As so many of us are gearing up for the start of a new school year, I thought I’d share my household’s gluten-free snack bin. I find that keeping a snack bin stocked with healthy, pre-portioned snacks helps my kids eat healthier, and keeps our grocery costs down. I like to buy in bulk and repackage into single servings. My boys can grab a healthy snack in the morning to put in their backpack to enjoy at snack time. If we have after school errands or sports practices, I’ll quickly grab a snack for each of us to have after school.
Our snack bin is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and mostly nut-free. My boys cannot bring snacks with nuts to school, but I keep some nut snacks handy for them to grab when we’re on our way out the door for errands or to sports.
Here is what I put in our snack bin (listed as they appear left to right in the photo above):
- Sun-Maid raisins I buy the mini boxes, 14 in a package. Cost per serving: 10¢
- “Nut Bars” as we call them. They are Mrs. May’s Trio bars. I buy an 18-pack at Costco for $15.59. Cost per serving: 78¢
- Fruit Leather. I buy at Costco ($10.59 for 48). Cost per serving: 22¢
- Dried Mangoes. I buy a bag at Costco ($11.99 for 30 oz.)and then repackage into snack size bags with about 6 pieces per bag. Cost per serving: 60¢
- Cashew Clusters. These are Kirkland brand and available only at Costco ($ 9.49 for 32 oz.) I repackage into snack size bags with 7 cubes per bag. Cost per serving: 41¢
- Popcorn. I air-pop a batch of organic popcorn, add 2 Tbsp butter, margarine, or oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. I package into snack size bags. Cost per serving: unknown but guessing under 20¢
- Homemade snack mix. The contents of these little snack bags vary, but this time I have dried bananas, craisins, and some gluten-free pretzels. Cost per serving varies: about 20¢
I hope this gives you some ideas for making your own healthy snack bin. If you have one already, please comment to let me know what healthy snacks you include.