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CAITLIN BARRETT is on the editorial staff of THE NIBBLE. She wishes this article had been available when she was a schoolchild.


September 2005

Home / Product Reviews / Kid’s Gourmet

Back to School

Top Picks For Little Foodies


Lunch Box Love

Remember opening up your brown bag only to discover that your mom had packed yet another soggy tuna fish on white bread? Remember begging everyone at your table to trade with you for something, anything else? Remember how you swore you would send your kids off with a cooler lunch?

Make good on that adolescent vow. Sending your kids to school with a lunch that they will enjoy means that you can be sure that they are actually eating it and not trading it for vending machine booty. Plus, having a “cool lunch” will make your little ones the envy of anyone sent to school with one of those soggy sandwiches (you know how that feels). We’ve broken lunch down into the four essential elements: sandwich, snack, drink, and, most importantly, dessert.

  • The Sandwich. Easy upgrades to the ingredients you already use will make your sandwiches stellar. Peanut butter and jelly is already a pretty good standby, but switch to a gourmet spread like P.B. Loco and your kids will be the ones going nuts. Check out the kid-friendly flavors like Peanut Butter with Jungle Banana, Peanut Butter with Raspberry White Chocolate, Peanut Butter with Sun-Ripened Apricot, and, for the purists, Classic Creamy or Classic Crunch. These PBs are so delicious, no jelly is needed. Click here to read the full review in THE NIBBLE, with a link to the company’s website.
pb loco rasberry dark chocolate
peeled snacks
  • The Snack. We know being a parent means not always having time to prepare healthy snacks that your kids will like—and that will survive in a backpack. Trust us, they will get sick of that bag of baby carrots. The brilliant minds over at Peeled Snacks have created a line of fruit and nut mixes that you can feel good about tossing into a lunch box. Three flavors offer healthy variety: Bing Bing Cherry (bing cherries with slices of apple and peach, walnuts and cashews), Fig Sated (whole figs and dates with apricot slices, almonds and pistachios) and Shock-olate (pear slices, apricots, almonds and walnuts with chocolate disks). These snack packs are free of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors and flavors. They are also no cholesterol, wheat- and gluten-free. Fruit and nuts are packaged separately to ensure freshness, so when lunch time rolls around, your children can have fun mixing up the two. Click here to read our full review.
Fig Sated (contents from several packages).
  • The Drink. Looking for a refreshing alternative to soda, juice and other sweetened drinks? A new line of infused water beverages called Hint Kids puts a refreshing end to your search. Owner and mother Kara Goldin wanted to get her kids away from the excessive sugar and artificial additives that are found in nearly all beverages marketed to kids. Infused water flavors like Tropical Punch, Apple, Grape, Strawberry-Kiwi and Mixed Berry will have leave your kids happily hydrated. Hint Kids beverages were a Nibble Editors’ Pick at the Summer 2005 Fancy Food Show, and can be purchased by clicking here. They are currently sold online in cases of 24, which will provide for over a month of schoolday lunch drinks; and are sold individually at Whole Foods Markets. Click here for our full review.

tropical punch


tiny trapeze lemon marshmallows

  • The Dessert. Dessert means a lot kids: sometimes they need something more cool than a banana. A 2-ounce bag of Tiny Trapeze Marshmallows are made of the finest organic ingredients and will delight your kids and satisfy their sweet teeth without inundating their systems with chemicals. These hand-cut marshmallow squares come in chocolate, lemon and vanilla. There are also vanilla and chocolate vegan varieties for vegetarians and kids with allergies. Tiny Trapeze Marshmallows are available at Whole Foods Markets.  They’re our favorite marshmallow—the chocolate ones are killers (in the good way!).

  • Putting it All Together. Now that you’ve got your cool lunch together, make sure it survives the trip to school in style. We like Built NY’s BYOBag Lunch Totes. They come hot colors, insulate food and beverage separately, zip open into a placemat, and can be rolled up and stuffed back into a backpack after lunch, leaving plenty of room for notebooks homework. The bag is even machine washable, making it the most parent-friendly lunch-lugger we’ve ever come across. Click your kid’s favorite color to purchase one of these “cool lunch” totes.

P.S. Parents will personally enjoy all of these foods too—so buy enough for the entire family. You may even want your own lunch tote!

pinkBuilt NY Navy ToteBuilt NY Red toteBuilt NY Orange Tote

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