KANSAS CITY — Back-to-school is in full swing, and food manufacturers are offering new products to help parents load lunchboxes with better-for-you school lunch fare.

Dole is debuting its new Dole Mixations line, which features four varieties of fruit sauce and fruit chunk combinations: Apple-Strawberry Sauce with dices of apple, Pineapple-Mango Sauce with pineapple pieces, Peach-Apple Sauce with pineapple pieces and Apple-Raspberry Sauce with dices of apple. The gluten-free fruit fusions feature non-bioengineered fruit, no high-fructose corn syrup and no artificial flavors.

“Consumers are always looking for delicious, convenient ways to enjoy fruit,” said Brad Bartlett, president of Dole Packaged Foods North America & Europe. “With four different flavors, Dole Mixations offer combinations that are ideal for kids and adult lunches, after-school snacks or a quick bite during the workday.”

Sprout Foods, Inc. is introducing Sprout Organic Smash, a pureed squeezable pouch designed for children. The 3.2-oz pouches feature whole fruits and grains such as oats, quinoa and buckwheat and provide 3 grams of fiber per serving. Sprout Organic Smash Fruit & Super Grain blend is available in Amazin’ Apple Raisin and Tropical Twist flavors, while the Fruit & Veggie blend is available in Berry Blast and Very Banana Berry flavors.

“We know that it’s not always easy getting kids to eat their vegetables,” said Sunita Adams, vice-president of marketing at Sprout. “Our fruit and vegetable varieties contain 25% whole vegetables per pouch. Kids love the naturally sweet fruit flavors and moms feel good knowing that their kids are eating a healthy snack made from real, honest, and pure ingredients. Smash is perfect in the lunchbox or backpack of kids who are on-the-go.”

Offering a choice other than chips, Annie Chun’s is offering better-for-you snacks from the sea: Organic Seaweed Snacks and three new flavors of Seaweed Crisps. The Organic Seaweed Snacks, made with USDA certified organic ingredients, contain Non-GMO Project verified ingredients and are vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. The snacks are available in Sesame and Wasabi flavors. Annie Chun’s Seaweed Crisps are now available in three new flavors; Korean Style BBQ, Non-GMO Project verified Original and Gochujang. Seaweed crisps, which are vegan and gluten-free, feature Annie Chun’s Seaweed Snacks baked atop brown rice chips.

“For a convenient and nutritious way to add delicious flavor to lunch time, swap out greasy chips or processed crackers for Annie Chun’s new Organic Seaweed Snacks and our popular Seaweed Crisps, which combine seaweed with a brown-rice chip for a gluten-free crunch,” said Nayoung Shin, head of corporate marketing for Annie Chun’s strategic partner CJ Foods. “In striving to provide people with delicious Asian foods that make healthy eating accessible and enjoyable, we believe these better-for-you snacks will earn high marks and keep parents satisfied knowing their children are snacking healthily.”

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