are your go-tos? I’m all ears!