My #ExpoWest picks!

Last week I talked about how much I was looking forward to going to Natural Products Expo West for my first time. A week has gone by and I wanted to share some of my favorite products with you all!
Let me start by explaining that my goal while at ExpoWest, was to find healthy but tasty food options for my girls. This is the way I see it, I am in charge of what my daughters eat and I would like them to feel comfortable trying a healthier option. One day they will make their own food choices, but for now, they will eat what I have on hand. I want what I have on hand to be healthy and tasty. 
We are huge fans of GoGo Squeez in this house. It's funny because once my girls got past the "baby food" phase they would not go anywhere near apple sauce. But now, they love these little on-the-go pouches of fruit. I think what they like is that it isn't a snack that they have to stop and sit at the table to eat, and they have so many yummy flavor combinations too. 
The packaging brought me over and those chocolate crisp Snackimals kept me there for a few minutes. This cereal and cookies are tasty and a healthier option since they are made with whole grains and low sugar. And, if you check out their site they have some cool recipes that 
Natural and Organic candy is not something you hear about too often, but Tru Sweets definitely makes it happen. I really liked the idea of these at first and of course was skeptical about their taste. But I was surprised. They have gummies, sours, and jelly beans that were all delicious and I was happy to see seasonal options too! 

Here are some more of my favorites I found at ExpoWest.
KIND snacks
 Man oh Man! I have been a fan of their Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew bar for a while now, I totally recommend these as a healthy snack alternative. At ExpoWest I got to try their new KIND Vanilla Blueberry Healthy Grain Bars and oh em gee! They are so delicious, I can not wait to add these to our snack packs.  
Brother's All Natural Fruit Crisps
 I love freeze dried fruit and so do my kids. The Disney characters on the packaging don't hurt and if you read the ingredients on the package, there is only 1! Apples. That's it! How great is that?
Mrs. May's
 Their almond crunch is so good! I just love Almonds and these are delicious! Made with simple and wholesome ingredients and no artificial colors or flavors. 
Dole
I love Dole! I was reminded at ExpoWest about all of their options for after school snacks: fresh fruit, salad kits, fruit cups, and their Fruit Squish'ems. I also got to try some of Dole's newer products like their Chia & Fruit clusters (I'm eating the cranberry apple ones right now) and their fruit Smoothie Shakers (these have frozen yogurt and fruit, you just add juice and shake to get your smoothie on the go!) 
Angie's Popcorn
Boom Chicka Pop is so good! I am a fan of popcorn as a snack for my kids and Boom Chicka Pop has great flavors and small packaging and is so fun for on the go.
PJ's Organic
These frozen burritos were so good! I am not a huge fan of frozen food for my girls, but hey, I'm up for options. They get bored and so do I and these have great flavor! With organic ingredients and handmade tortillas, these hand rolled burritos have some great flavor options.  
Immaculate Baking
Trust me when I say, these cookies are delicious! They have organic and gluten free varieties of their goodies. And, have so much more to offer than just cookies! They also have a great message, support folk art, and hold the record for the Worlds Biggest Cookie. It weighed 38,000 pounds and measured over 102 ft long! Some of their other products include cinnamon rolls, pie crusts, crescent rolls and biscuits and scones.
Annie's
Annie's was probably the first organic packaged food that I ever bought for my girls. Their mac n cheese is great and my girls happily eat it. I was so excited to see all of the organic options they have to offer now. Not only do they have yummy organic snacks, they now have a line of frozen pizzas. Yum! 
I was so excited to see Piggy Paint at ExpoWest! I found these guys on Facebook probably 5 years ago, when my oldest daughter was just an infant. I thought that regular nail polish was too harsh to use on infant toes and wanted an alternative. As you can see above, Piggy Paint is Non-Toxic, Odorless, Eco-Friendly and Hypoallergenic but with tons of fun colors.

Thanks for checking out my favorite healthy alternatives that I discovered at ExpoWest this year! Keep checking back for more healthy choices for kids. 

H.U.M.A.N Healthy Vending {Healthy Snack GIVEAWAY}

With my oldest starting preschool this year, I decided to use this opportunity to start us on a healthier lifestyle. Starting with walking to school and home each day. Each day is 1 mile for her, and 2 for me and my littlest, who is along for the multiple round trips. Another opportunity we are taking advantage of now that she is in school, is eating the healthy breakfasts that her school offers. Thanks to the new LAUSD standards for food, I feel that my daughter will get a healthy well-rounded breakfast. Today, for example, she had whole wheat pancakes and 1% Milk. Pretty healthy, if you ask me!
Everyday when I pick her up from school, she is ready for a snack. In fact, she doesn't even say, "Hi Mommy!" she says, "What did you bring for a snack today?" 
Recently I was supplied a goody bag filled with Healthy snack items to review courtesy of H.U.M.A.N Healthy Vending. H.U.M.A.N (Helping Unite Mankind and Nutrition) is a vending company that is working hard to provide the option for everyone to be able to choose healthy snacks.  So, let me get right in to the snacks. 
(Keep reading to find out how to WIN a tote bag filled with Healthy snacks!)

The Boom Chicka Pop popcorn was a perfect snack for the walk home from school. The girls shared the bag of lightly salted popcorn at 35 calories a cup, that was about a 70 calorie snack for each of them. 

