I keep reading post after post about guacamole, so it must be the week of the S**** B***. (What is it with copyrighting the names of certain sports events so that everyone has to say “The Big Game” instead of “The S**** B***”? But you’re allowed to say “The Indy 500″ instead of “The Big Race”? I can’t remember if “World Series” or “NCAA Basketball Tournament” are copyrighted too; if they are, IP lawyers, please don’t sue me for all the money I don’t have.) So let’s talk the unofficial official chip dip of the NFL (hopefully that isn’t copyrighted too).
Unless you’re willing to pay $4 an avocado at Garden of Eden (which I have been known on many occasions to pay for a pound of grapes there because they are just so dang good), New Jersey is a hole when it comes to fresh produce. They must send all the good stuff to the city & leave us squeezing rock-hard avocado after rock-hard avocado hoping for just one that the city pirates didn’t steal away. So what’s a California girl with a hankering for guac gonna do?
Buy the packaged stuff. No, don’t stop reading.
True, I have had bad experiences with the packaged stuff in the past. One year when we were living in Indiana (another fresh produce hole unless you’re talking corn, & it is the most delicious corn you’ll ever sink your teeth into. Period.), I had the severe lapse in judgment to pay like $3 for “guacamole spread.” Yeah, it was as disgusting as it sounds. So why did I decide to try again?
The February issue of Parents magazine featured the 25 best healthy snacks for 2011: prepackaged snacks that were selected by dieticians for nutrition & taste-tested by entire preschool classes & their parents for deliciousness. One of those was Wholly Guacamole 100-calorie snack packs, & as it turned out, that same guacamole (but not the snack packs, just the big package) was on sale at Shop Rite last week!
The verdict? Awesome! My husband said it was the best guacamole he’s ever had. The Californian in me won’t go that far — it’s a little salty & I’d like it to be chunkier — but it’s the best we’re going to get out here for the price & the effort! Better still, even though the package was too large for me to eat in one sitting (I do sometimes have self-control, people) by snipping off a corner & just storing it in a baggie between munchings, I’ve been able to keep it fresh & green for 4 days & counting! Take that, fresh guac!
But The Munchkin still won’t touch the stuff. Oh well, more for me.
Here are some of the other snacks that the article recommended that we have personally taste-tested.
Terra Chips. I haven’t had the Thai Basil Curry flavor they’re suggesting, but we learned about the original flavor Exotic Veggie Chips on our JetBlue flight out here in August. I got the chips for me & some animal crackers for The Munchkin, & she ate the whole bag of chips instead! I think we went through like 3 or 4 little bags on that 5 1/2-hour flight. They’re a little higher in fat than tortilla chips, but they offer a full serving of veggies of all different colors in every ounce. Plus, they’re tasty, too! They’re like potato chips, but with a less salty, earthier twist. My husband balks that they “taste healthy,” but The Munchkin & I enjoy them. They’re great for packing as a snack in the diaper bag on our city jaunts.
Speaking of city jaunts, The Munchkin’s favorite treat for the train into the city is “squeezie fruit.” The Parents article calls it Go Go Squeez Applesauce, which happens to be the brand name, but we like our term better. It’s resealable, the spout minimizes mess, it offers a full fruit serving, & it’s just fun to squeeze! My friend Halley turned me on to these at Garden of Eden (there it is again! Love that place!) a couple months ago, & we haven’t looked back. It’s perfect for packing away & giving to little munchkins to suck on in the stroller, car, or train.
We also love the British brand Ella’s Kitchen, which makes baby food as well as Smoothie Fruits in the same squeezable, resealable pouch. They’re more expensive, but I like the wide variety of fruits in each one. The “Yellow One” The Munchkin is slurping here has bananas, mangoes, apricots, & apples. They’re also 100% organic, which could make this one a winner for you.
Lastly, the article recommended Thomas’ (the English Muffin people) Whole-Wheat Bagel Thins. The Munchkin is a bagel fiend, & we buy their regular-sized Whole-Wheat or Plain Whole Grain bagels every week. We use them for bagel pizzas for lunch, & she loves just a toasted half a bagel with some cream cheese for breakfast with some bananas or raisins. The reason the nutritionists liked the Thins was that they were the perfect portion size for kids. I liked that because often The Munchkin only eats half of her breakfast bagel, so I got them. The verdict? Sure, she finishes her breakfast bagel now, but it’s just so anemic-looking, don’t you think? She asked for two bagel pizzas last time because the thin one wasn’t enough, which meant more fatty toppings. I’m going to finish off this package with her breakfast bagels & then go back to my old regular-sized ones.
Have you tried any of the Parents-recommended snacks? Are you planning on giving any of them a try? What are your favorite healthy snacks for your kids (& yourself)?