Washington, DC, recently hosted the Summer Fancy Food Show, organized by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. (NASFT). The exhibition of food products from around the world boasted 2,250 vendors from 80 countries this year. We sent our contributor Monica Bhide to find what was new in the area of kid-friendly foods.
Please note: Some of the companies are small and are just debuting their products, so availability maybe limited initially.
Description: Good Tastes has a line of all-natural frozen mac 'n' cheese that is just plain scrumptious. The line includes both classic and innovative flavors, such as Four Cheese Mac and Brie & Fig Mac. Each variety uses award-winning cheese from Pineland Farms Creamery in Maine.
Inspiration: The creator, Sarah Pike, grew up on one of the first certified organic farms in Maine. Her parents used their freezer to preserve the food they raised and grew to feed their family. "The freezer is the most natural preservative there is. I created Good Tastes so that busy people can eat good food and expect something more from the frozen food aisle."
Cost: Suggested retail price is $6.99 for a 12-oz package.
Where to find it:
Description: Veggie Mama creates their Garden Pops using vegetables and fruits -- no artificial colors, no high fructose corn syrup, no dairy, and no gluten. The pops come in three flavors (Carrot Berry, Citrus Cucumber, and Sweet Potato Pie), and are sweetened with organic agave nectar.
Inspiration: As a mom, Veggie Mama's owner and creator, Theresa Fraijo, was always looking for nutritious snacks to feed her boys. "Since vegetables aren't always at the top of their snacking list, I thought I'd create a way for them to get excited about eating vegetables. When you mix a vegetable with a complementary fruit, you get a treat that you can feel good about giving your kids or eating yourself!"
Cost: Suggested retail price, $4.99 per box of 6 pops; $34.95 for a variety pack of 36 pops.
Where to find it: You can purchase Garden Pops directly from www.VeggieMama.com with free shipping, as well as at select grocery stores.
Description: These tasty chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips. They're made with gluten-free ingredients, are all-natural, and are low in fat and calories. With flavors like Tomato Basil and Creamy Dill, these snacks are sure to please.
Inspiration: "We created Simply7 because of a distressing trend we noticed in our local grocery stores: food made with ingredients that most people don't recognize and can't even pronounce," says Paul Albrecht, vice president at Simply7 Snacks. Their goal is to show people that simple ingredients taste wonderful.
Cost: Regular 4- or 5-oz bags retail for $2.99 to $3.99; single-serve 1-oz bags retail for $.99 to $1.29.
Where to find it: Simply7 can be found in HEB, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods Market, and Shaw's supermarkets, as well as specialty stores throughout the U.S.
Description: \ Tiny Fruits snacks are a certified organic, no-sugar added, non-GMO project-verified 100 percent fruit snack. Each 1-oz pouch contains bite-size freeze-dried fruits that are easy for teeny hands (6 months and up) to hold. Tiny Fruits are currently available in four flavors: Apple & Banana, Strawberry & Mango, Blueberry & Apple, and Pineapple & Mango.
Inspiration: "Little Duck Organics was born from my desire to find organic, no-sugar-added snacks for my three young kids. The majority of products on the market contained a bunch of added sugars, preservatives, and other unhealthy junk. My vision was to create a brand that focused on providing snacks that were convenient for parents who are constantly on the go, and fun for the kiddos that keep them moving," says Zak Normandin, founder and CEO of Little Duck Organics.
Cost: Suggested retail price, $3.99 for a 1-oz package
Where to find it: Tiny Fruits are available at Whole Foods Market, Earth Fare, Hannaford, Fairway, Sweetbay, Central Market, Stop & Shop, and other fine retailers nationwide, and online through Diapers.com, FreshDirect.com, and AbesMarket.com.
Description: This gourmet sipper is inspired by the Indian yogurt-based drink known as a lassi; its tongue-in-cheek name is "That Indian Drink." Flavors include: Blueberry Cardamom Orange, Alphonso Mango Rose Water, and Raspberry Cinnamon Ginger. Each 8-oz bottle has more than a full serving of fruit and 7 grams of protein, plus vitamins and dietary fiber. The company makes its own yogurt from growth hormone-free milk sourced from upstate New York farms.
Inspiration: The creator, Ipshita Pall, worked in fine dining kitchens in Chicago and New York City, but always wanted to do something on her own. "There is something about food that appealed to both my husband and me. We feel it brings us closer to the rhythm of life and makes the journey memorable. This feeling was accentuated when I was pregnant with my firstborn. So I decided to partner with my husband and take the plunge while we were pregnant."
Cost: $2.99 for an 8-oz bottle.
Where to find it: Currently available in New York State and working to expand distribution nationwide.
Description: Each of the "got milk? Magic Milk Straws" is filled with "flavor beads" in choices like Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Cookies & Cream, and can transform a glass of plain milk into flavored milk in an instant. The beads are gluten- and lactose-free and have no preservatives, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. Since they don't require refrigeration, they are a perfect lunch box treat. New options like Cotton Candy, Wild Berry, Orange Cream, Cinnamon Roll, Neapolitan, and Chocolate Candy Cane are available at select retailers.
Inspiration: "I've been marketing consumer goods for 14 years, primarily focused on youth entertainment and licensed goods. I especially love products that persuade children to make better choices. These straws do exactly that. The kids look at it like a treat, but moms don't mind serving it with every meal," says Paul Henson of Magic Straws, LLC.
Cost: $1.99 for a 6-pack of straws; value packs of 36 and 48 straws are also available, as are On-the-Go single serves.
Where to find it: got milk? Magic Milk Straws are available at Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Safeway, and thousands of regional and local retailers throughout the country.
Description: These fully cooked nuggets are a great snack for kids. The chicken is antibiotic-free, gluten-free, Certified Humane®, all natural, and certified halal. The company also offers very mildly spiced Tandoori Seasoned Chicken Nuggets.
Inspiration: "Our Chicken Nuggets and Chicken Bites are ideal for kids, and moms feel good about giving their children a healthy alternative to other nugget choices. We just reformulated our chicken items too, so now the breading is even more tender and delicious, especially to the younger palates," says Adnan Durrani, CEO of Saffron Road Foods.
Cost: Suggested retail price of $6.99 for an 8-oz package.
Where to find it: Saffron Road frozen chicken items are available at mass grocers such as Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Publix, Shaw's, Wegmans, Fairway, Central Market, and at natural foods stores across the country.
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.