The Perfect Snack: Candidates

Is there a perfect snack for our t1d kiddos? It needs some things: We want them to want it. We want it not to wreak havoc on control. We want it to fit into life without hassles.

So what might fit the bill?

Raw Veggies

Carrots are the first thing that pops into my head. Baby carrots are a decent snack for me, personally. However, I know kids don’t always think they’re tasty.

There are other raw veggies: broccoli, tomato, cucumber, cauliflower, kohlrabi, celery… these all rank high for low prep time, healthiness, inexpensiveness, portability, and shelf life. None of them will do much damage to blood sugar, either. We can give them to Charlie without an insulin dose, with no worries.

But your kid has to like ’em or they’re no good to you.

Category Grade
Tasty C
Low-Carb A
Low-Prep A
Portability A
Inexpensive A
Shelf Life C
Healthy A
Overall B

Pickles

My guess is that pickles rank higher than raw veggies in terms of tastiness, for most kids. They’re a little worse for prep and portability, though. You can put them in a bag or container for on-the-go snacking, though. Its not a huge problem.

Pickles in a jar in your fridge will generally last longer than raw veggies, too. So they rank a little higher there.

At our house, we like to buy fermented pickles (https://bubbies.com/kosher_dills), instead of pickles in vinegar (which are mostly what I ate growing up), for the probiotic benefits.

Category Grade
Tasty B
Low-Carb A
Low-Prep B+
Portability B+
Inexpensive A
Shelf Life B
Healthy A
Overall B+

Lunch Meat

The kids in our life enjoy themselves some lunch meat. It’s generally carb-free or pretty darned close to it, too. It doesn’t last forever, though. And you can’t exactly stick it in your pocket for later.

Meat is always going to be more expensive than veggies, too. Especially if you’re a hippie like us and try to buy pastured, grass-fed, or wild stuff.

I’ll give it a small ding on the healthiness front, too. Not because I think meat is unhealthy like some do, but because processed meat raises a number of concerns for me. (You can try to avoid processed meat, but then you’re probably going to trade convenience for healthiness.)

Category Grade
Tasty A
Low-Carb A
Low-Prep A-
Portability B-
Inexpensive B
Shelf Life C
Healthy B
Overall B

Cured Meats

Cured meats tend to be a little more convenient and more portable than lunch meat. I actually could stick a beef stick in my pocket for later. But these kinds of things are generally more processed and less healthy. And some of them can be kind of expensive.

Category Grade
Tasty A
Low-Carb A
Low-Prep A
Portability A
Inexpensive B
Shelf Life A
Healthy C
Overall A-

Hard-Boiled Eggs

I am not a fan of these. But some people like them, including my family. They’re certainly not low-prep, though, unless you buy them packaged, which we rarely do. They don’t last especially long and do need refrigeration. And eggs are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. And they’re low-carb.

Category Grade
Tasty B
Low-Carb A
Low-Prep B
Portability B
Inexpensive A
Shelf Life B-
Healthy A
Overall B+

Cheese

Cheese is a personal favorite. We are from Wisconsin, after all.

There’s a lot of variance among cheeses, though. Some cheese is tastier than other cheese. Some might involve preparation (cutting). Some is expensive. Most lasts a while, and some lasts a very long time.

One of our favorite cheese snacks: individually-wrapped colby jack cheese sticks. These things are filling, low carb, delicious, involve virtually no prep and are grab-and-go. They last a while, and I don’t think they’re especially unhealthy. They’ll get the grade here:

Category Grade
Tasty A
Low-Carb A
Low-Prep A
Portability A
Inexpensive B
Shelf Life B
Healthy B
Overall A-

Nuts

Some of our favorite nuts are surprisingly high-carb, but they don’t usually make as big an impact on blood sugar as you might expect from their carb content.

We like macadamias, almonds and cashews. Dry roasted and salted. Yum.

Unless you’re roasting ’em yourself, they’re probably convenient and portable. They last a looong time and don’t require refrigeration. And they’re generally considered quite healthy. The big downside with nuts can be the price: They’re often expensive.

Category Grade
Tasty B
Low-Carb B
Low-Prep A
Portability A
Inexpensive C
Shelf Life A
Healthy A
Overall B+

Pork Rinds

My child loves pork rinds. To me, these seem like potato chips with the carbs magically extracted.

They’re super convenient and last a while. You can get cheap ones, or more more expensive ones (arguably healthier).

We’ll give them a slight downgrade for portability, too, because they’re large and poofy. They don’t fit all that well into a diaper bag. Or what you could fit would get eaten quickly.

Category Grade
Tasty A
Low-Carb A
Low-Prep A
Portability B
Inexpensive B
Shelf Life A
Healthy B
Overall B+

Winner, Winner?

Based on my very scientific evaluation and grading process, the winners are cheese and cured meats. I’ll break the tie and say cheese slightly wins out. But there’s no reason you can’t stock up on both.