The Clif Kit's Organic Peanut Butter bar was also a treat for the girls. I took a bite before passing it on to them, and it was pretty good. The peanut butter flavor was perfect, and what I liked most about it, was how hearty it was. With Peanuts, Almonds and a little Sea Salt, you can tell that there is a good amount of protein (6g) in there. I told my girls, that the bar would give them energy, so they ran most of the way home. 

Out of this lovely little package, I found my favorite new snack. 
The KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt was just a bunch of awesomeness! I told my husband I would totally swap this for a Snickers bar. You might think I'm crazy for saying that, but it had a perfect amount of dark chocolate, almonds, and salt. I can't wait to try the other flavors that KIND offers, they all look so yummy! 

I don't know about you, but I have always loved pistachios. I find myself buying them more and more especially recently with the Wonderful Pistachios Get crackin' campaign. (Click the link to see the videos) I think that a lot of people don't realize that Pistachios are a great healthy alternative for a snack. If you need a salt fix, why grab a bag of chips when you can grab a small bag of pistachios and get some protein in your diet.

Honestly, I was a little hesitant to try the last snack they provided, because I am not a big fan of spice. But the Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno Tortilla Chips were so full of flavor. There is just the right amount of spice and salt. These all natural tortilla chips are only 210 calories for the entire bag! 

Don't just take my word for it, click on the links and check them out. Most of the sites let you know where you can find them and offer coupons to try their products.
 H.U.M.A.N Healthy Vending's goal is to give people the option to choose healthy snacks like the ones I mentioned above. Since students consume 50% of their daily calories while at school, why not supply them with the best options possible. H.U.M.A.N Healthy Vending machines really is the best options for our kids, and for us as well. We should be leading by example, there are tons of healthier options out there, it would be best if they were more convenient. Read on for some more information. 
 This is why I am such a fan of the H.U.M.A.N. Healthy Vending movement (I highlighted all of my favorite parts. You're welcome): 
USDA's Smart Snacks in School Rule   
On June 27th, the USDA announced its finalized “Smart Snacks in School” guidelines, which affect the 100,000+ elementary, middle and high schools that accept assistance from the National School Lunch Program.   The Smart Snacks in School rules affect “competitive foods,” which are so called because they compete with the lunch program. Competitive foods are snacks sold in vending machines, a la carte lunch lines and in student stores. These guidelines had not previously been touched for the past 30 years! That is, until the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 set a deadline for the USDA to revamp them.   The new rules set limits on calories, fats, sugar and sodium while encouraging the consumption of dairy, whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables.  Schools must comply by July 1, 2014.
HUMAN’s vending machines are holistically sustainable – from their machine technology to the foods they vend. Here’s what else makes HUMAN machines so darn spiffy:
  • We offer better-for-you foods and drinks, including locally-sourced items! We have a catalogue of over 5000 food & drink items that have been screened by a panel of health experts, including doctors and registered dietitians. Plus, our machines are able to stock fresh fruit and vegetables. We work directly with our franchisees and locations to ensure that the foods vended in our machines meet the location’s specific dietary, allergy, and legislative requirements.
  • We educate…digitally. HUMAN machines are the only vending machines that educate the consumer at the point of sale. Our high-definition LCD screens display streaming video and    digital content, including the nutrition facts of the products in the machine, as well as tips on    how to read a nutrition label.
  • We’re green. Our machines are up to 50% more energy-efficient than their dinosaur competitors. Plus, our machines have remote sensors that automatically track inventory and product expiration dates, which save our franchisees from wasting their gas to restock their machines!
  • We’re technologically legit. For the convenience of our patrons, our machines accept credit and debit cards, RFID tags, employee or student ID cards, and cash. For the convenience of our franchisees, our machines are equipped with strategically-placed infrared sensors and a self-   diagnosing system – both of which prevent vending errors and possible machine complications. Also, our machines feature conveyor belts rather than old-school coils, thus increasing their versatility and capacity.  This allows our machines to vend much more than just foods and drinks, including items like toiletries, workout towels, clothing, nutrition supplements, school supplies and more. 
  • We’re full service. That’s right. Ever wanted an entire healthful meal straight from a vending machine? We’ve got you covered. Our machines can offer chilled or frozen foods that can be microwaved internally before dispensed. We also have machines with fair-trade & organic coffee! 
  • We’re free to locations. We want to make it a no-brainer to have healthy vending at schools, hospitals, gyms, government and corporate locations and community centers, so we make it free to have us there. As we like to say, “we make nutrition easy.” 
Now on to the GIVEAWAY!!! 
How would you like to win:
1- H.U.M.A.N Healthy Vending Tote
1- H.U.M.A.N Healthy Vending Hat
1- SPF15 Eco Lips Berry Lip Balm
1- bag of Boom Chicka Pop popcorn
1- Clif's KIT's Organic Peanut Butter bar
1- KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt bar
1- bag Wonderful Pistachios
1- Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno Tortilla Chips

To enter the Giveaway is easy!
 Just leave me a comment below letting me know: "What is your favorite 'healthy' snack?" 

Also, for those of you wanting more chances to win, go ahead and use the Rafflecopter widget! 

Disclosure: I was provided a Tote filled with snacks to review and to host for the giveaway. All opinions are my own! Each comment is equal to one entry. The winner will be chosen via Random.org  and notified within 24 hours. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours of being notified, a new winner will be chosen. Good Luck!