· By Julia Boase
What Savoury Snacks to Buy for your Lunch Boxes
With so many savoury snacks on the market (many claiming to be the ideal lunch box snack) it can be hard to know what to pick. I’ve narrowed it down to a few I choose regularly and some that I don’t (and why).
When choosing a savoury snack you want to look for
- Fibre greater than 3g/100g
- Fat less 10g/100g (saturated les than 3g/100g)
- Sodium (salt) less than 400mg/100g
We know that snacks contribute about 30% of a child’s daily nutrition, so it’s worth making sure that we’re making reasonable choices. The biggest problem with store bought savoury snacks is that they tend to be loaded with sodium. As you can see from the below examples, I had a hard time trying to find products that were under 400mg of sodium per 100g (cobs popcorn is the standout here).
Some points on what I’ve chosen above
Cobs Popcorn - gets a tick from me due to the high fibre content combined with low sodium. Yes the fat is high but the saturated fat is within recommended guidelines. The higher fat content gives this product a higher calorie content, but keep in mind that popcorn is very light (a single serve weighs just 13g), so per serve the calorie content is low. Extra points for the fact there is a bulk buy option, which saves you both money and lunchbox litter.
Sunrice Mini Bites - I really wish they would state the fibre content of these snacks, being made form 90% brown rice they’re most likely to meet the recommendation of more than 3g per serve. The sodium content starts to creep up with these, but they’re still a reasonable choice compared to others in this category.
Parkers Mini Pretzels (6 pack) - Pretzels as a category contain a shockingly high amount of sodium, which is a pity as they are otherwise a fairly simple food made from just wheat, oil and salt. My pick from this category are the Parkers Mini pretzel 6 pack. Unfortunately it must be the 6 pack as these contain far less sodium than any other variety (the bulk buy option contains 1300mg of sodium compared to 559 mg for the multi pack). I suspect this might be due to the salt settling in the bulk pack but I don’t know for sure.
Messy Monkeys - These are to be commended for their high fibre intake. The fat starts to creep ups bit but saturated fat is still within recommendations. The downside to this product is the price and the fact they only come in single serve packets.
Grainwaves - You may be surprised to find these here, but I give them points for their high fibre intake combined with low sodium. As they are more “chip” than anything else, not surprisingly they have a higher fat content (and therefore calorie content) than other products shown here (but the saturated fat content remains within limits). I wouldn't choose these everyday due to high fat and therefore calorie content, but they're one I'm happy to have in the mix sometimes
What I wouldn’t buy?
❌ Whilst I know Healtheries rice wheels and potato stix are long term favourites amongst many parents, the low fibre intake of these products combined with similar (or higher) sodium and calorie content to other products I’ve shown, means there are better choices to be had.
❌ BBQ shapes are a long enduring popular snack. They’re moreish, highly flavoured and hard to stop at just a few. Nutritionally though they don’t stack up. I’d pick the grainwaves for kids that are after a similar flavour hit, but with a better nutritional profile.
Want more ideas for savoury snacks you might like this?