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Best Healthy Costco Options for Families & Kids, Part 2

Woman holding up number 2 in front of costco store

It took us a while to hop on the Costco train, but now I’m thankful to be a Costco member!  While I’ll always be a fan of supporting small farms and buying locally as much as possible, Costco is a great option for some pantry staples and convenience snacks.  And if your grocery budget is getting out of control like mine was, Costco just might save the day!  We were quickly approaching the point where I was considering buying low-quality versions of certain foods at the regular grocery store in order to stay on budget.  But thanks to Costco, I can still purchase real, organic, healthy versions of the food my family eats often.  So, stick around, I’ll show you what we are buying.  Costco might be a good option for your family too! And if you want to go back and see Part 1 of my Costco Haul series, click here!

(This post contains affiliate links.  You can read more in my Policies and Disclaimers)

1. Chomps Beef Sticks

These beef sticks are perfect for my growing boys!  With 10 grams of protein, it’s a great way to keep them full for a long time.  The beef comes from grass-fed and grass-finished cows, which is awesome!  There is no added sugar, just a few yummy spices.  No artificial colors or flavors are used in Chomps either. Beef sticks may seem like a pretty straightforward snack, but if you pick up a popular brand of beef sticks (Like Slim Jims) at the grocery store, you’ll find mechanically separated chicken, hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup, dextrose, nitrites, artificial flavors, and caramel color. Not the kind of ingredients I want my kiddos eating day after day.  Chomps is a much better choice!  They also sell them on Amazon if you want to check them out there.

chomps sticks front of bag
chomps sticks ingredients label

2. Kirkland Brand Almond Flour

I use almond flour almond four in SO many of my recipes that I make often.  I love that this Kirkland almond flour only contains 1 ingredient: Blanched Almonds.  When I bake with almond flour, I know that I’m not serving my kids empty calories. Almonds are full of protein and pack a big punch of Vitamin E.  Vitamin E is a great antioxidant and helps boost immune function.  They are also packed with magnesium. Here are 3 of recipes my family loves that use almond flour:

  • Sausage Balls- Recipe here
  • Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins- Recipe here
  • Anytime Chocolate Chip Cookies- Recipe here

kirkland almond flour front of bag
kirkland almond flour ingredients label

3. Chosen Mayo

Having a good quality mayo on hand is a must!  When I finally read the label on the popular mayo brand I’d been buying for years, I was shocked to learn that the very first ingredient is soybean oil.  Soybean oil is a highly-processed seed oil that has undergone the process of hydrogenation to extend shelf life.  In addition, it is likely made from GMO (genetically modified) soybeans.  EEK!  That’s why I was so excited to see that Chosen’s first ingredient is avocado oil!  The rest of the ingredients look great too!  Instead of using preservatives to maintain freshness, Chosen uses rosemary extract.  Yes!! 

Chosen is a great substitute for other mayonnaises when it comes to making sandwiches, filling stuffed eggs, or whipping up your own salad dressing. And did I mention that it tastes great?  This mayo is an easy way to get a big win in your pantry make-over!

chosen mayo front of label
chosen mayo ingredients label

4. Pure Vanilla (Costco Brand)

I do a lot of baking, so I go through a ton of vanilla! And this pure vanilla from Costco is a no-brainer.  No goofy ingredients here.  Just vanilla beans, water, and a little alcohol.  If you are going to the trouble of making homemade goodies for your family, one important thing to check is the quality of the ingredients you are using.  Manufacturers sneak in all sorts of wonky ingredients that we don’t want or need.  Here are a couple of my family’s favorite homemade goodies that use this vanilla:

  • Sourdough Breakfast Brownies- Recipe here
  • Strawberry Yogurt Tubes- Recipe here
  • Apple Pie Energy Balls- Recipe here
costco pure vanilla front of bottle
costco pure vanilla ingredients label

5. Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is so good for you!   It supports heart health, brain health, and even has been associated with a lower risk of cancer!  But, if you’re just grabbing any olive oil from the store shelf, you might actually be grabbing an oil BLEND.  Yes, they’ll label it as “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” on the front label, but a quick read of the ingredients will reveal that they’ve added vegetable oil, canola oil, or some other cheap seed oil to their product.  Why? To make you think you’re paying a good price for a healthy choice  Tricky!!

