September 10, 2014
This post is sponsored by NatureBox.
As I have previously, excruciatingly, thoroughly documented, my children are hollow. Possibly hobbits.They are never NOT HUNGRY. They eat and they eat and they eat. An entire box of cereal can be emptied by the end of breakfast, and apparently fully digested an hour later, which is when they start pestering me about lunch. Can I have a snack? Is dinner ready? What's for dessert?
Last night, after a dinner of fish, sweet potatoes and corn, they finished off all the ice cream in the freezer, and THEN mass-demanded the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches I'd just finished making for their lunchboxes.
Fine. I'll make more. Just don't eat me.
(In other words: If I'm asked to do a sponsored post that involves me getting free food, I'm going to hurl myself at said sponsor and hug their leg while quietly weeping on the floor. Save me! Feed them!)
So let's talk about snacks. So, so many snacks. When Noah was little he liked to ask for "a tiny, tiny snack" while scrunching up his face and pinching his fingers together, supposedly to represent the minuscule tininess of the snack he was requesting. Just a few bread crumbs, is all! One particularly wee raisin! Please, Mother, you cannot deny such a modest and reasonable request!
And then 10 minutes later there'd be an empty box of granola bars on the counter, surrounded by a land-mine-like explosion of shredded wrappers. Tiny, my ass.
Speaking of my ass (NICE SEGUE, SELF!): we don't buy snacks around here with HFCS, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, but that still doesn't mean everything in our pantry could be considered "healthy" or "good for us." Jason and I were definitely a testament to that: We added "no late night snacking" to our health and fitness behavior chart because it was a chronic bad habit of ours. Eat dinner, head to the couch, get bored after an hour and then open a bag of something carb-y and eat the entire stupid thing.
And while my children have the metabolism to inhale late-night peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches with a chocolate cookie chaser, we very obviously do not. Or did not. We've gotten better. We each lost more than 15 pounds over the summer (NICE BRAG, SELF!) thanks to regular working out and drastically improving our eating choices and portion sizes.
So when I was originally asked if I'd consider writing about NatureBox — a monthly subscription service that delivers a big ol' stash of snacks that meet all my ingredient-related twitchiness standards — I figured it would be great for the kids. Fun new things to stave off lunchbox boredom!
Turns out it was pretty great for ME, too, finally getting to indulge in some delicious snacks that fit in with our new eating habits without having to resist the siren call of the Doritos bag at the grocery store. I went to their website picked five snacks to try, which, okay: I'm downplaying the ease of that step because there are well over 100 to choose from and I agggggonized over my choices for days until finally I got yelled at by my nice project manager for taking too long.
You can search and screen for dietary concerns like nuts, gluten, soy, milk, vegan, low-carb and non-GMO, in addition to sorting by sweet or savory. After finally winnowing down my top 50 favorites to five, here's what we got:
Apple pie oat clusters, baked sweet potato cracker sticks, sunshine chips, Sriracha roasted cashews and whole wheat blueberry figgy bars.
Perfect lunch-y sizes. I got about five portions from each bag, as long as I kept them up and away from the children themselves, who would have likely inhaled the entire shipment within minutes, like the cow-feeding raptor scene in Jurassic Park.
Ezra loves anything and everything sweet-potato like (these had a great spice flavor too); Noah loves anything in chewy bar form. The apple pie oat clusters were like if apple pie married some granola and had a cookie for a baby.
And despite being my pickiest eater, Noah has always, ALWAYS loved any type of spicy cashews. These Sriracha ones became his go-to homework snack. Jason and I loved these too — a little sweet and spicy handful of protein.
And then there were these. These I picked just for me. I am a sucker for a good crunchy sweet/savory vegetable chip.
This is me attempting to practice good portion control.
HA HA HA HA HA yeah right. Even Max is judging.
Okay, so I think the bag actually lasted maybe two days. Nobody else got a bite, and I refuse to feel even a little guilty about that. I would drop-kick a bag of Doritos in exchange for another bag of these.
GIVEAWAY TIME YAAAAAAYYYYYYY!
Two randomly chosen commenters will win a free 6-month subscription to NatureBox! Think of all the sunshine chips you will get to eat that I will not! So unfair! Here's how to enter:
1) Go here and look at all the snacks NatureBox offers. Find your favorite. (SUNSHINE CHIPS.)
2) Come back here and leave a comment telling me which snack you'd like to try. (THE CORRECT ANSWER IS "SUNSHINE CHIPS.")
On September 17th, I will chose two winners using random.org and will absolutely not actually judge you if you chose a snack that is not sunshine chips. I'm sure your choice is delicious too, WHATEVER. Please leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.
(Giveaway is limited to U.S. readers only, sorry. Please click here to read the full rules.)
Never win anything? Don't even see the point in trying because life is already meaningless and random enough? Want to try NatureBox anyway? Join using this link and get a FREE sample box of their most popular snacks.
(Free trial is available for new and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.)