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How to Fill Your Pantry with Nutrient-Dense Snacks

Moms, this one's for you! You work hard to keep the family safe, happy, and healthy. And you do this all while juggling other responsibilities like household chores, running endless errands, and grocery shopping. 

Did we mention that you work hard to take care of yourself, too? It's safe to say you deserve more than one day to celebrate your MANY accomplishments. 

So, in honor of Mother's Day, we want to make it easier for you to fill your pantry with this list of good snacking options for your family. This task can be especially stressful with the kids nearing the end of the school year, meaning they'll be home more often than not. 

You're probably doing a mental shopping list in your head right now, figuring out which snacks offer more nutritional value and great taste!

We've got you covered! 

Read on for our list of "must-have" nutrient-dense snacks for your home. But before we dive in, let's first take a quick second to review what we mean by nutrient density.

What Does Nutrient Dense Mean?

Nutrient density refers to the contribution of nutrients and food components per calorie. What this boils down to is this: the higher the nutrients per calorie serving, the more nutrient-dense the food is.

A nutrient-dense snack provides you—and your family—with the essential macro-and-micronutrients our bodies need to thrive. Think fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. It should also include vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron. You know...the good stuff!

5 Must-Have Nutrient-Dense Snacks

Okay, back to it! Let's review 5 must-have nutrient-dense snacks to fill your pantry for grab-and-go nutrition!

1) Nuts

Nuts are delicious by the handful and help you keep those hunger pains under control. They also contain nutrients like fiber and protein. Just be sure to get raw nuts. Many varieties are dipped, salted, or mixed in with other ingredients that can make this snack go from nutrient dense to “sodium dense.” 

Portion control is a good rule of thumb with nuts, so check your local grocer for nuts sealed in individual packets. This ensures your kids stick to the serving size—and you do, too! Buying in bulk and portioning out individual serving sizes in "to-go" containers is also more eco-friendly!

2) Nut Butters

Okay, so we aren't quite ready to leave the nut train yet, but it's for good reason. Nut butters like almond butter contain dietary fiber—a type of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down into glucose. Instead, it passes through the body undigested, which means it has little impact on blood sugar. 

Nut butter makes a great spread on whole wheat toast, celery, and apple slices (look at us, we just gave you a few extra nutrient-dense snack ideas!). 

3) Canned Tuna

Canned or sealed tuna contains protein and micronutrients that include Vitamin A and D, iron, selenium and phosphorus. It also contains omega 3 fatty acids and is one of the more inexpensive pantry options at the store. 

As a follow up, sardines are also a popular nutrient-dense snack option, as they contain protein (up to 14 grams), phosphorus, and calcium. They are also low in sugar (0 grams). 

Just beware of the sodium content in these snack options.

4) Dried Fruit

Did you know that dried fruits contain more fiber than fresh fruit, per ounce? In fact, a cup of raisins offers a better source of fiber, potassium, and copper than a cup of grapes. Pair this with the fact that dried fruit is much easier to store in a pantry because you don't need to worry about it spoiling at room temperature after a few days.

Dried fruit packs your favorite fruit flavor and essential nutrients into a smaller, on-the-go size. It can be a nutrient-dense snack, but just like nuts, it can be tricky to stick with the recommended serving size. 

What we mean is, it's hard to stop chewing on these delicious snacks and eventually, your hand hits the bottom of the bag. 

Try to portion it out ahead of time in a container for your kids, so they don't over indulge. Also, be sure to avoid dried fruit varieties that contain added sugars or other ingredients. 

5) Good Measure Bars

Looking for nutrient density and deliciousness? How about little impact on blood sugar? Look no further than Good Measure. If you want an on-the-go snack option that contains the nutrients you need, the flavors you love and 5 or fewer grams of glycemic net carbs , filling your pantry with Good Measure is the way to go. 

Perfect for kids and adults, our bars are available in almond butter and blueberry, almond butter and dark chocolate and peanut butter and dark chocolate.

You can find our bars on our store page, Amazon, and Hy-Vee. We’re also coming soon to other retailers that may be in your neighborhood.

Stay Connected!

We hope our list inspires your next shopping trip to fill your pantry with nutrient-dense snacks that taste amazing! For more lifestyle tips and nutrient information, check out our blog page. 

Be sure to share your favorite nutrient-dense snacks that didn't make our list on our Facebook page. We'd also love for you to share pictures of your pantry stocked with nutrient-dense snacks this summer!