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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
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Archive for Kid Foods

PRODUCT: Trop 50 Apple Juice

Apple juice without sugar guilt. Photo
by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.


We love shopping at farmers markets in the crisp fall air, loading up on our favorite Honeycrisp apples (the texture is the best!).

And when we see fresh-from-the-farm apple juice, we can’t help but take home a jug.

Unfortunately, that half gallon of sweet apple juice, our version of Proust’s madeleines, disappears all too quickly—at about 120 calories per eight-ounce glass. It’s refreshing, but so is Trop50 Farmstand Apple juice drink, a better choice for people who like to drink tall glasses of juice.

Thanks to Tropicana, apple juice lovers can have an eight-ounce glass of crisp-tasting apple juice beverage for fewer than half the calories of conventional juice. Trop50 Farmstand Apple has 50% less sugar and calories, and no artificial sweeteners. (It uses Pure Via stevia, an added sweetener that comes from a South American herb and is totally natural.)

At 50 calories per eight-ounce glass, Trop50 Farmstand Apple “squeezes in” a full day’s supply of vitamin C and is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E. In addition to pleasing adult calorie-counters, it’s a great product for kids.

“The taste of Trop50 Farmstand Apple doesn’t fall far from the apple tree,” says Tropicana. We agree!

The 59-ounce bottle has a suggested retail price of $3.59 and can be found in the chilled juice section of the supermarket.

The redesigned, curvy plastic bottle is so sleek, we’ve repurposed the empties in the fridge as water bottles.

  • Find more of our favorite beverages plus recipes.
  • Comments

    RECIPE: Dirt Cake With Gummy Worms

    Oops: National Gummy Worm Day, which was yesterday, flew by before we had a chance to post this recipe.

    The dessert, “Dirt In A Box,” was created by Ruby Foo’s restaurant in Times Square, New York City. It’s a no-cook “dirt pudding” or trifle, decorated with Gummy Worms.

    You can make the recipe more elaborate, or turn it into a dirt cake, by preparing it in a small casserole or cake pan. Our preference is to use a small, clean flowerpot (we ran ours through the dishwasher).

  • Get the recipe and plan to surprise your family. Just don’t wait a year until the next official Gummy Worms Day.
  • You’ll also learn the history of Gummy (Gummi) Worms.
  • Find our favorite products in our Kids’ Foods Section.
  • Find more dessert recipes in our Desserts Section.

    While we’d prefer a flowerpot, a box
    works just fine. Photo courtesy Ruby Foo’s.


    PRODUCT: LunchSkins Reusable For Kids’ Lunch Bags

    Disposable plastic food bags were introduced in 1964. Overnight they changed the way people carried their sandwiches and carrot sticks to lunch. (The prior options were aluminum foil, paper bags and wax paper.)

    Baggies and the variations that followed made it easy to transport food and keep it moist. But flash forward to the present: Every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches alone end up in landfills.

    Three green moms with a mission designed an alternative kids’ lunch bags. Their solution, LunchSkins, are a fine work of engineering: The plastic-lined bags are made from pastry bag material and go straight into the dishwasher for cleaning. The colorful designs have a velcro closure. There’s even a place to write the owner’s name with a permanent marker.


    Reduce landfill waste: Pack sandwiches
    and snacks in LunchSkins.

    Reduce landfill waste, save money, eat healthy and look stylish while you’re doing it: LunchSkins kids’ lunch bags are the answer to plastic baggie pollution. Buy them at

    Find more of our favorite kids’ products.


    PRODUCT: Zoku Ice Pop Maker

    You can become the most creative glacier in town with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma.

    It’s easy to create your own customized frozen pops, including cream-filled varieties, in as little as seven minutes.

    Use your favorite juices and other beverages (coffee, tea, kefir, smoothies) or fresh fruit purées to make the gourmet pops of your dreams.

    Designed to be very user friendly—quick freezing, easy release from molds, reusable plastic pop sticks that have drip guards—Zoku looks to be the best pop-making option we’ve seen.

    Why should you give up storage space to a pop-making machine?


    It’s easy to make gorgeous ice pops with
    your favorite flavors and add-ins. Photo
    courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

    • You can make gourmet pops in the exact flavors you want, and express yourself artistically in flavors, colors and patterns. (One of our favorites is to freeze cocktail mixes into Margarita Ice Pops and savory Bloody Mary Mix ice pops. Alcohol doesn’t freeze well, but you can try a teaspoonful per pop.)

    • You have something new and special to serve guests.

    • Things you’d normally drink for health can be turned into pops—from pomegranate juice to probiotic peach kefir.

    • You can control for dietary needs—reduced sugar, no sugar or kosher, for example—and allergies.

