Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
It’s great news that snack food has become so seasonal: It’s practically farm to pantry. Now that summer is behind us, so is the time to feast on Watermelon Oreos. Likewise, it’s not quite the season for limited-time-only Candy Corn M&M’s.
It is, however, prime time for back-to-school snacks. And here are some terrific new options.
The Healthy Lunchable Option - Revolution Foods Meal Kits
This healthy, high-quality alternative to Lunchables is rolling out across the country from the Oakland, California–based Revolution Foods, which offers four different meal kits. There’s no high fructose corn syrup in the peanut butter and jelly kit, no antibiotics in the meat in the ham and cheddar kit, 16 grams of whole grains in the cheese pizza kit, and that’s a 100 percent real fruit strawberry snack in the turkey and cheddar kit, thank goodness.
The Salty and Crunchy Option - José Andrés Potato Chips
These deeply flavored, golden-colored chips from superstar Spanish chef José Andrés are made with only three ingredients: Spanish potatoes, extra-virgin olive oil and Himalayan pink salt. If eating plain potato chips bores you, Andrés says that they’re spectacular in omelets.
The Protein-Packed Option - Smári (Icelandic thykk yogurt, or skyr)
Smári claims that this new-to-the-US product is “what kept the Vikings strong through long, dark winters,” which is a funny kind of testimonial. What is confirmed is that this yogurt is remarkably high in protein: Smári’s Pure flavor has 20 grams of it; vanilla has 18, strawberry and blueberry each have 17 grams. Moreover, each serving is made from four cups of organic milk, versus only two or three cups for Greek yogurts. No surprise, Smári’s also high in calcium and low in sugar.
The New Juice Option - Suja Cold-Pressed Juices
These excellent juices come in flavors like Fiji (apple, cucumber, celery, spinach, collard greens, kale, lemon and ginger); Spark (strawberries, lemon, raspberries, honey, tart cherries and cayenne); and Fuel, (carrots, orange, apple, pineapple, lemon and turmeric). They can be purchased individually or as a package, if you’re starting the school year with a juice cleanse.
The Gluten-Free Option - Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery
Not that it’s hard to find decent gluten-free desserts right now, but if you happen to live in New York City or Dallas, or know how to mail order, Tu-Lu’s has some very good options that you might not know are GF. Standouts include the oatmeal, cranberry, white and semisweet chocolate cookies; chocolate chip cookies; dark chocolate brownies; and cinnamon coffee cakes.
The After-School Snack - JonnyPops
The flavors for these creamy, small-batch, all-natural frozen fruit pops are inspired: Summer Strawberry; Choco-latte; Coconut Pineapple Paradise; and Merry Mountain Berry. Their only drawback is that right now you can only get them in Minnesota, where they’re made, and a handful of other states.
More from Food & Wine:
Fast Snacks from Star Chefs
Reinvented School Lunches
America’s Best Gluten-Free Desserts
Best Chicken Dishes in the U.S.
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Stall confessions: Life lessons from my lunch box
The kid with the stinky lunch
USDA launches Greek yogurt program in national schools
School snacks are about to get healthier
Study finds school breakfast is a key to future success
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I dont see how this is healthy all these juices in a bottle will have some preservative and color stabilizers for shelf life. Eat fresh fruits and veggies. This article is misleading. Absolutely not a healthy alternative.
govind, I agree!
Most types of trail mix has peanuts. CNN is always complaining that many people are allergic to nuts. How is this healthy? And what's the deal with "regular" chips? Are flavored chips healthier?
It might imply low salt or baked chips.
You should see the snack machines at the local Mayo hospital. Looks like the health food section of the grocery store.
What about the Twinkies? What did you do with the Twinkies?
When I was in high school, my buddy and I one day pooled our money and bought a pound of bacon for an after school snack. The funny part is that his mother worked as a medical assistant, and about burst an artery when she discovered it. You would have thought we were shooting up heroin or something...
These are all still processed foods, right? The juices are still concentrated sugar in a bottle. Even if it's natural, it's still sugar. I'd rather give my kids a bunch of organic grapes or a banana to munch on as opposed to a bottle of juice (no matter how natural it is). While these are they types of food to give kids once in a while or as a treat, we should be teaching our kids to eat "real" more wholesome foods.
Heh, heh, heh...