Healthier chips and snack foods
Diabetic-Friendly Packaged Snacks
Chances are, if you have a house full of teens….you have a cupboard full of snacks.
That’s why I’m always on the lookout for "healthier" snacks and chips that teenagers like.
Okay, I admit it, I used to love my chips too!
I’m not saying chips are even close to being a “healthy” food, nor does our family eat perfectly healthy. What I can tell you, is that when teens get together, un-healthier snacks often show up with them. Snacks like Sugar Loving Teen’s favourite Doritos:
The Ingredients are: Whole Corn, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, Sunflower, and or Soybean Oil), Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Fructose, Sodium Diacetate, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Onion Powder, Maltodextrin (Made from Corn), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Garlic Powder, Torula Yeast, Malic Acid, Extractives of Paprika, Spices, Caramel Colour, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Dextrose, and Natural Flavor.
Not only are the ingredients unfit for consumption, but each serving of 11 chips has 270 mg of sodium! Health Canada recommends that sodium consumption should be limited to 1500-2300 mg per day. In any case, 11 chips is not much. One could easily eat over half their daily sodium intake in one sitting.
It’s not all bad news though. When it comes to chips and snack foods, there are better choices out there suitable for any family movie night or teen get-together. First.....
Ideas for Healthier Party Snack Foods:
• Pair high fiber tortilla chips with filling humus, guacamole, or salsa.
• When your kids are invited out to a friends house, send them with some of the healthier chips, snacks, hummus, etc. This keeps them in control of what they’re eating, and helps them resist temptation.
• One of the easiest healthiest snacks to make is air-popped popcorn. As of right now, there are no genetically modified popping corn kernels on the market, but I bet that won’t be for long. To avoid pesticides choose organic. Add butter, olive oil, or coconut oil, and/or various spices for flavour.
• No matter how healthy they label them, chips are still junk food, so serve them buffet-style along with healthy snacks, like a big bowl of grapes and cherries, or a simple veggie tray. As long as they’re cut up and washed, the healthy snacks always get eaten up!
• Forget the Fuzzy Peaches (the candy of course). Serve frozen grapes instead. Everyone loves these! Stock up when they’re on sale, wash & freeze.
• Nuts make a great snack, are filling and full of protein. Combine salted and unsalted nuts in a Ziploc, and give them a good toss for a happy salty medium. Serve pistachios in their shells. This slows down consumption and provides visual cues as to how many nuts you ate.
• I also like making my own trail mix with all sorts of nuts, sunflower seeds, cocoa camino chocolate chips, Medjool dates and dehydrated pineapple pieces.
5 shopping cart rules for healthier chips and snack foods:
- Look for a short ingredient list with ingredients you can pronounce.
- Don't buy products with any MSG (including “natural” or “organic” forms like yeast extract or torula yeast ), colors, additives, artificial flavours and preservatives including maltodextrin
- Choose low sodium
- Buy non-GMO
- Choose chips made from expeller pressed oil. Kettle Brand’s website explains it best: “Oil can be extracted via two methods: mechanical and solvent extraction. Expeller pressed oil uses only mechanical extraction, in which seeds are crushed to release their oil. Solvents used are harsh chemicals such as Hexane.”
Healthier Packaged Chips and Snack Foods:
Most Kettle Brand chips have now been verified by the Non-GMO Project and bear the logo. Comes in low sodium too.
Regular Sea Salt Potato Chips:
Fiber 1 gram, Fat 9 grams, Sodium 115 mg
Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil (safflower and/or sunflower oil), sea salt.
Baked Sea Salt Potato Chips:
Fiber 2 grams, Fat 3 grams , Sodium 135 mg
Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil (safflower and/or sunflower oil), sea salt.
Low Sodium Potato Chips:
Fiber 2 grams, Fat 9 grams, Sodium 5 mg
Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil.
These chips get the award for best bang for your fat/fiber/sodium buck. Great ingredients that are bound to hit your snack food sweet spot! Organic (Non-GMO). 10% of all profits go to charity.
Sea Salt by the Sea Shore
Fiber 2 grams, Fat 4.5 grams, Sodium 70 mg
Ingredients: Organic Ground Whole Corn, Organic Expeller Pressed Sunflower Oil and/or Organic Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Grain & Seed Blend (Organic Flax, Organic Millet, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Quinoa, Organic Amaranth), Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Sea Salt.
Really good! You can’t really tell they’re sweet potato. Just a nice hint of natural sweetness.
Fiber 2 grams, Fat 6 grams, Sodium 65 mg
Ingredients: Organic Ground Whole White Corn, Organic Ground Whole Yellow Corn, Organic Expeller Pressed Sunflower Oil and/or Organic Expeller Pressed Safflower Oil, Organic Sweet Potato, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Chia Seeds, Sea salt.
Dude Ranch (Reminds me of Doritos Cool Ranch) and Mild Green Mojo also available.
Non-GMO and made with sprouted grains. Nice chips with great flavour with 2-3 grams of fiber per serving.
Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips
Love these!!! They remind me of Sweet Chili Heat Doritos.
Fiber 3 grams, Fat 7 grams, Sodium 95 mg
Ingredients: Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Organic Sprouted Flax Seeds, Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Flour, Organic Sprouted Daikon Radish Seeds, Organic Sprouted Chia Seeds, Sprouted Broccoli Seeds, Seasoning (Raw Cane Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Pure Sea Salt, Native Potato Starch, Onion, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper)
My favourite sweet potato chip!
Fiber 2 grams, Fat 7 grams, Sodium 100 mg
Ingredients: Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Sweet Potato, Organic Sprouted Quinoa, Organic Sprouted Chia Seeds, Pure Sea Salt.
Please click here for more Way Better flavours.
