While other diets get more love and attention in the media, like a gluten-free, keto, or vegan diet, there are several people within the Jewish religion who eat “kosher.” And just because popularity and prevalence is lower, a kosher diet is still important and requires vigilance upon reading labels when looking at snack foods at the store.
In fact, kosher food does happen to cut out many common foods and food groups so unless you have the knowledge of which kinds of foods are not kosher and which food combinations are off limits, you may need to check labels on products to see if something can be deemed a kosher snack or not.
If you’re on a kosher diet, you must avoid foods that do not have a visible certification to say it’s kosher on the label, as well as foods that you know to be not kosher in a non-processed state.
For packaged snacks, look for a capitalized “K” on the package or for the word “kosher” written out in order to make sure it’s kosher food before purchasing.
What Makes a Food Kosher?
In general, people who are kosher cannot eat pork or shellfish and cannot mix meat and dairy on the same plate or within the same people. This means ham, pork chops as well as ground and pulled pork and bacon, and shellfish, like shrimp, scallops, crab, lobster, squid, mussels and oysters, are all not kosher.
Certain fish are not too, which would include swordfish, as an example since it’s a bottom feeder. Yet, other fish that are not bottom feeders are kosher in a natural state, like salmon or tilapia. Lastly, any meal that has meat and dairy together in it is not kosher (think a chicken Caesar salad or a steak taco with queso on top).
To be guaranteed as “kosher” as opposed to just not containing forbidden foods or mixing meat and dairy, you’d need it to be blessed by a rabbi and come from a kosher butcher or facility.
So, a kosher meal or snack might be a bowl of certified kosher oats with fresh berries and sliced avocado. You can also add cow’s milk to the oatmeal. Just you would not want to then make a savory bowl and add in diced chicken (and of course not chopped bacon bits).
As for some snacks—like fruit snacks—may contain gelatin, which can often be a source of pork. So, without that kosher certification you can’t assume them to be kosher fruits snacks.
A Few Kosher Snacks to Keep in Mind
Here’s what to eat when you get the midday munchies, as well as some examples of kosher snacks for kids that you can pack in their lunchbox or backpack to settle hunger fast.
Bobo’s Oat Bars, Bites and Toaster Pastries
Not all oat or protein bars will be kosher, but these snack bars are kosher certified, as it says so on the label. Browse the collection online to pick out your favorite flavors and styles for easy and delicious snacking that your kids will enjoy too.
That’s it’s Natural Real Fruit Bar
This fruit bar comes in six different and delicious fruit flavor pairings, like Blueberry + Apple, among others. They are kosher, as certified on the label, and vegan and paleo. There are two servings of fruit per bar to make it one of the best kosher snacks for kids who need antioxidants and fiber as they age.
Pop your own popcorn from scratch and season for a kosher snack or buy a product that says kosher certified on the label. For example, the popcorn brand, Popcorners, is kosher and it comes in a variety of yummy flavors that you and your kids will love for a light, crunchy snack that has a good amount of fiber too.
Fruit and Nut Butter
Plain fruit that’s raw and not processed with kosher certified nut butter or a handful of nuts makes for a good snack. Be careful with snacks from that store that have dried fruit or a glazed or coated kind of fruit or nut—like granola or trail mix, for example. These may not be kosher certified.
Veggie Sticks and a Kosher Dip
Chop up carrots and celery and dunk into a kosher certified dip. Make your own at home with Greek yogurt and herbs or blend up plain and canned chickpeas to make a hummus that’s fresh and kosher by nature. You can season it with spices or veggies and herbs, as long as you know not to add non-kosher foods or mix meat and dairy.
The same goes for homemade guacamole! If you get a mortar and pestle and an avocado with a bit of lemon zest and spices, it’ll be a great kosher snack that is high in fat and fiber. If you buy any dip from the store, check the label for the certification first.