by Carrie Havranek
The explosion of Target’s food section in the last few years means a few smartly-packaged snacks usually end up in our carts. Because let’s face it: Who doesn’t love snacks? But not just any snack will do. The ideal snack is nutrient-packed and can sustain us until dinner or keeps the kids under control in the back seat during long car rides. We’ve found a few healthy snacks at Target we really like, many from house brand, Good and Gather.
From organic string cheese to chickpea puffs, here are 5 healthy snacks we always buy at Target.
Any form of mango — fresh, frozen, dried — that comes into my house will unquestionably be eaten within 48 hours of purchasing it, so with these dried ones, I usually buy two bags. I like this particular brand because there’s no extra sugar added during dehydration; mangos are sweet enough on their own. Fresh is often better because it’s less processed, but dried fruit in the car wins hands down because it’s less messy. You get a couple of grams of fiber and some potassium in each serving.
Deglet Noor pitted dates are smaller than Medjool dates and much softer, making them easier to eat out of hand. Dates can be expensive, but these are reasonably priced; I found them for $3.99 for a 10-ounce container at my Target. Dates contain magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper, along with 3 grams of fiber for every 1/4 cup serving. And because they’re so naturally sweet, you only need a couple of them to satisfy your sweet tooth.
String cheese is a perennial fave among kids — whether on their own or when paired with mini pretzels and fresh-cut apples. Organic cheese can get pricey, especially when it’s packaged directly for snacking, but this one retails for about $2.99 at my local Target. And we all know cheese is a good source of protein, right? 7 grams in each serving! And because this string cheese is organic, you can count on it to be made with milk free of rBST, rGBH, and antibiotics. Oh, and the most important part? They’re mild and creamy and taste just like you’d want mozzarella to taste!
You know how mixed nuts often have lots of peanuts because they’re cheap in comparison to many other nuts? Well, there are no peanuts at all in this mix, leaving you free to enjoy all the pecans, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts. There’s just the right amount of salt here, and these nuts come in at 5 grams of protein per ounce, and also pack some good amounts of magnesium, iron, and manganese.
These delicious protein bars are remarkably similar to a bigger name-brand insofar as they’ve got just a few ingredients: egg whites, dates, almonds, cashews and, in this case, blueberries. The bars also come in Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Coconut and Chocolate, Cashew Butter Chocolate, and Maple Nut. They average about 200 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein, and no added sugar. You can also find them in mini-bars, too, with about half the amount of those ingredients. The mini bars are ideal for lunchboxes or mid-afternoon snacks.