For many of us, it’s back to school and routine and we’re thinking more and more about lunches and snacks and bringing food to go. While I am a huge proponent in packing meals for an adventure any time, we figured it was a great opportunity to do a round up of some of our favorite mostly-healthy packaged foods (for when you just have to grab something quick).
I notice a significant difference in our kids’ behavior depending on what they’re eating. We definitely have treats every once in a while, but I do my best to avoid empty calories in “snacks” that only serve to make them feel nasty later. Maybe I’m selfish, but I can hardly handle the sugar crashes so avoid it as much as I possibly can.
Be sure to read all the way to the end – a few of these companies have agreed to do a giveaway for you all too!
While they’re made for “kids”, these pouches are really great for just about everyone. They’re organic, have no added sugars or “junk”, are high in antioxidants and are free of nuts and gluten. This summer, this is what I was throwing in our snack bags for hikes and on the river. They’re super easy to get some good food in the kids fast (avoiding a “hangry” meltdown) and I can feel good about what they’re eating. They have 7 flavors….we have tried just the “Awesome” and “Pomegranate Grape Crush”. The kids prefer the “awesome” one (apparently named appropriately, but will eat both!
I also love that this is a fairly small, new company. Go support them – you won’t be sorry! You can find them at Safeway and other various stores. Find yours here. You can also buy them on Amazon (affiliate link).
Zing bars aren’t just another nutrition bar….not only do these taste awesome, but there is solid nutrition science behind them to set them apart. The idea is to turn the calories we eat into “useable energy to support metabolism and sustenance throughout the day without the spikes and crashes, the low energy, the cravings, and the buildup of body fat. Each bar contains a ‘smart’ balance of high quality proteins, slow burning carbs, and good fats to support metabolism and brain function, and dietary fiber for digestive system health and long-lasting hunger satisfaction.”
They are dairy-free, non-GMO, free of soy, additives, artificial colors and flavors.
And yes – that all sounds good….but do they TASTE good and truly sustain energy? We think so! I used their 100-Calorie bars for a quick pick-me-up after a workout or long hike and found myself feeling really good. Plus, they’re flavors are vibrant and true – not something you usually find in nutrition bars.
Best thing? I am totally ok with feeding them to the kids.
There are 10 different flavors including vegan and gluten-free options. Admittedly, we preferred the chocolate-covered options. The chocolate mint is incredible (the kids seriously fought over it).
You can purchase Zing Bars at stores nationwide or online at Amazon.com (affiliate link).
I think tuna is one of those foods that is either loved or not by kids. My kids have their good days and bad days. However, these pouches are a great way to get quick energy without having to mix up a full batch of tuna salad.
No draining, no mixing – you’re able to eat them right out of the pouch (or add them to a tortilla or with crackers, etc.)
My kids do like these Kids Creations (shown below). And I like that there are salmon options too!
Um, these are incredible. And maybe just for adults (only because they’re so good, you don’t want to share).
“Organic, dark chocolate shell covering a silky, melt-in-your-mouth center made with nourishing coconut oil and speckled with prized Fleur de Sel de Guerande, a culinary sea salt hand-harvested from ancient salt villages in France.”
Additionally, all AlterEco products are USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Carbon Neutral Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free.
When we shop the organic section, we usually come home with some Barbaras. Their cereals are great and the kids love their snack cookies as a hiking treat.
Barbara’s is also doing a campaign to help defend wildlife. Purchase one of their $5 bracelets and 100% of the net proceeds are donated to Defenders of Wildlife to adopt imperiled animals. Easy, peasy!
I am such a sucker for trail mix and I LOVE that SunRidge is available in bulk. They have a TON of options too – chocolates and spicy and savory and nuts and dried fruit, etc. We loved a custom mix sent over just for us and ate up their dried apples without any issues.
Organic and natural and highly recommended! You can purchase them at retailers nationwide, and they’re available on Amazon too. Plus, take a moment just to peruse their site – because BULK organic peanut butter chocolate cups…..
Win Some Snacks!
Thanks to a bunch of generous companies, we get to offer you the following giveaways:
A case of Slammers (US and Canada)
A box of Zing Bars (US only)
An assortment of Starkist Tuna and Salmon Creations (US only)
As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!
