nutrition (human)

What makes a good barn snack?

If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly running from place to place in your life, and trying to make good choices in between. One of the choices I struggle with almost constantly is the right barn snack. I’m not necessarily talking about snacks at the barn, but rather what to eat when you’re on your way to or from the barn. That boring, dead time in my commute – which always falls at the end of a long workday or after a tiring ride – is a danger zone when it comes to fast food.

So, what do you snack on when you’re driving to the barn?

Here are a few things that have worked for me consistently.

Luna Protein Bars

I used to looooooove the regular Luna bars, too. Then I got so I could only eat a few kinds of them. Then the idea of them made me kind of nauseated. Luckily, Luna came out with these protein bars about the time I ran out of regular bar flavors that I could eat. Are protein bars basically slightly healthier candy bars? Probably. Do they fill me up with halfway decent ingredients for fewer calories than a Snickers? Yes! The catch to these: they are on the expensive side (just over $1 a bar if you buy in bulk, as I always do) and they melt in the summer. My favorites are the chocolate cherry almond and the chocolate chip cookie dough.

GoGo Squeez Applesauce

Worst product name ever, or worst product name ever? Either way, these hit the spot beautifully. I bought them originally as snacks for the Vermont Moonlight ride and they have stuck around and been a great pick me up while hiking, on the way to the barn, etc. The bonus for me is that I really can’t handle straight applesauce unless it’s homemade, so the mixed fruit flavors are outstanding. I like the Apple Mango and Apple Berry the best. They’re less expensive at about $0.50 each, even retail. The catch here is that they’re not huge, and if you have any blood sugar problems these won’t help you balance those out.

Banana Bread

Something about banana bread is just perfect barn snack food for me. I can go through a whole loaf in just a few days. It’s filling, semi-healthy, and, since it’s homemade, cheap. Usually two slices is plenty for me to go back and forth. I usually make mine with whole wheat flour, since banana bread is flavorful and solid enough that it can take the heavier, nuttier nature of whole wheat without any real changes.

Fiber or Cereal Bars

I’ve consistently liked these for a few years now. They make good quick snacks, though they’re not terribly filling. They’re good in a pinch. The caveat here is to always buy name brand, unfortunately, since most store brand knock-offs have high fructose corn syrup and that is a no-go for my gout. Their drawback is that they crush easily. These aren’t the toss them in your bag and go kind of snack.

Those are probably the things I most consistently keep in my car or my tack trunk to snack on. What do you eat?

10 thoughts on “What makes a good barn snack?

  1. I loooooove Kind bars! I also like string cheese, Power Bars, Fiber One bars (they keep coming up with new ones), protein milk (single-serving low fat milk with added protein. Chocolate or vanilla flavored), kefir, Chobani 2% yogurt, nuts that come in the single serving 100 calorie packets, and fat free tuna + cracker snacks. I rotate through these but you can usually find an assortment of these in our pantry/fridge. The yogurt or tuna snacks I'll eat upon arriving at the barn since they are not as easy to eat out of a wrapper while driving as, say, the bars or milk.

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  2. raw nuts — I buy the big bags of almonds and pecans at Costco. Sometimes I add pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds. Rarely do I add dried fruit because the sugar hit bumps my glucose in unhelpful ways. I also get these yummy individually wrapped quinoa choc chip cookies at Costco (shhh re: sugar bumps :).

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  3. What a great idea for a post! I love your snack suggestions, and they'd work perfectly for me since barn time immediately follows a long day at work an almost an hour in the car.

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  4. I keep seeing the Kind bars, but haven't tried one yet. Maybe I will.

    I like the Fiber One bars – I've been liking the streudel ones lately.

    Nuts and yogurt are on a constant rotation in my lunch, but I almost never eat them at the barn – too fiddly for me, somehow? I don't do tuna, seafood does not agree with me.

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  5. Nuts are a great snack for me at work and sometimes at lunch, but I'm not wild about them for the barn – too loose, maybe? I try not to buy dried fruit because it's expensive and I eat it all, immediately. Sigh.

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  6. I've been keeping Lara bars in my car for a while – they are designed for raw food and vegan peoples so the ingredients are mostly nuts and dried fruits. I like that they are chewy and durable and can, in fact, stay in the car for a long time. My favorites are the Cherry one, and the Apple Pie. Ginger is pretty good too.

    I'll second the Kind bars! Also Trader joe's has prepackaged handfuls of nuts and dried fruit that helps me have something on hand and not eat all of it at once. If there are only two in the car, I will eat both, but at least I can't also eat the remainder of the bag that is in the kitchen cabinet.

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