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From the 2009 Natural Products Expo East

Healthy New Snacks

after-school snacks, snack ideas

The recent Natural Food Products Expo East gave Youth Sports Parents a chance to sample new products ranging from vitamins, sports drinks, granola bars and protein mixes, to muscle rubs, juicers, lip balms, and our favorite: snacks.

With rows of displays as far as the eye could see, how were we going to get through snack heaven without gaining pounds of unsightly body fat? Every vender we passed by had some new, amazing, great tasting, easy to cook, easy to eat, natural snack.

Luckily, the snacks we were trying were all of the natural, low fat, good-for-you type, and walking the expo floor felt like a slow marathon.  Out of all of the snacks we tried, here are some of our top picks, all great, healthier alternatives to the usual tortilla chips, fruit rollups, potato chips and candy. Put them in with your kid’s lunch, they won’t know the difference but you'll know they are eating healthy.

Stretch Island Fruit Co's All Natural Fruit Strip (Orchard Cherry)

If your kid likes fruit rollups, try to ween them off of those solid, flat corn syrup strips and turn them on to Stretch Island Fruit Co.’s line of all natural fruit strips. High in potassium, and nothing else, the only ingredients under the label are fruit concentrates and natural flavors, and the taste reflects the quality. We could have eaten a handful.

Bakery on Main's Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola

Delicious! Bakery on Main’s granola, although technically a cereal, works perfectly as a quick snack. We absolutely love this granola mix, it’s one of the best tasting cereals out there. Their Nutty Cranberry Maple Granola is free of trans fat, dairy, gluten and wheat, cholesterol, and casein, but retains excellent flavor and crunch. 

Popchips' Barbeque chips

Popped corn and potato chips are big this year, and one type that people seemed to be swarming over were barbeque flavored Popchips.  Popped chips aren’t baked or fried, rather, a combination of heat and pressure forms a lightly puffed, airy, crunchy treat. Popchips have no preservatives, aftificial flavors or colors, cholesterol, saturated or trans fat.  If your kid craves barbeque Lays ® chips, try this replacement. With over half the fat, and big, bold, barbeque flavor, you won’t go back.

Pirate Brand’s Potato Flyers (Sea salt and vinegar)

Potato flyers sea salt and vinegar are light and crunchy similar to Cheeto’s ®, but much healthier. Our 1.5 ounce bag was gone immediately; the crisps had a wonderful salt and balsamic vinegar tang, and we didn’t have to worry about saturated and trans fats or unnatural additives. 

Medora Snacks' Baked Sotos Multi-Grain Snacks - Zesty Cheese, Olive oil & Lemon

When I first opened up the bag of Sotos Mutli-Grain Snacks, the smell immediately reminded me of my local pizza place.  Although the snacks themselves tasted nothing like pizza, they had a great, light zesty flavor.  They may have more of a grown up taste than what a child would go nuts over, but, hey, parents like to snack too! These all natural, non-GMO snacks satisfied my cravings, even at the end of a long food expo. 

Food Should Taste Good's Olive Tortilla Chips

The light floral hint of olives works very nicely incorperated into Food Should Taste Good’s olive tortilla chips/crackers.  Flavors of black, green, and kalamata olives, garlic, and sea salt all meld together to form an olive lover’s dream snack. These chips are gluten free, all natural, high in fiber, free of trans and saturated fats, cholesterol free, lactose free, msg free, and kosher. If your child likes crunchy corn snacks, and is the type to gorge on coctail olives, sneak this snack into their backpack, they are fantastic!

Medora Snacks' Corners-Popped Corn Tortillas (sea salt)

At first we thought that these popped corn tortillas would be just like their fried cousins: super crunchy.  These little triangles, while not being exactly what we expected, were surprisingly tasty. The texture resembles thin rice cakes, but what we noticed most was the incredible corn taste. These popped chips tasted just like popped corn with the perfect ammount of salt added. They are made from all natural ingredients, are very low in calories and fat, and have olive oil, which is praised for its healthful properties.

A great show!

This year’s expo was fantastic, well organized and fun.  We at Youth Sports Parents always enjoy attending the show because it gives us a chance to sample hundreds of new products and report on them for our readers.  Thanks to the organizers! We look forward to next year.

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