Based on the mainstream use of the word “hangry“, I’m going to assume that my family and I are not the only ones that are less than friendly when we are in need of nourishment. Since we spend a lot of time outside the home (traveling, hiking, camping, exploring, or anything besides being cooped up in the house), we try to carry snack foods with us to make sure our kids don’t starve. Yes, ask them, and they are literally starving on a daily basis. Because three square meals and no less than 2-3 snacks per day equals starving.But I digress. As much as I try to be prepared (which is often) we sometimes wind up out and about on some adventure without adequate nourishment. When that happens, we hit up the nearest grocery store (fingers crossed that it’s a Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Natural Grocers) and run inside to grab some quick snacks to tide us over. And if you’ve ever done this as well, you’ve likely been overwhelmed by the choices available and trying to decipher what’s paleo-friendly or not. So have we.
But guess what? I want to make that quick trip to the store a little easier for you. So I grabbed the family, my phone, and a notepad, went to Whole Foods and walked up and down each aisle, checking labels, jotting down notes, and taking pictures. The kids verified that the foods I checked were in fact kid-approved (meaning they would totally scarf them down), so you can rest assured that your kids will like them too.
And you know, these aren’t just snacks for kids, grown-up kids like snacks too. I’ll be honest, I love looking at the wall of bars at Whole Foods and getting to pick out which one I get to eat this time. You know what I’m talking about. It’s like the candy in the checkout aisle, but healthier and more grown-up-ish.
** Beverages are not included in this list, it is strictly foods. But let me just say that anytime I’m wanting something other than water, you can bet it’s kombucha. My favorites? GT’s Strawberry Serenity and Reed’s Culture Club Cabernet Grape. So, so good!
So without further ado, here are your paleo-approved store-bought snacks (and no label checking required).
You can eat, well, pretty much anything you want. I didn’t feel like it was necessary to walk around taking pictures of every produce item there was, so you get the idea. For the sake of this blog post, a pile of apples = the entire produce department. And yes, there’s cheese in the picture, and no, cheese is not considered paleo. However, if you’re primal or tolerate dairy, then by all means, get some delicious grass-fed stuff. I wouldn’t blame you one bit.
My husband also pointed out that, although not pictured, do not forget about bananas. They are nature’s perfectly packaged snack. You don’t have to wash them (they have their own built-in wrapper) and are loaded with potassium and resistant-starch fiber. Win win!
Also, our kids love the Wholly Guacamole packs. You can get them in pouches (as shown) or as individual 2 oz containers. Perfect for dipping some cucumber, celery, or carrot sticks.
The bulk section of the store is pretty fun. Lots of fun food combos in there, but you have to be careful. Steer clear of the granolas (even the gluten-free kind, they still contain grains) and any trail mix with bright colors (you know, like M&Ms). Dried fruits can be a tough one as well. It might seem like a good choice (it’s fruit after all, right?!) but most are sweetened with sugar. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any that are sweetened with apple juice but it’s definitely possible. Dried cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and apples can all be sweetened with apple juice so check the label to be sure (I know, I said no label checking, but bulk bins vary from store-to-store, so I can’t guarantee what you’ll find). Steer clear of dried pineapple, it’s always coated in sugar.
Your safe bet is to stick with nuts and seeds. Most are either raw, roasted, or roasted/salted. And they’re all delicious.
The Massive “Bar” Aisle
Next to the kombucha cooler, this is my favorite part of any store. This is where the list gets extensive and I’ll get into specifics on actual brands. I have pictures of most (but not all) brands mentioned. Each brand has a link to their website so you can read more about each product.
- That’s It! Fruit Bars
- EPIC Bars
- FruitChia Bars – pictured
- Thunderbird Energetica Bars (Cashew Fig and Cacao Hemp flavors) – pictured
- Gather Bars
- Larabars (just the originals, not the Alt or Uber bars)
- Larabar Renola
- Clif Kit’s Organic Bars – pictured
- Tanka Bars (*note: they include sugar-sweetened cranberries and the Apple Orange Peel flavor has can juice)
- Evo Hemp Bars
- White Buffalo Kitchen Snacks (made in Fort Collins, woot woot!)
- Steve’s Paleo Goods (all of it, naturally) – pictured
- The Paleo Diet Bar
- Go Raw Coconut Crisps
- Essential Living Foods Snack Packs
- Nature’s All Freeze-Dried Fruit – pictured
- Dang Coconut Chips (Original and Caramel Sea Salt)
- Sea Snax – pictured
Let’s be honest, you won’t find much in the dairy section. There are a few brands of almond milk that don’t contain sugars or carrageenan, but they don’t usually come in single-serving sizes already refrigerated. Luckily, there are Chia Pods. You’re safe with every flavor and every flavor is delicious.
Non-“Bar” Snack Aisle
Not as exciting for me as the Massive “Bar” aisle, but still just as relevant, the regular Snack aisle. Once again, here are specific brands that are paleo-friendly.
- Plum Kids Organic Mashups (original, not the “Morning” or “Yogurt” varieties) – pictured
- GoGo Squez Fruit Pouches – pictured
- Mamma Chia Squeeze Pouches – pictured
- Stretch Island Fruit – pictured
- Veggie Go’s Fruit & Veggie Snacks – pictured
And there you have it. An extensive list of delicious store-bought snacks you can feel good about. As much as I’d like this to be a complete list, I am limited to what I have available in my local stores. If you know of any other paleo-friendly store-bought foods not mentioned here, please add them to the comments below and I’ll get them added to the list.
Thanks! And happy snacking.