This recurring series of posts on what we find in the marketplace is all about what’s new, different, and FLAVORFUL! 

Hello again everyone!

Well, it’s that time of year again, and odds are you are seeing ‘back to school’ sales and meal planning ideas filling up your inbox. As much as I would love to be able to create artfully designed lunch box meals for my kids – in reality, it’s more about convenience for me. I want to be able to provide my kids healthy lunches – that they will enjoy – but also are filling.

I perused many stores to find some great ideas (all new-to-market in the last few months) that are good options for lunches, and even for school nights. Many I am buying an extra box of and putting in my desk for snacks – because let’s be honest, sometimes kids’ snacks make great adult snacks too!

Here we go:

Breakfast

Love Grown Cinnamon Lion Loops

Cereal with Beans?!
Love Grown Cinnamon Lion Loops

According to many, one of the reasons consumers don’t purchase as much cereal is that it’s not considered satiating. Love Grown is trying to buck this trend by adding beans to its newest line of cereals. This cereal is catered towards kids, so I thought it was worth a try.

Cereal is also amazing as a single working mom, because I feel as if breakfast is always on-the-go and in the car. This cereal is also gluten free, as it is made with brown rice.

The verdict: A definite yes from both mom and kids. Both my kids (ages 4 and 6) loved the cinnamon flavor and the crunchiness. I can definitely see me packing a few bags of these for munching in the back seat on the way to school. My 4 year old son also loved the Lion on the front of the box (haha).

Snacks

Snacking in my house is a meal in of itself; in fact, my kids sometimes survive on their snacks. If you have a child in preschool/elementary school, chances are you understand this reality. Therefore, I always am on the lookout for new snacks for my rugrats.

Bitsy’s Good Cookies in Oatmeal Raisin

Bitsy's Oatmeal Cookies

Both schools my kids attend – and a huge rising trend in schools across the nation – do not allow nuts. This is a bummer for my peanut butter loving kids, but it is what it is. I saw these small snack-size bags of cookies and was intrigued. I mean, they are baked with veggies AND are peanut and tree nut free!

Michael and his Bitsy's cookies
Michael and his Bitsy’s cookies

The verdict: I would actually keep these in my desk for the ‘ol 3pm snack. My kids, however, did not enjoy. They thought they tasted ‘ick’, but really, I think their hang-up was the earthiness of the sweet potato. My co-worker’s kids love sweet potatoes and she thought they’d enjoy, see the photo to the right of this cutie!

Nature’s Path Pumpkin Seed & Sunflower Nut Butter Bars

Nature's Path Pepita and Sun Butter bars

This is another nut-free snack with a sweet profile. Granola bars are a huge hit with parents, but it’s nice to have something a bit different. These reminded me of the chocolate coated peanut butter granola bars that my kids love, so I thought it would be worth a try.

The verdict: I personally have never been able to find sun butter palatable. I guess I’m too much of a tree nut butter fan. However, for kids that cannot have nuts, I think these would be such a wonderful treat. My kids seemed to like the bars without the pepitas on top. But I don’t think this will be a repeat purchase for us.

Savory Meals / Snacks

Once Upon a Farm Wild Rumpus Avocado

Avocado Squeezer
Avocado Squeezer

Say what you want about ‘squeezers’ as my family calls them, or squooshie pouches, they are here to stay, and you’ll be seeing more coming down the pipeline catered towards adults. I love them because as a mom, I try to squeeze in as many fruits and veggies as possible for my picky kiddos. My son still loves squeezers, so I’m all in! I love the inclusion of avocado in this brand, that can be found in the refrigerated aisle.

The verdict: These are a huge hit with Michael. They are pricey, but with all the fruits and veggies in there (have you seen the price of avocados lately?) – a huge “YES!” in my book.

Applegate Naturals Uncured Turkey and Pepperoni & Cheddar Snack Pack

These seem to be a modern version of Lunchables, which were my absolute fave as a kid (but that my mother would never purchase). The convenience of this little pack is unmistakable, and the brand is a good one in my house. My kids love cheese and pepperoni, so if I am short on time, this seemed like a perfect idea.

The verdict: My daughter Lucy (see photo at end of post) was thrilled to have these in her lunch box. While I may not splurge every week for them, definitely a go-to when I’m running short on time to make lunch.

Saffron Road Shoyu Ramen Bowl with Chicken

Ramen bowl

This item appealed to me on nights where I have to work late, and getting dinner on the table is a real challenge. Whenever I ask my kiddos what they want for dinner, the response is inevitably ‘noodles’. That said, Ramen is really a bowl of noodles with some savory/umami seasoning. When I talk to them about ‘Chinese noodles’, they totally seemed game for trying something new. Further, I liked how the spice level on this entrée was mild.

The verdict: Another colleague tried these with her kids and thought they were a great ‘intro to ramen’. The broth flavor was mild, but had an authentic flair. A great way to get kids to try something new, but not too far out.

That’s all for this month! Best of luck at the bus stop y’all! See you soon.

Best,
Mary, your Flavorful Finds guru

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