This Week’s Giveaway & Product Review: Buddy Fruits Fruit Bites & Green Giant Carrot Crisps

I’m always on the look out for healthy packaged foods I can put into my oldest son, Hyrum’s, school lunch. He’s in first grade (we home schooled him last year, but he’s in public school this year).
I wish I made lunches like the ones in this cookbook, but unfortunately, most days it’s my husband putting the lunch together since I’m usually teaching classes at this time, so I look for fool-proof, convenience items that he can throw together and that will complement a PB&J or Tofurky sandwich.
There’s no getting around the fact that kids don’t want to feel marginalized or different in any way, so finding vegan friendly stuff to put in a bagged lunch can be tricky. It takes some creativity.
I don’t know what it is about packaging and plastic, but kids love it! Put something in a cute, little package, and my kids are crazy about it. Case in point: baby carrots. My kids like baby carrots, but if I were to give them the option of baby carrots in a sandwich bag, or baby carrots in this bright & colorful packaging, they would pick these.
(Costco now sells these pre-packaged organic carrots, love it!)
Certainly these pre-packaged carrots are more expensive. Question is, is it worth the price? For me it is, because those few extra cents per serving ensure that my kid, who already feels a little different about his food, can get a little excited about what he’s eating especially when he looks over at his classmates who are eating Lunchables or pizza.
With this in mind, I have my eyes open for vegan friendly products, and was thrilled when I saw these yesterday when I was out doing some shopping: Sam’s club now carries fruit bites that are 100% fruit (no gelatin or other additives). The brand is Buddy Fruits, pure fruit bites, in apple and orange. 18 pouches cost $7.98, which is not bad. My kids have always wanted to get the fruit bites but I’ve never been able to find one that didn’t a) contain gelatin or b) didn’t cost a ton.

The second product I found were carrot crisps. Like a potato chip, except dried, not fried! Here are the ingredients: carrots, potato syrup (I have no idea what this is, but sounds safe enough), & sea salt. Love that they had to throw in that it’s sea salt, not just salt. Gotta love green marketing, although I suppose it works, I’m a sucker for it.
Sure, you could give your kid an apple or an orange as opposed to the fruit bites. Or actual carrots instead of dried carrots. But where’s the fun in that? If you don’t have kids yet, I’m here to tell you, if you want them to LOVE a whole foods diet you have to make it fun.
The hard cold truth is, you’re competing with Sponge Bob lunchables and the Spiderman fruit bites. Because of this, your kid has to have a few fun things in their lunch box too. Not that just plain fruit like bananas and oranges aren’t great additions to a lunch box, but these things can add some flavor and fun to the mix (essential if you want your kids to stick with the healthy eating plan). Of course we can “force” our kids to eat certain things at home, but once they go to school, they can just throw it away if they aren’t convinced that it tastes good or they like it.

See? Just dried carrots. Crunchy and salty like a potato chip without all the oil. Nice. Plus a ton of vitamin A. Score. (The carrot chips are by Green Giant and are called Carrot Crisps). 15 bags for $9.98. Again, costs more than just plain old carrots, but, they’re fun! And your kid will feel proud to eat them at the lunch table.

Real question is, did they pass the kid test? Did my kids like them?

Amalia loved the fruit bites, but wasn’t crazy about the carrot chips. She’s three, which in my experience is when kids are at their pickiest, so I think this explains it. My boys loved the fruit bites and like the carrot crisps, but they like the fruit bites better.

This Week’s Giveaway
To enter this week’s giveaway to win a box of Buddy Fruits fruit bites (18 on-the-go pouches in a box) and Green Giants Carrot Crisps (15 snack packs in a box) click here.
Question of the day:
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones? When do you listen to podcasts most?

My favorite are:
  • This American Life. I think I may be in literary love with Ira Glass. I enjoy the variety of topics, keeps my brain humming.
  • NPR’s Planet Money. What can I say, I’m a geek and I like economics & business.
  • The Compassionate Cook. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is my hero. Articulate and well-spoken, she makes veganism cool.
  • The Moth. A story telling podcast, fantastic, and I highly recommend, although it does tend to have some pieces that are a bit too explicit for my taste.
I listen mostly late at night, after the kids are in bed, with a pile of laundry and mug of homemade cocoa, I’m good to go!

Comments


  1. Lindsay
    on March 6, 2012 at 7:00 am said:

    I should look into podcasts, but don't currently listen to any. I agree that their lunches should be a little fun but not time consuming. We also really like the ziplock plastic containers that have one big and two small sections all with one lid. It was the cheapest thing I could find that gives a presentation similar to "laptop lunchbox" which I love the idea of. We've been using them for three years now. Those snacks look great!

