There’s a certain selection process we go through when choosing snacks for our clients; at times we feel like admissions officers.
Nutrition- as nutrition nerds, we first look at nutrition. In the Foodtrainers’ admissions office this category is the “transcript”. What are the ingredients? Where does it derive its sweetness? Is the ingredient list short and in “English”? If we need to Google ingredients, it’s not looking good.  How much fiber, protein and sugar are in a food? And it’s not so much making sure that there isn’t “too much” of something but more about how is this going to satiate us?
Gluten – after basic nutrition, we look at other areas. Increasingly, it’s important to us that products, particularly items in the Foodtrainers’ store, are gluten free. Many can call gluten a fad and just because something is GF doesn’t make it healthy but less gluten is a good thing.
Taste- this is akin to the interview. Many people and products look good on paper, their scores and numbers sound right but do you want to be around this person? Are they bland? Too aggressive? Or, enjoyable and fun? We’re Tulane girls and to us well roundedness is everything; many snacks do not pass our Foodtrainers’ taste tests. We get a lot of applicants and while we don’t send rejection letters per se, if you look in our recycling bins, you’ll know not everyone is admitted.
Abusability/Bingegibility- some snacks are good, maybe too good. We’ve held off on some of our favorite companies because we had concerns. Oftentimes it’s “servings per package” that we see as a red flag. It’s the dietary equivalent of the smart student who’s disruptive in class.

What kind of a company do they come from? We have personal relationships with the companies we work with. Many are founded by passionate people who care about food and spreading the healthy word. The food’s “family” and background story matters a great deal to us.
We’re thrilled to “admit” Hail Merry Individual Nut/Seed Snacks to Foodtrainers,
We’re so excited about these products that we’d admit them “early”.
Nutrition: stellar ingredients and preparation, nuts and seeds are soaked and then dehydrated.
Gluten: not only are these gluten free they’re raw, vegan and kosher.
Taste: first we sampled the Salt and Pepper Sunflower Seeds, the pepper was unexpected and delicious. Then came the Vanilla Maple Almonds– sweet but not too much so, reminiscent of NYC street nuts but these have “living enzymes” versus well we’ll avoid guessing what’s really in those nuts, they smell good.
Abusability: none, these come in single serve/eat the whole thing 1oz. beautiful packages. No cause for over-graze control, no snacking red flag.
Family: we have nothing but good things to say about Hail Merry. And they were so excited for one of you to sample their goods that they have a giveaway or “snack scholarship” in one of our lucky reader’s names. To be eligible be sure to comment here and either like us on Facebook or tweet about this by Thursday night 4/26 (there’s always some jumping through hoops involved, right?).

Giveaway goodies: Hail Merry “one of each” Product Assortment, t-shirt and tote bag
From Hail Merry’s site:
 “Hail Merry is about the journey to higher health and the unique path we each must take to achieve our goals for a happier, healthier life with friends and family.”
What criteria above is most important when you choose a snack? Any applicants you’d like to suggest to us? Are you familiar with Hail Merry?


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