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Taste test: On-the-go breakfast foods and snacks

Getting family members to eat breakfast on their way out the door to work or school is a familiar challenge for many of us. In the same way, we are always looking for convenient snacks to pack for lunch or after-school breaks. This week, our guest panelists tasted some of the new breakfast and snack options in local grocery stores. They either loved them or hated them.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent


Oatmeal Delights
Marie Callender's Flaky Croissant Sandwich Kellogg's To Go Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Baked Puffs

We sampled the oatmeal version of these popular toaster pastries. Judges agreed they would be more of a snack or dessert than a breakfast item in their homes. The Pop-Tarts looked really attractive out of the toaster. They had a decent flavor of oatmeal and brown sugar, but they didn't impress our judges. The texture was too dry, the panelists said. "They really feel like cardboard," said one disappointed Pop-Tart fan. "I think they are very sweet and that means my kids would love them," said another. "But if I served them for breakfast, they would have a sugar crash by midmorning." Judges didn't want to like these make-at-home breakfast sandwiches, preferring instead to grab one only occasionally as a special treat from a fast-food joint. However, the croissants were flaky, the eggs flavorful, the sausage was not rubbery and the cheese was smooth. The sandwiches were heated in the microwave, according to package directions. "The croissant is very crispy considering it was microwaved," said one judge. "It tastes good with an extremely meaty filling and appetizing look." Another liked the Monterey Jack cheese. "It's not too spicy and I loved the golden color of the sandwich," she said. "Kids and grownups would like these."Kellogg's has a new entry in the breakfast drink market with these packets of flavored mix to add to milk. We sampled the chocolate version, although vanilla and strawberry also are available. All four panelists enjoyed this drink, saying it compared to chocolate milk and did not have any gritty texture that some mixes can produce. "It's really smooth and rich," said one. "I would add this to a morning smoothie with bananas," said another. "It's delicious and quick."If you like the traditional goldfish crackers from Pepperidge Farm, it's hard to improve on those, judges allowed. But they all liked the new, puffy version. We tried the Mega Cheese flavor. Judges compared them to Cheetos. "The puff is very cheesy and they are a nice change from the traditional goldfish," said one. "My kids would love them." Another compared them to cheesy popcorn. "They are puffed, cheesy, crunchy and yummy — what's not to love?" she said.

they buy?
None of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.
Shopping information$1.97 for a 14.1-ounce box from Publix.$4.49 for three 4.3-ounce sandwiches from Publix.$3.99 for six 1.27-ounce packets from Publix.$2.99 for a 7-ounce bag from Publix.

Panelists: Gina Schiller, mother of two college students; Jill Dunn, mother of two high schoolers and one college student; Rhonda Sanderford, mother of one grown daughter and two grown sons; and Sherry Valadie, mother of two middle schoolers and one high schooler.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

Serving sizeOne pastryOne sandwichOne packet41 pieces
Fat/Fiber5g / 3g26g / 2g0.5g / 5g6g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium15g / 200mg3g / 770mg18g / 125mg2g / 280mg
Carbs/Protein35g / 2g22g / 12g26g / 5g20g / 2g

Taste test: On-the-go breakfast foods and snacks 09/06/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 9, 2013 12:27pm]
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