Anywhere I’ve seen kids, I’ve seen veggie chips/puffs/straws. They sound healthy, with that “veggie” in the title and pictures of fresh, juicy produce on the packaging. But what’s the real deal on this kid and mom friendly snack?
Take a look at the ingredients, and you’ll see potato starch is the first ingredient, followed by potato flour and corn starch. And while those are vegetables, those likely aren’t the ones your mind conjured up from the packaging. Only after all those is there some mention of other veggies in the form of tomato paste and spinach powder.
You might also expect to see some fibre in these vegetable snacks (because fibre is something we know is in vegetables). However, on a 28 g serving bag, you will clearly see “less than 1 gram fibre” (a comparable serving of potato chips will have 1 gram of fibre).
What about some of those vitamins or minerals vegetables are famous for? A serving of veggie straws has 2% of your daily iron and vitamin C requirements, most likely from the potato (to compare, a serving of potato chips has 10% of your daily vitamin C requirements, and the same 2% iron).
So despite their name, and snazzy packaging, veggie chips don’t actually have much vegetable power.
If you and your kids enjoy this snack, keep enjoying and serving it! You can serve them alongside vegetables as an exposure and to help access the fibre, vitamins and minerals, as seen in this post on snack combinations. But like all food, have it be part of your snack rotation, and try some of these other portable snack ideas below and on this post of easy & nourishing school snacks.
- Sliced favorite veggies and fruit
- Fruit leather
- Crackers and cheese sticks
- Baked sweet potato fries
- Prepared ready to eat beets (like this or this)
- Canned carrots or mushrooms
- Frozen strawberries, grapes, bananas, peaches…
- Trail mix of nuts, seeds & dry fruit