Packing a Snack with NuVal

Written by Sylvia Geiger MS, RD, CD, Price Chopper Community Nutritionist

Labor Day signals the end of the carefree flowing schedules of summer. Between school, music lessons and afternoon sports, my kids agendas become so complicated that I need a huge scheduling board to get everyone to the right place at the right time.  Regular meal times are a real challenge! For better or for worse, packing snacks and carting around an ample supply of them is essential to stave off hunger until mealtime. Packing fresh fruit, cut-up veggies or cheese is always a great idea for healthy school or afterschool snacks, but I can’t even count the number of pummeled apples, oranges and bananas I’ve retrieved from my kid’s backpacks. If pre-wrapped and pre-portioned snacks ever had a place— it’s in your kid’s lunch box or backpack! At least what doesn’t get eaten doesn’t get wasted. But finding the right snack that adds to the daily nutrition tally and satisfies your kids’ appetite can be challenging. This year I’m going to use Price Chopper’s NuVal scoring system to find some backpack stable snacks. With NuVal it’s easy to cut to the chase— the higher the score the better the nutrition.  I’m always shocked at how different the scores can be for items sitting right next to each other of the shelf.

Here are some Trading Up Choices:

Try this NuVal Score Instead of NuVal Score
Raisins (any brand)            87 Yogurt covered raisins (any brand)            2
Dried Fruit: unsweetened sliced apples, apricots or plum (brand-Mariani brand)            91 Dried & sweetened pineapple chunks, island fruit or tropical medley (brand- Mariani)            2-3
Applesauce cups (Mott’s No Sugar Added)           26 Applesauce cups Mott’s Original Flavor            4
Dole Pineapple Tidbit cups           25 Dole Pineapple & Crème Parfaits            2
Annie’s Bunny Grahams           23-27 Graham Crackers (mixed brands)            3-11
Kashi Chewy Honey Flax Granola Bar           40 Kashi Toasted Honey Grain Bar            7
Cascadian Farm Oatmeal Raisin Granola Bar           28 Cascadian Farm Vanilla Chip Granola Bar            7
Triscuits Hint of Salt           38 Triscuits Original Flavor            31
Honey Roasted Soy Nuts           58 Salted Cashews            23
Whole Grain Pepperidge Farm Goldfish           25 Mixed Up Pizza Flavor Pepperidge Farm Goldfish            7

Simple Family Meals Ideas for Busy Schedules

 Recipe Ideas using this week’s Sale items

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich with Chili-Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Baja Fish Tacos with Creamy Cauliflower Puree


Poached Salmon with Creamy Piccata Sauce with Steamed Broccoli


Microwavable Apple Crisp or Spiced Peach Cobbler


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