But this olive oil is made from…wait for it…olives! It is cold-pressed and certified organic, making it a great choice for a truly healthy olive oil.  Having a quality olive oil in your pantry means you are ready to make fresh salad dressings or even beauty products like a tallow moisturizer!  Just remember, olive oil has a low smoke point, so for high-temp cooking, avocado oil is the best option.

kirkland extra virgin olive oil front of bottle
kirkland extra virgin olive oil ingredients label

6. Kirkland Brand Organic Diced Tomatoes

While I agree that fresh, organic tomatoes are the best option, sometimes Mama needs a shortcut, ya know?  And these canned tomatoes can save you so much time!  They are certified organic, which is important because tomatoes are almost always on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen list, meaning they are highly contaminated with pesticides.  I only buy my tomatoes organic if I can possibly help it.  Toss them in soup or chili, or add them to your spaghetti sauce.  Canned tomatoes can help a busy mama make healthy eating happen!

l=kirkland diced tomatoes front of box
kirkland diced tomatoes ingredients label

7. Clif Kid Z-Bars- Variety Pack

My kids LOVE these bars!  This is one of the few packaged snacks I buy regularly.  Sometimes you need a quick snack on-hand for when mama just hasn’t been able to bake anything.  They may also come in handy for school lunches or after-school snacks. Just remember, while the ingredients list looks good, and they are certified organic, they still have a very high sugar content (10-11 grams per bar!).  But if you are limiting your kids’ sugar intake overall, then I would say Clif Kid Z-Bars could be good snack.  And because they are so soft, even young kids should be able to manage them fairly easily.

clif z bar front of box
clif z bar ingredients label

8. LaCroix Variety Pack

My favorite kind of sparkling water is the kind I make at home in my Soda Stream (you can read more about that here).  But it is nice to have canned drinks when you need to pack a cooler of drinks or take drinks to a party.  LaCroix is one of the brands I reach for, so I was excited to see that Costco carries it!  While some nutrition experts have questions about LaCroix’s ingredient that simply says “Natural Essence” (and I, too, wish they would more clearly define what exactly that means), I’m certain LaCroix is still many leaps and bounds ahead of any soft drink options.

la croix front of package
la croix ingredients label

9. Kirkland Brand Organic Chicken Drumsticks and Chicken Wings

I will be the first to tell you, buying your meat from a local farmer is the best option.  But if time or budget is a prohibiting factor, you may find Costco’s organic chicken to be good, healthy options.  It’s price per pound is very affordable to be certified organic meat.  Both the drumsticks and the wings cook up really well in an air-fryer!  Just add your seasonings of choice and cook, no oil or butter needed to keep them moist!  With food prices sky-rocketing, I was having a hard time staying on budget, but I really didn’t want to resort to feeding my family conventionally-raised meat on a regular basis.  Costco is a great place to grab affordable, better-for-you meat options.

chicken wings
chicken drumsticks

10. Kirkland Grass-Fed Butter

I’m still rejoicing over the fact that butter is actually GOOD for us!  Yep, it’s a healthy food filled with healthy fats. Research has shown that it actually helps prevent heart disease (I know, the exact opposite of what we’ve been told!), has anti-cancer properties, is good for the immune system, helps the thyroid, improves gastrointestinal health, and more!  

If you haven’t already, it’s time to take another look at butter.  Toss out the chemical-filled, margarine concoctions they call “butter” and go back to the real thing!  It tastes better and is better for you! Read more about the research on butter here.  

Also, remember that butter freezes well, so stock up on this healthy addition to your freezer and you’ll never be without!

Kirkland Grass Fed Butter front of package
Kirkland Grass Fed Butter ingredients label

So there you have it.  Ten more products that a Crunchy Mama looking for healthy options can grab at Costco.  Knowing what snack ideas and pantry staples are available to you is important if this is your first time to shop at Costco or if you’ve been shopping there for years.  We all know that shopping at a big box store is one of the easiest ways to save money, but I hope I’ve shown you that Costco has a healthier side to offer!

Don’t forget to check out the Part 1 of this series where I highlight 10 additional items I’m buying at Costco!

For more shopping tips to help you find healthy, budget friendly products, check out my Shop with Diligence page.

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