Easy, quick snacks are a necessity for every parent. Hungry kids are not happy kids! But so many of the processed snacks available in the store are full of artificial colors, natural flavors, and seed oils. Especially seed oils!
Because so many quick and convenient options contain seed oils, it can be really tempting to feed them to your kids. But luckily, there are some easy whole food options that you can count. Plus more and more trusted brands are making snacks without seed oils. We’ve found some seed oil free snacks that are as healthy as they are convenient.
Avoiding seed oils in processed foods may be a bit of a challenge at first. However, when you know what to look for, it get easier over time!
Why should you avoid seed oils?
Seed oils are highly processed and contain high amounts of linoleic acid. In excess, linoleic acid can lead to many chronic illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, migraines and cancer, to name a few. Linoleic acid is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid. It is essential, meaning we need to consume it through food, but our bodies only need a very small amount. It is very easy to obtain that amount naturally with a well balanced diet, no seed oils required.
Excess linoleic acid gets stored in our adipose tissue and cellular membranes. Because it doesn’t burn as clean energy for our bodies to use, this fat instead leads to more carb cravings and more snacking throughout the day.
Ever since seed oils became a staple in the American diet, we’ve been consuming over 6 times the amount of linoleic acid that we need!
If you’re cooking with seed oils, we recommend switching them out for another fat immediately. This is an easy switch that makes a big difference! We prefer less processed, nutrient-dense cooking fats like grass-fed tallow, butter, and ghee. These are more stable, can be used as clean energy in the body, and they have only a small amount of linoleic acid. Check out our book, The Ultimate Guide to Avoiding Seed Oils in Your Kitchen, for more on swapping out seed oils for healthy fats.
Switching out snacks can be a bit more complicated. So many ready made snacks and foods at the grocery store are made with seed oils. That’s why we put together this quick list of seed oil free snacks. You can walk into the store knowing exactly what you want and not worry about getting sidetracked and spending a ton of time reading labels.
Here is a brief list of some of our favorite seed oil free snacks that are quick, healthy, and nutrient dense.
Our favorite easy seed oil free snacks
Fresh fruit is a delicious and simple snack. There are so many options at the grocery store (or farmer’s market!) that your kids will never get bored. Slicing up larger fruits like apples and oranges can make them more appealing to kids.
We love dried mangoes, dates, figs, and other fruits for an easy and mess-free snack on the go. Be mindful of sugar content, as some brands add sweetener (dried fruit is already sweet enough!). Lastly, many dried fruits contain seed oils. Look for single ingredient options and read labels and look for brands that just contain fruit. 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Mango Slices and Newman’s Own Organic California Raisins are two seed-oil free options for dried fruit. Beware of dried cranberries. We believe that 98% of dried cranberries on the market include seed oils.
Plain full fat yogurt
Yogurt is a simple, nutrient dense snack that you can add sorts of fun toppings too. Don’t trust Big Food brands to sweeten your yogurt – do it yourself. Always buy plain, organic, full fat yogurt and add raw honey or fresh fruit to sweeten it. Shredded coconut and homemade granola add the perfect amount of crunch. It’s delicious!
Looking for the occasional snack? Lovebird cereal has simple ingredients that are all listed on the front of the box. Sweeten with berries, bananas and dry fruit if needed! Raw, grass fed milk will turn a bowl of cereal into a nutrient-dense and balanced meal with healthy fats and a wide range of vitamins. If you’re looking at other brands, be sure to check the ingredients for seed oils! Or, make your own granola!
Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed and Original are great seed-oil free crackers filled with whole grains. However, their other lines of crackers and cookies do contain seed oil. If you’re looking for more seed-oil free options, most Hu crackers are great. We love to top all our favorite crackers with organic nut and seed butters (look for brands with just nuts/seeds and salt, like 365 by Whole Foods’ organic peanut butter) or grass fed ghee (we like 4th & Heart original grass-fed ghee.)
Lesser Evil’s popcorn is cooked in ghee or unrefined coconut oil. Be aware that some of their flavor options contain natural flavors. Popcorn is also one of the easiest snacks to make from scratch! With just organic corn kernels, butter, and salt, you can make freshly-popped popcorn in kitchenware that you already have. Be sure to try different seasonings like extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, sugar (for kettle corn), and nutritional yeast.
Olives are a quick, easy boost of healthy fats. We like the organic Divina brand. Most (though not all) options are seed-oil free, making Divina olives a great topping or a satisfying snack on their own. Some people worry about the salt content in olives, but it’s hard to eat enough olives that you would overdo it on salt…so we aren’t concerned about this at all!
Gimme Brand’s olive oil nori is the perfect salty, crunchy snack. Nori is full of minerals and vitamins. Make sure you read the ingredients, as only a few options are seed oil free! Pairing nori with rice and cucumbers is such a satisfying snack, and great for school lunches too.
Cheese is a great snack for kids. To minimize aluminum and anti-caking agents, buy blocks whole and slice it yourself. One of our favorite brands is Organic Valley, but if you can, go to the cheese counter in your grocery store and look for raw cheeses! Cheese pairs great with fresh or dried fruit.
Hummus and veggies
Many store bought hummus options are made with seed oil, but a high-quality pick will be made with extra virgin olive oil instead. Baba small batch hummus is free of seed oils! Check out your grocery store’s deli case or local Mediterranean restaurants for more olive-oil based options and enjoy with your favorite sliced veggies.
Paleovalley beef sticks are a family fave. Not only is it a quick and high-protein snack, but it’s also conveniently packaged to take on the go! It’s a lunch addition for all of my kids a few days a week. Plus, they’re great emergency snacks to keep in your bag. (Be sure to use our link for 15% off!)
Kefir, strawberry, and banana shake
Your kids will love this one and so will their gut! We love the Kefir by Kalona because it’s minimally processed, but look for any plain, organic brand at your grocery store. Add some organic frozen strawberries and a ripe banana, blend, and voila! You have yourself a frozen ice cream treat.
Did you know that many roasted nuts contain seed oils? Choose raw nuts and roast them yourself at home. You can play around with your own seasonings too. Keep it simple with a little salt, or drizzle a little raw honey on them for a sweet and salty treat. If you’re buying roasted nuts, look for dry roasted options which won’t contain any seed oils. Hu’s chocolate covered nuts are delicious and don’t contain seed oils.
Though we love cooking at home, sometimes kids need a grab-and-go snack. With these seed oil free snack ideas, healthy snacks have never been easier! You probably have some of these options in your pantry already, and the rest are simple to find at your local grocery store or through Amazon and Thrive Market. We love using Thrive Market for pantry staples. You can use this link for 40% off!