Healthy snacking for the holidays and beyond

As we begin preparing for the holidays, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy snacks as quick pick-me-ups. This is the time of year for rampant impulse snacking – when the urge hits, we reach for whatever we can find to snack on.

NatureBox wants to change that by making healthy delicious snacking easier and more convenient.

NatureBox is a subscription service that, for less than $20 a month, delivers 15 to 20 servings of up to seven different delicious, nutritionist approved snack items right to your door. The choices are sourced from local growers and independent food suppliers from across the U.S.

Most traditional snack foods are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and colors. NatureBox snack items have none of these.

NatureBox is the brainchild of twenty-something co-founders Ken Chen and Guatum Gupta. With a passion to create healthier snacking options, the two entrepreneurs launched their online company in January of this year.

A lot of consumers don’t understand the amount of calories in snack food, says Gupta.

The average male eats around 550 calories per day from snack food, he said. And the average female eats almost 900 calories per day!

“This is an area of everyone’s diet that wasn’t being thought out,” Gupta said.

The idea is to provide snack fanatics with fresh, nutritious, tasty snacks at their fingertips.

At NatureBox, we try to combine convenience and health, said Gupta. “Our hope is for a lot of customers to change behavior without a lot of effort and reduce the amount of calories they get from junk food.”

The goal is to make the experience very flexible for the customer, Gupta said. That means options and variety, and NatureBox has plenty of both.

Consumers can sign up for monthly Discovery Box subscriptions. With  each month five to seven different food snacks each month, Gupta says each month the company will likely add ten new choices. Currently offering 60 different items, by year’s end there will be close to 80 items. And to allow for even more options, by early 2013 they anticipate having around 100 items.

You’ll soon be able to customize your NatureBox orders to meet an diet specific needs you have

NatureBox also offers gift subscriptions – for three, six and twelve months. All subscriptions come with free shipping. You can even pause your subscriptions, making it perfect for traveling.

And more options are coming.

In the next few weeks, consumers will be able to shop their complete product catalog and customize their monthly choices. You’ll be able to create the “just for you” box – whether it’s non-GMO, low sugar, nut, chocolate or gluten-free.

If you find there’s a snack you love, you’ll be able to order those individually too.

As I always sample products prior to deciding whether or not to profile them, I got to customize my NatureBox samples. Since I’m allergic to chocolate, with a low tolerance for nuts, my box included:

  • Carrot chips – sweet and salty but surprisingly not high in calorie and are a good source of Vitamin A
  • Country Ranch Peas – a great crunchy alternative to popcorn
  • Chipotle Maple Almonds – yummy California almonds with a smoky chipotle flavor
  • Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Seeds – a surprising and flavorful change of pace
  • and Cinnamon Spiced Granola, a high fiber, great tasting cereal

You’ll soon be able to order individual NatureBox products you love

Though some of these looked to be high calorie, they weren’t. Each bag comes with its nutritional and caloric values listed. And everything’s really tasty!

“We try really hard to source nutritious foods that taste great,” Gupta said.

NatureBox also “gives back”. Since founding the company, with each box they sell, they write a check to Feed America, which provides meals to a family to help feed the over 14 million hungry children in America.

NatureBox is a great way to sidestep the traditional holiday weight gain syndrome.

To sign up for their subscription or gift services and to see great easy recipes, visit www.NatureBox.com.

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