Special Report

Healthy Versions of Old-School Junk-Food Snacks

Source: Courtesy of Frito-Lay

Screaming Yellow Zonkers
> Alternative: Smartfood Delight Sea Salted Caramel Popcorn

Nothing more than popcorn with a sugary, buttery glaze, these snacks — introduced in the 1960s, discontinued in 2007, and brought back for a short time by Walmart in 2012 — were notable most of all for their cartoony packaging, full of jokes. For those who like their popcorn with sweetness added, Smartfood Delight’s version with sea salt and a caramel coating is a reasonably healthy choice, with only 35 calories per cup.

Source: Courtesy of Nabisco

Chocolate Teddy Grahams
> Alternative: Homemade chocolate Teddy Grahams

Nabisco’s bite-size graham cracker teddy bears are undeniably cute, and they’re made with graham (whole grain wheat) flour, and without high fructose corn syrup — so they’re not too unhealthy. There are numerous recipes for homemade ones online, though, some of which use particularly nutritious ingredients. This example, from the blog forkandbeans.com, for instance, incorporates buckwheat flour, dark cocoa powder, coconut sugar, and organic maple syrup into the mix. It’s more caloric than Nabisco’s version (17 calories per cookie vs. 14.5 for Nabisco), but slightly lower in sugar and with almost two-thirds less sodium.

Source: Courtesy of General Mills

Yoplait Trix Yogurt
> Alternative: Non-fat yogurt with fresh fruit

Yoplait’s Trix Yogurts appeal to kids with vibrant colors (both in packaging and in the yogurt itself) and cute animal icons. Until they were reformulated seven years ago, though, they were made with high fructose corn syrup, artificial food dyes, and artificial flavors — now all banished. But a small four-ounce (113-gram) container of low-fat Yoplait Trix Raspberry Rainbow Yogurt contains 100 calories and 13 grams of sugar. The same size portion of plain low-fat yogurt measures about 71 calories and eight grams of sugar. Fresh raspberries (as opposed to the Yoplait’s “natural flavor”) add a calorie apiece — so toss in 15 or 20 of them, and you’re still ahead of the game.

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