According to The Lunchroom Monitor, a recent survey conducted by the people who make Lunchables (those prepackaged meals and snacks), 47 percent of moms include items in their children’s lunches based on nutritional content, 26 percent based on their child’s request and 22 percent based on convenience.
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With those figures in mind, we’ve put together a sampling of some of the newest, best-tasting and healthiest offerings for this year’s school term.
New Baked Cheetos
A baked version of the popular "dangerously cheesy" snack that contains only 110 calories and 4.5 grams of fat per serving, and no trans fats. The new snacks will be available through retail and in schools through food service.
New Reduced-Fat Doritos
Available in schools this September through food service, the new snack has 25 percent less fat (only 5 grams of fat per serving) than original Doritos.
Pepperidge Farm Calcium-Enriched Goldfish
Each serving of this new version of Goldfish Crackers has 0 grams of trans fat and the same amount of calcium as 4 ounces of milk. The crackers are baked with real cheese and contain 130 calories for a 55-cracker portion.
Nesquik Buncha Banana Reduced Fat Milk
This is a reduced-fat (2 percent) flavored milk. Buncha Banana is available in retail stores in 16-ounce resealable plastic bottles. Other 2-percent products include Chocolate Milkshake, Strawberry Milkshake, Mocha, Chocolate, Strawberry, Double Chocolate and Very Vanilla.
Dannon Danimals XL drinkable yogurt
XL is the Danimal yogurt option for older kids. The drink comes in cool-looking 6-ounce bottles, in flavors including Blazin’ Berry, Orange Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Explosion and Watermelon Slice.
Horizon Orange Cream Organic Kid Yogurt
Horizon Organic’s new Kid Yogurts are certified to be made without the use of growth hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. Available in 4-ounce cups called Yo-Yo's and also in Yogurt Tubes. In addition, Horizon has enriched their Organic Baby Yogurt and Yo-Yo’s with Nutraflora, a natural fiber believed to enhance calcium absorption and increase the level of “good” bacteria in your digestive system.
Horizon Organic Banana Single Serve Milk
This certified-organic, reduced-fat beverage is the latest addition to Horizon’s line of single-serve organic milk products, which includes chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, orange cream and 2-percent milk flavors.
Quaker Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal (Maple & Brown Sugar)
Quaker has just introduced this instant oatmeal with 50 percent less sugar.
Kellogg's 1/3 less sugar Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes
New versions of these cereal classics offer 1/3 less sugar than the originals and no artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors.
General Mills 75 percent less sugar Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Coco Puffs
General Mills is offering reduced-sugar versions of three of its most popular kids' cereals. New reduced-sugar Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Cocoa Puffs have 75 percent less sugar than the original cereals. The reduced-sugar cereals were developed using a blend of sugar and Splenda, a non-caloric sweetener made from sugar.
Phil Lempert is food editor of the “Today” show. He welcomes questions and comments, which can be sent to email@example.com or by using the mail box below. You can also visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.