Heather McClees is a nutritionist and freelance writer from South Carolina who covers health, food, and lifestyle topics for a variety of online publications. She has a B.S. in Nutrition Science and Dietetics and a background in communications and news journalism.
updated Oct 28, 2020
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I like to keep some pre-packaged groceries on hand to make sure that I have healthy snacks or mini-meals on hand whenever the need strikes. I also find that they’re a helpful option for parents who want easy-to-grab snacks for their kids. (And because so many of us have been home all the time for so long now, it feels like everyone is constantly snacking.)
As a nutritionist, I’m always super mindful of the ingredients and nutrition info of everything that I purchase. With that in mind, here are my top 10 pre-packaged, single-serve groceries I recommend trying out.
1. Two Good Yogurt
This is one of my favorite new options to hit the yogurt aisle in the last couple of years. Two Good Yogurt is non-GMO, has no added sugar or artificial ingredients, and comes in delicious flavors like vanilla, blueberry, mixed berry, strawberry, peach, plain, cherry, and coconut. These are great to eat for a snack, enjoy as a quick breakfast, or even use in a smoothie. My best trick? I like to freeze a cup for an hour and enjoy it with some fruit for a take on “frozen yogurt.”
Buy: Two Good Yogurt, $1.49 for 5.3 ounces at Target
2. Larabar Protein Bars
Unlike most protein bars, Larabar’s new protein bars aren’t made with any highly processed ingredients, proteins from whey or soy, artificial sweeteners, unhealthy oils, or strange chemicals. They come in four flavors and are made with just fruit, nuts, and plant-based protein (from peas!). Try the Apple Cobbler flavor around breakfast time or the Chocolate Peanut Butter when you’re in the mood for something a little more akin to a treat.
Buy: Larabar Protein Bars, $6.39 for 4 at Target
3. Sabra Hummus Singles
4. Good Culture Mini Cottage Cheese Cups
Cottage cheese has made a major comeback this year — and is great on toast! Like yogurt, it’s a great source of natural probiotics that help support a healthy gut, and if you buy a good brand, it’s a high-quality source of protein too. These single-serving cups by Good Culture are some of my favorites. They’re made with grass-fed milk and aren’t highly processed like some other cottage cheese brands. Try the pineapple flavor — trust me.
Buy: Good Culture Simply Pineapple Cottage Cheese, $1.49 for 5 ounces at Target
5. Nature’s Path Organic Instant Oatmeal Packets
Instant oatmeal is a perfectly filling snack. These packets by Nature’s Path are some of my favorites, because unlike most flavored instant oatmeal packets, they’re fairly low in sodium and added sugars, have zero artificial ingredients, and are made with all organic ingredients.
Buy: Nature’s Path Variety Pack Oatmeal, $3.49 for 8 packets at Target
6. Sun-Maid Sour Raisin Snacks
Raisins are a classic healthy snack that never goes out of style. They’re also a great source of potassium, a good source of fiber, and are rich in heart-healthy antioxidants. However, dried fruit is easy to go overboard on, so I love to keep a variety of mini boxes of raisins on hand. Sun-Maid is my go-to brand, and I love both their plain mini boxes of raisins and their new sour raisin option, which hit the market earlier this year. Pair a mini box with a 100-calorie pack of almonds or walnuts for a sweet and crunchy snack.
Buy: Sun Maid Sour Raisin Snacks, $3.99 for seven 4.9 ounce pouches
7. Unsweetened Applesauce Packs
Call me old-school, but sometimes a good old-fashioned applesauce cup is the way to go. My little tip for making these even tastier is to freeze a cup for an hour; it gets super cold, semi-frosty, and takes on a thicker texture. My favorite applesauce cup that I’ve tried is the Great Value Organic from Walmart.
Buy: Great Value Organic Unsweetened Applesauce Cups, $2.50 for six 4-ounce cups at Walmart
8. MaraNatha Almond and Peanut Butter Packets
9. Skinny Pop 100 Calorie Popcorn Bags
These mini bags by Skinny Pop are 100 calories per bag and are free of all the extra ingredients you’ll find in most other bags of popcorn.
Buy: SkinnyPop Original Popped Popcorn, 100 Calorie Individual Bags, $14 for 30 .65-ounce bags
10. Planter’s NUTrition Nut Packs
Planter’s NUTrition packets are a new favorite of mine and come in a few different varieties — all of which are less than 200 calories per pack. They’re also low-sodium, low in added sugars, and are packed full of heart-healthy fats, fiber, and plant-based protein from the nutritious nuts they contain.
Buy: Planter’s NUTrition Nut Packs, $6.29 for seven 7.5 ounce
What’s your go-to pre-packed grocery item to keep on hand?
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a wide range of information on various topics. While I have personal experiences or opinions, I can provide factual information and insights based on the data available to me. Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in this article.
The article discusses the author's top 10 pre-packaged, single-serve groceries that they recommend trying out. These options are convenient for quick snacks or mini-meals. Here are the groceries mentioned in the article:
Two Good Yogurt: Two Good Yogurt is a non-GMO yogurt option that does not contain added sugar or artificial ingredients. It comes in various flavors like vanilla, blueberry, mixed berry, strawberry, peach, plain, cherry, and coconut. It can be enjoyed as a snack, quick breakfast, or used in smoothies.
Larabar Protein Bars: Larabar's protein bars are made with fruit, nuts, and plant-based protein from peas. They do not contain highly processed ingredients, proteins from whey or soy, artificial sweeteners, unhealthy oils, or strange chemicals. Flavors include Apple Cobbler and Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Sabra Hummus Singles: Sabra Hummus Singles are individual servings of hummus that can be enjoyed as a snack or part of a meal. Hummus is a good option for incorporating more vegetables into your diet.
Good Culture Mini Cottage Cheese Cups: Good Culture Mini Cottage Cheese Cups are made with grass-fed milk and are a good source of natural probiotics and protein. They come in various flavors, including pineapple.
Nature's Path Organic Instant Oatmeal Packets: Nature's Path Organic Instant Oatmeal Packets are low in sodium and added sugars. They are made with organic ingredients and can be a filling snack.
Sun-Maid Sour Raisin Snacks: Sun-Maid Sour Raisin Snacks are mini boxes of raisins that are a classic healthy snack. Raisins are a good source of potassium, fiber, and heart-healthy antioxidants. They can be paired with nuts for a sweet and crunchy snack.
Unsweetened Applesauce Packs: Unsweetened applesauce cups are a simple and tasty snack option. Freezing them for an hour can give them a thicker texture. The article mentions the Great Value Organic Unsweetened Applesauce Cups from Walmart as a favorite.
MaraNatha Almond and Peanut Butter Packets: MaraNatha Almond and Peanut Butter Packets are single-serving packets that can be paired with fruits or vegetables for a protein boost.
Skinny Pop 100 Calorie Popcorn Bags: Skinny Pop 100 Calorie Popcorn Bags are mini bags of popcorn that are 100 calories per bag. They are free of extra ingredients commonly found in other bags of popcorn.
Planter's NUTrition Nut Packs: Planter's NUTrition Nut Packs are single-serving packs of nuts that are low in sodium, low in added sugars, and high in heart-healthy fats, fiber, and plant-based protein.
These pre-packaged groceries provide convenient and healthier options for snacking or quick meals. It's important to note that individual dietary needs and preferences may vary, so it's always a good idea to read the nutrition labels and choose options that align with your specific requirements.
I hope this information is helpful! Let me know if there's anything else I can assist you with.