Have you heard of choosing food with five ingredients or less? It comes from Michael Pollen’s Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual . Here’s what it says:
“Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.”
That rule is very simple when it comes to eating whole foods. Apples, almonds, apricots, artichokes…. you know the whole foods I’m talking about. Single ingredient, unprocessed.
The rule becomes more complicated as you look at all the snack food out there. So many tempting, delicious choices. Can you really buy pre-packaged snacks and still follow the rule?
A whole food or homemade whole food snack is always going to be the dietary gold standard. I strive to get there 90% of the time. The other 10% of the time, well, life is getting lived, and a pre-packaged snack is awfully handy.
After all, sometimes we just don’t remember to grab an apple before we leave the house. Having a bag of Peeled Snacks in the car or in your purse can keep you on the whole foods track.
Use this list to think about how you can substitute whole food pre-packaged snacks for some of your favorite processed foods. For example, replace the Doritos, which contain ultra processed ingredients such as monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, and artificial colors, with a healthier snack choice like Eden Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, which contain only organic dry roasted pumpkin seeds, organic tamari, organic garlic, and organic cayenne pepper.
I spent a LOT of time looking at labels and looking for snacks that meet the 5 ingredient or less standard. Those 5 ingredients had to be ingredients that were instantly recognizable.
Some of these you’ll be able to find at your local grocers, some are more specialty and may require a trip to the natural grocers, and others you might find just easiest to order and have at the ready. I’ve linked to everything on Amazon so you can check out the ingredients for yourself, and you can stock your pantry easily.
Healthy Snack List
Envirokidz Organic Gorilla Munch (good in trail mixes!)
Larabars ~ There are quite a few to choose from, so I just picked out those with the least ingredients
- Cherry Pie
- Apple Pie (has 6 ingredients but all whole food)
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Cashew Cookie
- Peanut Butter Cookie
- Banana Bread
Nature’s Path Organic Whole O’s (another great addition to trail mixes!)
Nutty Bean White and Yellow Naked Chickpeas
Once you have your stock of healthy snacks, why not set up a DIY Snack Station for the kids? Happy Snacking!
If you choose to order at Amazon.com – where I know all of these snacks are available – make sure you never overpay by reading this:
PS ~ I would love to add to this list, so if you have a product that belongs on this list, please leave it in the comments.