    • Ice pops have fewer calories than ice cream and are fat- and cholesterol-free (unless you elect to make cream pops).

    • It’s a fun way to teach the whole family that they can enjoy preparing their own food.

    • And thanks to the plastic sticks, there’s no yucky wood flavor that we so dislike with commercial ice pops.

    Find more of our favorite frozen treats, plus recipes, in our Ice Cream Section.


    PRODUCT: Pink Princess Cupcakes

    Like cupcakes? Have young daughters, nieces, grandkids? Pink Princess Cupcakes may be a festive activity for you.

    The Pink Princess Cupcakes Kit is one of a series of cupcake mixes (along with Fancy Fairy and Magical Mermaid) that provides an adult-child baking-and-bonding opportunity.

    There is unusual fun in making these cupcakes: A special blend of ingredients for both the cake and the icing magically changes the batter and frosting colors from white to pink when mixed (hot pink for the cake, pale pink for the frosting). This is sure to delight young participants, and was a treat for us older folks, too.

    As far as baking goes, this is a good opportunity to demonstrate to kids how to use a mixer to combine wet ingredients (supplied by you) and the dry ingredients from the kit, and turn them into yummy cupcakes. The lavender paper tote box contains enough Pink Vanilla Cupcake Mix, Pink Princess Pink Vanilla Frosting Mix and Enchanted Confetti Sprinkles to make 12 cupcakes.

    At $5.95 apiece, you can also use the totes as party favors. They’re available at


    Throw a Pink Princess Cupcake tea party.
    Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

    Although the icing was a bit sweet for us, kids will like it. And this product is all about the kids.

    In fact, the Pink Princess Cupcakes Baking Kit is part of a series of products from Barbara Beery, bestselling children’s cookbook author and founder of Batter Up Kids Cooking.

    Her latest Pink Princess cookbook, The Pink Princess Cupcakes Cookbook, has creative cupcake decorating ideas with beautiful full-page color photography. You don’t have to be a pastry chef; the decoration ideas are all within the reach of the typical mom. The volume serves as a “menu options book” to let your little princess pick out exactly what she’d like to have at her party.

  • Also check out the Pink Princess Cookbook and the Pink Princess Tea Parties.
  • If you want additional decorating ideas, possibly for another theme party, check out Ms. Beery’s Pink Princess Cupcakes Cookbook. Each of the recipes outlines a different theme—mermaid, fairytale and s’mores to name a few—but all are suited for little princesses.
  • Find more cupcake ideas in our Gourmet Cakes Section.
  • Comments

    PRODUCT: Caviar For Kids Gift Set

    It’s Earth Week, so how about some caviar to teach your kids about sustainability?

    Only in America—or perhaps wherever there are people with too much cash on their hands—would someone market a “Caviar Kid” kit. It seems so Hollywood.

    The kit is sold by Calilfornia Caviar, “Purveyors of Indulgence,” in San Francisco. According to the manufacturer, it’s:

    “A perfect way to make eating caviar fun for kids…spoon some crème fraïche into the puff pastry fish bowl and top with trout caviar for a fun, delicious and nutritious snack.”

    The brightly colored box includes trout caviar, a kid’s caviar spoon and napkin packed in a 100% recycled box that includes games and fun facts to teach your caviar kid about ocean conservation and sustainable seafood.



    Will your kid eat caviar? Here’s one way
    to find out. Photo courtesy

    Another option, “Fish and Chips,” declares:

    “Sustainable seafood and ocean conservation at its best, this snack pack has sustainably raised Hackleback Sturgeon caviar, organic crème fraiche and Whale Tails organic corn chips, which donates 10% of proceeds to conserving Blue Whale breeding grounds.”

    Gosh, how about a can of sustainable tuna—pole-and-troll caught, no FADs (Fish Aggregation Devices)—for the kids, and send the caviar to us?

  • THE NIBBLE has lots of ideas for caviar lovers. Take a look at our Caviar Section, with recipes, Q&A and entertaining tips, plus our Caviar Glossary to help you roe, roe, roe your caviar boat.
  • Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Mad Hectic Oatmeal

    Mad Hectic Oatmeal is for people who don’t like a bowl of healthy oatmeal. And it’s for people who love it.

    Many people just don’t like plain oatmeal, although they buy into its health benefits. That’s why the best-sellers include the fruit-flavored, sugary instant oatmeals.

    Alas, those packets do not contain healthy food. They’re full of sugar, and many of the nutrients have been stripped in the processing.