Neal Brothers is based in Ontario, Canada. For organic/Non-GMO tortilla chips choose from their organic blue corn products.
Fiber 2 grams, Fat 7.8 grams, Sodium 90 mg
Ingredients: ORGANIC BLUE CORN, ORGANIC SUNFLOWER OIL, ORGANIC FLAX SEED, SEA SALT, TRACE OF LIME
Non-GMO and provides a good serving of fiber.
Multigrain Tortilla Chips
Fiber 3 grams, Fat 6 grams, Sodium 80 mg
Ingredients: Stone Ground Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Brown Rice Flour, Flax Seeds, Evaporated Cane Juice, Oat Fiber, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa, Soy Flour, Sea Salt.
One of the few chips made with 100% Olive oil available in sea salt, rosemary, garlic, and cracked pepper & sea salt.
Rosemary Olive Oil Potato Chips: Fat 7.8 grams, Fiber 0.5 grams , Sodium 196 grams (HIGH)
Ingredients: Potatoes, Olive Oil, Rosemary and Sea Salt
High in whole grains, great tasting, and good for dipping! Unfortunetly, these are VERY HIGH in sodium.
Rosemary Garlic: Fiber 3 grams, Fat 4.2 grams, Sodium 315 grams
Ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat Flour including the Germ, Filtered Water, Unbleached Wheat Flour, Sunflower Oil with Rosemary extract, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Sea Salt, Dehydrated Tomato Flakes, Dehydrated Garlic, Yeast, Rosemary.
Level Ground Trading: Organic Dehydrated Pineapple (and check out their other dried fruits too.)
Most dried fruits are full of ADDED sugars and sulphites. Not these! The only ingredient in this bag of dried pineapple is.... pineapple.
Level Ground Trading is a big supporter of Fair Trade.
Dried fruit is naturally high in sugar, so those watching their sugar intake need to take care how much they eat. I like to add a small amount to my homemade trail mix.
Made in Nature and Nature's All are other great brands of organic pineapple chips (and other dried fruits) with no added sugars, sulphur or preservatives. Nature's All does admit that their pineapple has added love :)
Diabetic Friendly snacks:
Finding portable diabetic friendly snacks can be a difficult thing but they sure come in useful at times. The important thing to remember is that even healthier snacks, like popcorn or dried apple rings, need to be paired with protein and/or a healthy fat to lessen the glycemic load. I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, so these are just some ideas that could fit into your eating plan.
Fresh is always best but there are several companies that make apple chips.The key is to check for simple ingredients. This one is about as simple as you can get!
Pair with nuts, a nut butter (sold in health food stores in jars or single servings packets) or other protein. Click here for other great Bare Fruit products like Crunchy Cinnamon Apple.
Fiber 2 grams, Fat-Free, Sodium 40 grams
Ingredients: Organic Apples
Hippie Foods: hippie snacks coconut chips.
Hippie Foods focuses on whole food ingredients and uses non-gmo, organic, fair-trade ingredients whenever possible.
These coconut chips are AMAZING! They do have 6 grams of sugar per 1/3 of a cup (28 grams), so if you're watching your sugars, you can't eat the whole bag! But, it's one of those things where just a few pieces satisfies my sweet tooth. Wonderful addition to homemade granola or nut mix.
Ingredients: Coconut, cane sugar, salt.
Danielle Coconut Chips are also very similar in ingredients and sugar amount.
There are several brands now that sell kale chips but check for additives.
These look disgusting yet taste soooooooo unbelievably good. They are organic, raw and very expensive! So much … it made me go out and buy my own dehydrator to make my own Kale chips!
Sour Cream and Kemp Ingredients: Organic kale, organic pre-soaked cashews, organic lemon juice, organic hemp seeds, organic coconut sweetener, nutritional yeast, organic chives, organic apple cider vinegar, Himalayan salt.
One of my favourite occasional treats but I really have to watch my portions! Pair with nuts or other protein.
Chocolatey and crunchie! 1.9 grams of sugar per 28g serving!
Ingredients: Organic rice flour, organic quinoa flour, quinoa, unrefined cane sugar and cocoa.
There really is nothing easier than making homemade popcorn, but I guess if your popper is broken. Watch your portions! Pair with protein!
Fiber 2.2 grams, Fat 11.7 grams, Sodium 219 mg
Original: ORGANIC POPCORN, ORGANIC SUNFLOWER OIL, SALT
Mary’s Gone Crackers Organic Sticks & Twigs
A great option if you stick to gluten-free complex carbs. These taste and smell like bird food (and my bird LOVES these), yet we all keep munching on them. Very high in fiber (unfortunately sodium too)! Organic/Non-GMO. Pair with hummus or other protein.
Sea Salt Pretzel Snack: Fiber 4 grams, Fat 5 grams, Sodium 300 mg (VERY HIGH)
Ingredients: Organic Short Grain Brown Rice, Organic Whole Quinoa, Organic Brown Flax Seeds, Organic Brown Sesame Seeds, Organic Whole Amaranth, Organic Whole Millet, Filtered Water, Sea Salt, Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Wheat-Free Tamari (Water, Whole Soybeans, Sea Salt, Organic Alcohol).
Mary's Gone Crackers also makes some of the best gluten-free crackers.
This is one of those things you either love or hate. My daughter loves these seaweed snacks.
Ingredients: Seaweed, Canola Oil, Sesame Oil, Salt
Seasnax brand is one of the best as it's made with olive oil instead of canola.
It comes in quite a few fun flavours like Wasabi.
Ingredients: Seaweed, Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Natural Wasabi Flavor
That's it for now. Of course fruit and veggie snacks are best. For clean fruits and veggies on the go (or just purchased from the corner store), check out this awesome product: