Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back-To-School Snacks!!!

If you follow us on instagram, then you have already seen a sneak peak into our back-to-school snack collection.  As I said on instagram, 
"Some people wait until the week before school to prepare for that #backtoschool chaos. I don't let school needs slip my mind during the Summer.  I've been collecting unique snacks all Summer and then I stock our pantry one week before school starts.  I've got a ton of fun, new snack items for the kids to enjoy that they have either NEVER had before or have't had all Summer.  I can't wait to share my FAVORITE snack item with you!"
Please let me first prefix that MOST of the items above are processed and junky.  We are a family that is very health conscious, serving size conscious, and exercise conscious.  We eat well balanced meals and we make sure to educate our children about good eating habits. With that being said, I do believe that children burn a ton of calories and this is the ONLY time in their lives that indulging on some "sweet treats", as we call them in our home, is totally fine IN MODERATION. We allow our children to have ONE portion controlled sweet in their lunch box and ONE more either after school or after dinner (as long as they eat a healthy snack or 90% of their dinner first). So... please don't judge me on the above or below snack list. If I could have collected healthy, fresh snacks throughout the Summer, I would have, but clearly fresh stuff only lasts so long. Enjoy what I have collected so far.  

Napkins: Napkins are a MUST-HAVE with any meal.  Typically, my kids enjoy just wiping what they didn't want on their face onto their sleeves. HUH? WHY? IF I spot them doing this, I always follow it up with, "So let me get this straight! You had something on your face that you didn't want there, so instead, you put it on your clothing? People will STILL see it and it may stain your clothes!!!!" I always try to look for unique and fun napkins, which help entice my kids to NOT be like their peers who leave proof, that they ate cookies, with their lunch, ALL OVER THEIR FACE! In this case, it appears that only Lilah has some fun napkins to use, but I did buy a few other packs, one being footballs, I just didn't pull them out to photograph them.  
Combos: My children tried combos for the first time while heading back from Myrtle Beach and LOVED them.  They have NOT had them since.  I used to eat these as a kid. I bought this pack at Sam's Club. The box contains 18, variety flavored (pizza, cheese, and original), cheese-filled pretzel bites.
Fudge Stripe Cookies: It's the rare occasion that I buy chocolate anything simply because Ty doesn't like chocolate isn't American. When these "NEW" Cookies and Creme Fudge Stripes were spotted, I had to get them for the twins.
Cheez-It Snack Mix: My kids absolutely love snack mixes, especially with one of their favorite crackers in it...CHEEZ-It. I do like prepackaged snacks because it makes it easier to pack, but the boxed items are actually slightly more affordable.  
Skinny Popcorn: We have all seen the Skinny Popcorn, but when I spotted this White Cheddar Cheese Skinny Popcorn, I got excited. I guess this stuff tastes "skinny", aka healthy, because when Ty saw that I bought this, he said, "That popcorn is too plain tasting."
Moon Pies: It's an oldie, but goody, although I don't recall ever eating one.  The original moon pie flavor is a chocolate cookie with a marshmallow fill.  THESE moon pies have a banana flavored cookie, which I think my kids will love because they love banana pudding.  
Chocolate Chip Creme Pies: Normally, I buy the oatmeal creme pies, but these go into my "unique" OR "never have had before" category.  Yes... a little bit more chocolate, but I'm excited for the twins.
MARVEL Chewy Granola Bars: Chocolate chip granola bars are awesome, but they are even BETTER with your favorite MARVEL character on the packaging.  I spotted these bad boys at TARGET.
Mini Powdered Donuts: I bought two of these at Food Lion because they were buy one, get one free. I typically buy the bag of white powdered donuts, but I liked these because they are pre-packaged and on sale. 
Jif To Go "Dippers": I absolutely LOVE this snack, but it's still not my favorite: creamy peanut butter with pretzel thins. We are HUGE peanut people in our home. Everything from peanut butter to cashew butter, pistachios, and peanut butter filled pretzels... we have it all.  I bought three of these at the Dollar Tree: one per kid.  I want them to test them out and make sure that the peanut butter is fresh tasting before investing in making this a once a week snack.  Ty has a classmate that has a severe peanut allergy, so typically I cannot pack any peanut products in his snack bag (which I HATE), but this year he is NOT in Ty's class, so I am hoping now that he is a fifth grader, the kids can just be responsible peanut product eaters.
Minion Colored Gushers: This is ONE item I am NOT a fan of, but I eventually conformed to purchasing (by second grade). Minions are a hot item right now, so I know the kids will LOVE these. I truly pack this snack in moderation.  I don't get the satisfaction in eating these things. Ewe!!! They make my mouth water (in a bad way) just thinking about it.
Fiber ONE Cheesecake Bar: My kids LOVE the Fiber ONE lemon bars, so when I spotted these "NEW" strawberry, cheesecake bars, I had to get them.  
Jif Peanut Butter: I spotted these bars at Food Lion, but did't buy. I bought them the next time that I went to Food Lion, ALONE with Jax. We spotted them together and Jax said, "YUM! That looks sooooooooooo good." I knew that was a sign to buy them. I think my two reservations in buying them, when I first spotted them, were the price and peanut allergy issues. I believe I paid $3.29 per box for only 5 bars. 
Reese's Spread "Snacksters": Lilah is SUPER excited about this snack which contains peanut butter chocolate spread with graham cracker dippers.  WHO wouldn't like this? 
Caramel Dip: I am NOT a fan of creating a sauce, dressing, or dip habit with my children.  Darren hates condiments of all types, so he turns his nose and a deaf ear to my children if they request ketchup or ranch dressing for something they are eating.  I definitely agree with him to an extent.  I mean SALAD needs dressing, but french fries taste great without ketchup. All of those sauces/dressings are filled with unnecessary, empty calories. I am especially NOT a fan of putting sugar on top of fruit (I have never created that horrible habit) or allowing my kids to dip their fruit in anything sugared, but TY specifically asked for this, so when I spotted it, I snagged it. This will have to be a once in a while snack because I want my kids fruit to be eaten the way God intended for it to be eaten...raw or natural.  LOL!
Crunch Dried Fruit: All-natural, variety packed, dried fruit: tropical blend, fuji apple, and cherry berry.  I love having these items on hand on those days when the fresh fruit has run out. I found this new item at Sam's Club.
Marshmallow Crispy Oreos: Notice these oreos are NOT chocolate.  I did buy a BOX of variety packed rice krispy treats too, but I love all of the new, flavored cookies that Nabisco is coming out with. When I saw that this flavor was a "limited edition", I had to get it.
Muscleman's Organic Apple Sauce: Fairly self-explanatory, haha, but I like to buy these items at Sam's Club because they are cheaper in BULK.
Slim Jims: My kids love these.  In our house, they are known as "hot sticks" because they are just slightly spicy to their little tongues. Add this stick to a string cheese and it creates a good, filling, and healthy snack.
Rainbow Colored Sandwich Bags: Obviously, NOT a snack, but these bags are used to hold our snacks.  I LOVE these because they are colored and I can get creative during the months that a holiday exists, using a color coordinating bag. Sometimes, I am just that anal and HAVE to coordinate our snacks to the same color baggie (i.e.: green grapes go into a green bag.). These are a TARGET exclusive.
Before I share my two final snacks and my FAVORITE, this post is not exhaustive to what I bought.  Like I said, I did buy a variety box of rice krispy treats, but I didn't take a picture of them because I wanted this post to be about unique snack items, not every day items you find in the grocery store. I guess that apple sauce is not really unique, haha, but it is to my kids because we don't make that a staple item, in our home, like so many.  I also bought mandarin orange cups, snack bag chips, and a box of WHITE cheddar Cheese Itz. I still have my eyes peeled for MORE items.  I feel like we have our own, little vending machine.  Haha.  It's definitely eye candy for my kids to stare at all of this stuff, but they know how strict we are about how often they can eat these things, so they rarely buck the system.  

AND NOW, for my LAST two items, ONE BEING MY FAVORITE. BOTH items were found at Family Dollar, which just went out of business (at least the one near our home).

Lunchables "Dirt Cake": This will be a ONCE in a lifetime chance that my kids will get this snack.  I get FURIOUS when my kids tell me that so and so "packs his own lunch and he has 4 packs of gummies in his lunch box and eats all four" or worse, so and so "had candy instead of cookies for his sweet treat." No, no, and NOOOOOO! You don't pack candy in a kids lunch box, UNLESS... you find this adorable DIRT CAKE lunchable.  This idea is so fun.  It comes with chocolate cookie crumbs, frost, and gummy worms.  Dip your gummy worm into the chocolate frosting and then into the cookie crumbs for a scrumptious taste of "dirt".  Poor Ty can't partake in this snack.  
Drumroll......AND now for my FAVORITE snack, to date...

Lunchables "Cookie Dunks": I just LOVE this concept. A portion controlled snack, in a divided container, that includes mini chips ahoy cookies, marshmallow creme, and colored sprinkles, dipping in that order, to create a colorful snack. HOW FUN!!!! I desperately WANT to open up this package and do a post just on this item, ALONE, but I only bought two packs and I'd be afraid I couldn't find a good way to seal the package back together. I might just go to another Family Dollar, near by, and right a review on it.  Until then, you can watch this little girl's review of the cookie dunks below. Haha. It's kind of cheesy, but she did good for her age. I thought LUNCHABLES would have had their own youtube video, but they don't.  Trust me, I looked.  
  
I hope you enjoyed seeing all of the items I collected.  If I missed something or you have any new and unique suggestions, please send me an email with your ideas.  I LOVE making my kids' lunches unique rather than mundane.  It makes my job and their meal time anticipated.