    Mad Hectic Oatmeal provides a solution. Improving on the concept of those instant oatmeals, Mad Hectic Oatmeal is flavored and alluring. But it’s also organic oatmeal mixed with nutritious whey protein powder and flaxseed meal with Omega-3 fatty acids and lignans (which have antioxidants and fiber).

    Antioxidant, nutritious and heart-healthy sesame seeds are also added, topped off with whole freeze-dried berries, nuts and some cane sugar. It emerges hot from the microwave in just 60 seconds. That’s fast and tasty oat nutrition for your mad hectic life (and for you folks who have it easy, too).

    Mad Hectic Oatmeal is more like hot pudding (think Indian pudding) than hot cereal. With fruit and nut combinations—and chocolate oatmeal—you’ll be feeling your oats soon after (translation: you’ll be energetic and playful).



    Strawberry Pecan Oatmeal lets you feel your
    oats in a delicious new way. Photo by
    Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

    Flavors include Almond Pecan, Raspberry Almond, Red Raspberry and Strawberry Pecan plus the very kid-friendly varieties: Chocolate Raspberry and French Chocolate. Read the full review below, including the health benefits of oatmeal, to see why you should make Mad Hectic Oatmeal part of your daily meal plan.

  • Read the full review to see how we enjoyed the flavors, and discover the health benefits of oatmeal.
  • Comments

    VALENTINE’S DAY: Gifts For Kids


    How cute are these ganache-filled penguins?
    And more delicious than most chocolate.
    Photo courtesy


    The kids on your Valentine’s Day list will be happy with just about anything that’s chocolate. It’s easy to pick up a gift at the drug store or even the supermarket.

    But if you have a discriminating child—or you’d like to cultivate one—take a look at our Valentine’s Day gifts for kids.

    You’ll find the best:

  • Heart-shaped cookies and brownies from Eleni’s Cookies
  • Browniepops on a stick
  • Chocolate peanut butter delights from Jer’s Handmade Chocolates
  • Burdick Chocolate’s adorable chocolate mice and penguins (see photo)
  • The Valentine’s Day version of black and white cookies
  • They’re pink and white, of course, and inscribed with love messages (Kiss Me, Be Mine).


    VALENTINE’S DAY: With Love From Mickey Mouse


    M-I-C-K-E-Y chocolate gifts are fun.
    Photo courtesy


    You don’t have to be a kid to adore this Mickey Mouse Assortment of Belgian chocolates from Leonidas—but what kid wouldn’t be thrilled to get one?

    The retro keepsake gift box contains 16 pieces of chocolate embossed with Mickey’s smiling face, in four different flavors:

  • Milk chocolate filled with caramel flan
  • Marble chocolate filled with a hazelnut praliné ganache
  • White chocolate filled with hazelnut praliné and pieces of biscuits (cookies)
  • Dark chocolate filled with hazelnut praliné
  • Visit or phone 1-800-900-CHOC.

    Do you think Minnie will be getting a box for Valentine’s Day?


    TIP OF THE DAY: Sugar-Free Jigglers


    Make Diet Jello-O a fun diet food with Jello-O
    Jigglers molds. Photo courtesy Kraft Foods.


    Our next-to-last diet tip for Healthy Food Month at THE NIBBLE:

    If you’ve ever made Jell-O brand Jigglers for kids—Jell-O poured into egg-size molds that are particularly popular at Easter—those molds make colorful and tasty diet food when you fill them with Sugar-Free Jell-O, and are a treat any time of the year.

    Choose your favorite flavors and make up a batch—we love cranberry, strawberry banana, orange, lemon and lime. You can serve the eggs whole or cut them with an egg slicer.

    If you don’t have a mold, you can prepare the Egg Jiggler recipe in a 9″x13″ pan and then cut shapes with cookie cutters.

    Serve Sugar-Free Jiggers with fruit, yogurt and cottage cheese, for light meals, snacks or dessert. Fun food takes the sameness out of dieting; and at just 10 calories a serving, Sugar-Free Jell-O is a caloric bargain.

  • To buy the Jigglers mold: There’s a plain egg plus five fancy versions, from footballs to racing cars. Consider making low-calorie snacks for the kids, as well. ($3.50 each)
  • The Jigglers recipe is usually on the carton, but here’s the recipe: Use vegetable oil or PAM to barely moisten the insides of the molds; wipe with a paper towel. To 1 package (8 serving size) or 2 packages (4 serving size) JELL-O Sugar-Free Gelatin Dessert, stir 1-1/2 cups boiling water (no cold water). Stir at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved (we use a whisk). Pour into measuring cup with pour spout. Using a funnel, carefully pour gelatin into mold through the fill holes until each egg is filled just to the top of the mold. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.
  • Find more of our favorite diet foods in our Diet Nibbles Section.
  • Comments

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