October 01, 2013

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. revolutionfoods.com

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. joseandresfoods.com

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. smariorganics.com

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. sujajuice.com

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. tu-lusbakery.com

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. jonnypops.com

Related: Fast Snacks from Star Chefs
Reinvented School Lunches
Make-Ahead Snacks
America’s Best Gluten-Free Desserts

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