Our adventures have been forced into being more organized with more kids. We have a better groove/plan than we did a couple years ago just as time goes on, but with the baby there seems to be less room for fudging plans if we mess up and forget something. Don’t get me wrong, we usually forget at least one little thing, but so far we haven’t forgotten a kid yet. And that’s a win!
This summer we finally have what we need to be able to get out on the river on a regular basis as a family. We decided to go with two inflatable kayaks opposed to a raft just so we could store them easier and also take them on lakes if we wanted to. Lakes are harder to come by around here than the rivers, but we like the versatility.
While we have yet to do an overnight trip….we hope to soon. These day trips are great practice in the meantime!
Let me also preface this by saying we are not longtime hard-core boaters. We both grew up on lakes and so were on boats often…but rivers less so and it’s an area we are sort of just figuring out as we go. But, that’s the beauty of it! I love that we can change things up as the seasons progress, our family grows and gets older and our preferences change too.
You’ll also notice that our gear is marked up with Sharpie Extreme. The reasoning is three-fold:
We want to be able to get our gear BACK should it be misplaced along the way (name + phone number)
We are working on building our TEAM as a family….and doing so particularly on the river which is a bit new for all of us. We mark all of our gear up, really, but heavy on the river gear this summer!
We know that it wouldn’t fade on the water and under the UV rays
This summer we added two inflatable kayaks. We had an older Sea Eagle, but it just wasn’t exactly what we wanted. You’ll notice we have two different boats. Since we were planning to use them on both the river and flat water, we wanted to see how they would compare to each other and our different needs. So far, they seem very similar, but the Strike 2 does track a bit better and the Tomcat sits a little higher. Reviews on them coming once we get them out on the water a few more times….
For the smaller kids especially, behind-the-head floatation is big for us. Honestly I would feel better if J had it too, but it’s harder to find as they get older. Baby M is wearing a Salus Bijoux (Canadian) and it is seriously the best way I have ever seen to successfully get babies on the water in a life jacket. The floatation is behind their head and on their front so guarantees face-up flotation. Plus, it’s like a million times more comfortable for them than any other infant life vests I have seen. You can buy them here (just tell them that we sent you!)
For the adults – we just like being able to MOVE in our life vests and paddle comfortably.
Because this deserves its own category entirely, right?!?
Snacks and a lunch packed, whether we plan on being on the river for 2 hours or the whole day. It ALWAYS takes us longer than we think it will (surprisingly, we still surprise ourselves…) and the kids are ALWAYS hungry. Better to be full of river snacks than Hangry. Way better.
If we have room, we throw a soft cooler in the back of one of the boats behind an adult. If not, a dry bag does the trick, depending on the contents, of course.
We also bring extra water and consciously make an effort to encourage (H2O) drinking throughout the day. It’s so easy to get incredibly dehydrated without even realizing it.
Diapers and wipes and extra clothes for everyone in a dry bag. Even if it’s 85 degrees out, kids can be swimming in the cold water and end up suddenly super chilled. We have been 100x thankful for an extra set or two of clothes that we didn’t think we would need (because fleece in August?!?!) to keep kids happy…and the rest of us too.
Sunscreen, sun hats and sunglasses. They’re a given and not optional. And we usually opt for long sleeve sun shirts over having to reapply sunscreen.
River Rats – what other packing tips do you have for family boating!?!?
This post is Sponsored by Shapie Extreme. It’s what we used to build teamwork on this trip – for our boats, paddles, life vests and dry bags. The new Sharpie Extreme permanent markers provide long-lasting bold color that will resist fading even in the most challenging conditions, such as UV rays, rain, snow and even mud. And we have plenty of gear to mark up!!
This post includes affiliate links – thanks for clicking through them to support us just a little!
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This blog post is sponsored in part by the #MothersofNature initiative from Burley. I (just like you) am a mom on the go…constantly. And I believe whole-heartedly in the fact that families who are active and mobile together find more peace and companionship.
Burley, the industry leader in recreational transport gear, also agrees. They strive to encourage moms to spend more time outdoors with their families by creating products that make the experience fun, seamless, safe and unique (see the “sanity-mobile” above!) Their gear sets the standard for safety, durability and thoughtful design.
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