  2. TEN
    on March 6, 2012 at 3:10 am said:

    I would love that! I'll be looking forward to it =)

  3. Inkling
    on March 2, 2012 at 3:53 am said:

    I'm so glad you said that age three is when they are their pickiest. You have no idea what that did to my bummed out mama heart. We just got back from visiting my husband's side of the family, and my sister-in-law already doesn't like me. But when she saw me giving my 3 year old son yogurt and cutting up fruit for him to eat with every meal so that he would have at least one thing he liked, she made several comments that made it pretty clear she thought I could do a better job parenting. I know what a journey I've had with my son's digestive and food texture issues, and my main focus has just been making sure he gets the calories he needs so we can keep away from the doctor having us do pediasure. (Yes, it's been that difficult.) So hearing you mention that 3 year olds are super picky also gave me a bit of encouragement and helped me shake off a bit more of the judgment from her. Thanks. =)

  4. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 2, 2012 at 1:50 am said:

    TEN: Can I answer your question in a future post? It's such a good one, and I have a lot of thoughts, more than I can fit in the comments here.

  5. Whole Foods Vegan Momma
    on March 2, 2012 at 1:48 am said:

    lfwfv: The main reason why we didn't home school our oldest this year was time. In order for me to be able to fully devote myself to it, I can't teach as much as I currently am.Hopefully someday soon, I can revisit the issue, and make it work for our family, because I loved doing it. It's a lot work and requires full attention, something I just can't give it for the time being.That said, my oldest loves school and has an amazing teacher. He absolutely adores her and is having a great experience (he especially likes recess and his friends).

  6. Rebecca
    on March 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm said:

    Oh, yeah! You asked about podcasts. I don't listen to any on a regular basis. I'm not an oral learner and I have trouble focusing and learning from podcasts. But it's a cool idea!

  7. Rebecca
    on March 1, 2012 at 9:06 pm said:

    Hmmm, makes me wish we had a Sam's Club nearby! We do have Trader Joe's and found some fruit bites there without gelatin but my kids didn't love them…regular dried fruit is good.Another fun lunch treat is trail mix, you can do nuts, seeds, dried fruit and a little something sweet and it's very appealing!

  8. Melanie
    on March 1, 2012 at 4:15 am said:

    I second TEN's question on how you handle others giving your kids food. I'd like to know too! 🙂

  9. Atwood-Family of FIVE
    on March 1, 2012 at 1:36 am said:

    I love these snack ideas! My kids are VERY picky! They eat anything I give them (they have no other choice) but they NEVER eat it with a happy heart! So frustrating when I spend half an hour to an hour cooking for them. But I agree, they are nuts about packaging and fun stuff. So I bet they'd love these snacks. Love, love, love the idea of them! Even if I don't win I'll have to try and see if my local store in IL carries them! Thanks!

  10. Atwood-Family of FIVE
    on March 1, 2012 at 1:35 am said:

    What a great give away! Thank you so much! To answer the question of the day-no I don't do pod casts-I'm not so up on the technology (truly I'd still use a Walkman w/ cassettes if my husband hadn't bought me an MP3 player!). Maybe I will check out some of your suggestions for podcasts though!

  11. TEN
    on March 1, 2012 at 12:14 am said:

    I just saw those at Sam's Club! It warmed my heart a little to see some legit snacks available. I'm always pretty skeptical, but I read those labels and was impressed. (I didnt get any, no kids to impress with fun packaging yet lol)But I'm curious, how do you handle teachers (or other adults) giving your kids food that you dont approve of? are your kids allowed to eat whatever they want if you go to a gathering with non-vegan food? If not, when they get older, will they be allowed to? These are things I ponder over when thinking about my future children. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  12. Steph
    on February 29, 2012 at 5:03 pm said:

    I think I'll try both (the podcasts and the yummy lunch snacks).

  13. Melanie
    on February 29, 2012 at 5:37 am said:

    Those do look like fun, easy kid snacks. There are only a couple of grocery stores around me so there aren't many organic, natural, or vegan options unfortunately – particularly for things that are fast, easy, snacky etc. So those would be fun to try!I think the only podcasts I've ever listened to were from latterdayliberty.org :)Hmm, come to think of it, I think I did listen to one from The Compassionate Cook too…I should go back there again!

  14. Packer Family
    on February 29, 2012 at 3:29 am said:

    I don't but I would love to win some healthy fun snacks:)

  15. Anonymous
    on February 29, 2012 at 2:50 am said:

    I love my dehydrator and I'm going to have to try to make zucchini chips sometime. Maybe carrots too. I don't listen to podcasts because with 2 kiddos it seems we're never in the same room for very long and I think it would be impolite to use headphones while caring for the wee ones (although maybe more peaceful for me).liz

  16. Joya
    on February 29, 2012 at 2:05 am said:

    These sound fantastic! I"m sure both boys would love these. I'm going to have to look for them in my area!

  17. Tina
    on February 29, 2012 at 1:22 am said:

    I tried making dehydrated beet chip and zucchini chips the other day. The zucchini were great. The beets were a total flop. These carrot chips look MUCH better and easier!Tina

  18. Anonymous
    on February 28, 2012 at 11:46 pm said:

    Nope, i don't listen to podcasts.I love your ideas for feeding kids healthfully. I think Target has all natural fruit chews too, don't they? Archer Farms i think? Maybe they have gelatin though….They come in twists (look like licorice bites) and also typical fruit leathers. They're tasty for a special treat. So, i'm curious as to why you switched from home school to public school? We are seriously considering homeschooling one day and I am always interested to hear people's experiences. Thanks!lfwfv