If you know anything about me at all, you know I care about what the wee ones eat. It makes a difference to me what we put in our bodies, which is why I cook from scratch most of the time and do what I can to ensure the processed foods we eat aren't filled with ingredients I avoid. I'm still a busy mom, and I need to find ways to get food to the wee ones faster sometimes. Discovering the new Del Monte fruit cup flavors is a win all around.
After school tends to be a busy time for us. Most days, the wee ones are running to activities, leaving them little time for after school snacks. And on the days we "just" have homework, they get off the bus absolutely starving but dinner isn't for hours yet. I figured out long ago that the wee ones - especially Mister Man - needs a high protein, healthy snack to over for dinner and ensure the focus and energy is there for any after school activity.
I don't like to give him peanut butter simply because there are so many kids with allergies, and I'm sensitive to the concern about contact allergies because I know he doesn't wash his hands after eating nearly as well as he will someday. Instead, I usually serve him Greek yogurt because it's quick and has a ton of protein. I buy the plain kind, and then put preserves in it. The only challenge is that he eats it slowly, so I have to hurry him along most of the time.
This time around, I decided to give him the yogurt with the Del Monte fruit cup with apples and pears with caramel flavor in place of the preserves. He thought it was a neat idea, and who am I to challenge him? It's still only 13 grams of sugar, so I feel ok about it.
I loved the idea of using the Del Monte fruit cups because each cup is a full serving of fruit. I know the wee ones are good eaters, but I'm always trying to get some more fruit and vegetable servings in them. This is an easy way. I know the tablespoon or so of preserves I usually use doesn't have nearly that much fruit in it. Besides, the fruit cups contain no high fructose corn syrup (we won't eat foods that have it) and use actual sugar and brown sugar - depending on the flavor - to sweeten the fruit. I'm all over that. Plus, they're gluten free, which means they're "safe foods" for friends who come over who have gluten issues, and we have plenty of those unfortunately.
When I put the bowl in front of Mister Man, he was excited. His first reaction was to tell me that, "Mom, this smells so good!" Trust me, that isn't a normal reaction from my oh-so-picky child. In fact, he immediately leaned over to smell it and inhale the fruity flavor with a touch of extra yummy caramel hint.
Apparently this snack was a winner. I'm happy because it's low in calories (each cup is just 60 calories) but packs a great nutritional punch. Between the protein in the yogurt and the full fruit serving, this is something I definitely feel good about serving Mister Man. And it must have tasted really good to him because I didn't have to rush him along. Instead, I turned around and there was an empty bowl. This does not happen on a normal day, people!
Of course Little Miss was not about to be outdone. She saw the fruit and figured that what's good for the gander is good for the goose.
She started loving on the package and wouldn't put it down until I agreed that she could have a fruit cup, too. I let her have the pears with vanilla and spice so that I could try the other fruit cup, too. All three of us agreed that the fruit was nice and soft but not too mushy and that it actually tasted like apples and pears. That is definitely a step up from the fruit cocktail I grew up eating.
So remember how I told you that I went to Walmart to buy the Del Monte fruit cups and came home with an extra? The other new flavor of diced peaches with cinnamon and brown sugar wasn't on the official list, but I couldn't help myself. These are flavors that just sound really yummy to me, and they make a perfect healthy snack for just over $0.50 per cup.
But it gets better. There's an online coupon now for $0.50 off any one cup of Del Monte diced pears and apples with caramel flavor or diced pears with vanilla and spice. Now the cups are an even more affordable healthy snack. Yep, this #SmartSnack is definitely an after school win in our house!
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Del Monte. As always, all opinions expressed remain my own. #CBias #SocialFabric