I made a rookie mom mistake yesterday. One that could have ended in tears and total disaster…but didn’t for one very good reason. Purse snacks.

The sun woke me up. It was shining  bright and strong so early that it cut right through my shades and woke me up from a dead sleep. Almost simultaneously with Mother Nature’s wake-up call came the sweet little voice of my 5 year-old daughter, Alice, calling out from her room to see if her dad and I were awake yet.

It was Saturday….and it promised to be a beautiful one at that. I rolled over to face my half-sleeping husband.

“Let’s go for a trail walk before breakfast!” I whispered in his ear. He sleepily opened one eye and looked at me. 

“Before breakfast? Are you sure that is a good idea?” he yawned. I assured him if we got out the door soon, we’d be done with our little walk before the sun got too hot and the “hangries” hit any of us.

You guys know, the hangries. The unreasonable rage and frustration that you feel over every little thing because your blood sugar has hit rock bottom and you are so hungry that you can almost feel the pit of your stomach growling in anger over its emptiness. It is surprising how many people, in all seriousness, struggle with their emotional responses and focus when they are hungry or coming down from a blood sugar spike. Kids have meltdowns and adults lose their temper (okay, and some of us also have meltdowns) for very little reason other than our bodies are desperately trying to get our attention that it needs some real nourishing food to hold on to. That, my friends, are the hangries.

I get the hangeries hard….and I passed on that lovely trait to my daughter. I learned early on in motherhood to always keep some healthy, nourishing snacks in my purse to stop surprise hangry attacks before they hit maximum intensity. And thank goodness that I do. Because otherwise, our morning walk would have ended much much much differently.

So there we were, walking along, soaking in our coffee and the sound of singing birds when my husband and I noticed Alice lagging behind a bit, looking quite unhappy.

“What’s wrong, honey?” I asked….not really needing to ask.

“I’m soooooo hungry,” she moaned, throwing her head back and dragging her feet in our direction. The tears would come next. I needed to act fast. I grabbed a Paleovalley beef stick out of my bag and tossed it to her. She quickly ate it and sighed a little relief as the protein hit her stomach. Saved by the purse snacks.

Purse snacks are not a new thing. Moms and dads have been throwing crackers and puffed cereal into diaper bags since the beginning of time for good reason: hungry children are unhappy children. In fact, hungry mamas and papas aren’t exactly fun to deal with either, so purse snacks have become a thing for everyone’s well-being.

As handy as crackers and puffed cereal are, they only buy you a little time instead of actually nourishing the hunger away. Which is all fine and dandy, but why not just solve the problem right then and there with truly healthy nutrient-dense real food purse snacks? These are some that I always rotate through my purse to keep my family fed, happy and adventuring…hangry-free.

1. Oranges/tangerines/clementines/anything with a rind pretty much 

Citrus is an awesome fruit to have hanging out in your purse. It is tough, can sit in there for a few days without getting funky, and has its own packing (aka the rind). 

2. Paleovalley Beef Sticks 

I really love to keep these suckers on hand, because they kind of make the ultimate purse snack. Pure grass-fed beef with organic spices to make them as tasty as can be.  They are loaded with protein to help stave off the hangries but are also super low in sugar. My daughter absolutely loves them because they have such a real meat flavor, so they are a great option for children who are strong chewers. Paleovalley uses really clean, simple and organic ingredients in their beef sticks and those suckers can just live in my purse until I need them in a pinch. No fear of getting squished or going bad if I forget them in my purse for a few days! They have become a new purse snack staple and I always have a few on hand. 

Psssttt. Extra special for YOU, Paleovalley is giving all of my followers a special discount to use site-wide so that you guys can make their awesome products your purse snack staples too.  Just enter the Promo Code “nurture” for 30% OFF entire order May 21, 2017 – November 1, 2017

3. Raw Nuts 

If you want another protein-rich, low-sugar purse snack, then raw nuts are so the way to go. They also can live in your purse without going bad quickly and breaking them up into smaller pieces makes them less of a choking hazard to younger snackers. Raw nuts are loaded with healthy fat for those growing brains and they are easy to get your hands on at pretty much all grocery stores.

4. Dried Fruit

My daughter is a sucker for dates. She absolutely loves them. In fact, she goes batty for all dried fruit. Which, I get…since they are super sweet and yummy. Dried fruit is indeed considerably high in sugar, but chowing down on some dates or dried starfruit (pictured here) is a heck of a lot better then opting for a candy bar in desperation. Combined with a few nuts, dried fruit works really quickly to kill those hangries and get everyone feeling even-keel again. Enjoy them in moderation, but dried fruit is a handy real food purse snack to have on hand.

5. Quick Homemade Trail Mix

If you want a mix of all the goodness, consider throwing together a simple trail mix for your purse snack. Shredded or flaked coconut + raw nut pieces + small amount of dried fruit or dark chocolate chips makes for the best of all the worlds and is easy peasy to make AND store in your purse for emergency snacking.

6. Roasted Chickpeas

 You might have seen my other purse snack suggestions coming, but this one might surprise you. When dried really well before roasting, chickpeas crisp up nicely and can take on a whole bunch of wonderful flavors that range from sweet to savory. (see Sweet Cinnamon Chickpea Poppers). And these roasted chickpeas make for great purse snacks! Super kid-friendly (assuming you don’t make them spicy), protein-loaded and plant-based, roasted chickpeas are a great way to beat the hangeries. 

Disclaimer: Thank you to Paleovalley for sponsoring this post! My promise to you, my readers, is to only promote content and products that I truly believe in and buy myself. All opinions stated in this post are my own.