Cookies just don't make it anymore, but a menagerie of snacks livens things up

BACK TO SCHOOL

September 07, 1993|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Pops, cups, sticks, strings, dots, chips and sharks. When it comes to kids' lunch-box snacks, form is everything.

There are Dunkaroos (kangaroo-shaped graham crackers with chocolate icing for dipping), Fruit by the Foot (a yard of fruit "leather") and Soda-licious soda-pop fruit snacks, all from Betty Crocker, plus Mootown Snackers, bread sticks and cheese from Sargento.

Add to that crackers, cookies and "gummies" shaped like sharks, goldfish, dinosaurs, teddy bears -- a menagerie of treats that today's TV-savvy youngsters know to ask for by brand name.

"Yogurt with sprinkles, goldfish cookies and crackers -- and bananas" are among the top items on the snack food list for Kate Hammond, 6 1/2 , of Crofton, a new first-grader.

But it wasn't lackluster snacks that caused her consternation that day: "I can't believe she [the teacher] gave me homework on the first day."

"Kudos granola bars and Dunkaroos are big," says Nancy Cohen Kaplow, owner of Eddie's supermarkets in Roland Park and Towson and mother of school-age children. "And anything in a pouch. Kids love pouches."

"There is a trend now to try to put in healthier snacks," says Selina S. Guber, president of Children's Market Research Inc. of New York. "Parents will get a lunch box that can take yogurt . . . They will put in fruit cups or puddings.

"They're looking for things with a little bit less sugar."

So, there are Del Monte Fruit Snacks (dried fruit in pouches), Snack Cups fruit ("In extra light syrup"), fat-free Newton cookies and reduced-fat Snackwell's chocolate cookies from Nabisco. And there are Pudding Cups (Del Monte) and yogurt Sprinkl'ins and "Trix" three-flavor yogurt from Dannon.

Grapes, string cheese and cold pizza are perennial lunch-box favorites, Ms. Kaplow says.

OC "And everybody has to have a backpack. That's a real big deal."

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