12 Grownup Alternatives to Your Favorite Childhood Foods

Sweet Nostalgia

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You’re adulting, and trying to be so good about what you are putting into your body. But sometimes those Gushers, cookies and frozen pizzas are calling your name, and suddenly you go into automated mode, loading all the sugar and artificial goodies into the shopping cart. “Why am I doing this,” you ask. Well, ask yourself no longer, because we’ve rounded up a list of companies that have taken all of our favorite childhood flavors, and reimagined them into something that fits our health needs. The best part? You can start the kids on the right path, too.

Instead of Sugary Cereal...

Magic Spoon is recreating the breakfast cereals we grew up on, by replacing ingredients like sugar, flour, and corn with natural choices that provide protein and fiber. A unique sweetener called allulose can partly be credited for the satisfying taste, and of course the overall sugar value of, wait for it, zero. One bowl can snuff out cravings, so unlike the sugary favorites you remember, it doesn’t take three bowls to feel full. It’s a truly nutritious answer to all of our cereal dreams.

Instead of Old School Gummy Bears...

Gummy bears, Trolli worms, Swedish Fish—is your mouth watering yet? While many of those candies are loaded with addicting high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors, Smart Sweets has come up with an equally lovable texture for its version of gummy bears, fish, sour buddies and fruit chews. A type of fiber gives each piece a delightful springy feel, and natural flavors and plant derived sweeteners deliver a flavor that could honestly be better than the unhealthy stuff. Given a full day’s worth of fiber is in one bag, there are going to be some carbs, but the good kind.

Instead of Vending Machine Chips...

Barbecue chips, spicy Doritos—Forager chipotle chips could easily fill in for these favorites. Forager makes a few different flavors of crisps that are cultivated with organic rice and a list of greens like kale, then are dusted with spices or vegan cheese! But the best flavor might be chipotle—it’s slightly spicy, while garlic and other herbs make for an exciting taste bud experience. Nutritious chips are easy to come by these days, and Forager is just a great example of that.

Instead of Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips...

Not that all brands of chips are the worst thing in the world, but they can be addicting while housing a moderate amount of carbs. Salt and vinegar is a beloved flavor, and if you are a true lover, you can find craving relief when chomping down a handful of Go Raw salt and vinegar sprouted seeds, which contain just a few simple ingredients like sunflower and pumpkin seeds, along with a tasty vinegar powder.

Instead of a Candy Bar....

Kind Bars are already well known. The brand has created granola bars, nut butter energy treats and, our favorite, the nut bars that have only five grams of sugar. Mint chocolate, cinnamon pecan and mocha are all alluring flavors that basically mimic candy bars while being nutritionally comparative to trail mix. One of the new variations is a peanutty concoction that is reminiscent of a Payday.

Instead of a Chocolate Chip Cookie...

Naturbaker began humbly, with a mom and wife who wanted to deliver sweet treats that aren’t only absent of unhealthy ingredients, but ones that are full of seeds and heart protecting fats. The cookie sandwiches will blow your mind. Similar to a whoopie pie, they have a fudgey exterior and frosting-like center. So good for you, and so incredibly indulgent.

Instead of Your Traditional Frozen Pizza...

Real Good is a low carb frozen food brand that has quite a lot of goodies, from stuffed chicken to ice cream. But they have seriously awesome pizza options , with a low carb crust that uses cheese as a key ingredient. Perfectly chewy and oh so cheesy, any variation is great for family pizza night. Crust options may also have extra nourishment via broccoli and other greens.

Instead of Movie Theater-Style Popcorn...

Microwave popcorn is an easy snack, and the smell is as comforting as the taste. Popcorn can be a low fat, fiber filled treat for movie nights, and aside from cooking it stovetop with olive oil, it can potentially be even better for you. Sprouted organic popcorn kernels are now on the market. Sprouted ingredients have been soaked in water to maximize nutritional potential. Thrive Market and Arrowhead Mills are two brands that offer this type of popcorn.

Instead of Traditional Frozen Waffles...

Frozen waffles are a staple of most childhood food memories. What’s not to love? However, it’s a scrumptious circle filled with empty carbohydrates. These days, when walking to the frozen section, a wealth of frozen waffle options await, whether looking for something gluten free, with protein or organic ingredients. Nature’s Path covers all the bases, offering something in every mentioned category. You can even have waffles that are gluten free, organic and full of nutrients, while still having the homestyle texture and flavor.

Instead of a Pint of Ice Cream...

So many good, low carb ice cream brands now sit beside classic favorites. You can really have your ice cream and eat it too, and the people making healthier options are getting better at it everyday. Nightfood has gone next level, they aren’t just taking the sugar and carb count down. Enzymes and thoughtful ingredients in Nightfood flavors actually nourish the body and digestive system. And as the name suggests, this can help you sleep better, rather than inducing a sugar rush.

Instead of Gelatin Dessert...

One of the best parts of being home sick is that bright blue or red Jell-O mom whips up for you to gorge yourself on. Typically, Jell-O has artificial colors, flavors, and a hefty portion of inflammatory sugar. Simply Delish uses natural sugar alcohols to sweeten both their fruity gelatin flavors (also natural), and rich potato starch puddings. The chocolate pudding is completely dreamy, and even better when you add a little more cocoa powder, then top it with TruWhip.

Instead of Your Old Boxed Favorite...

Mac and cheese has seen a huge makeover—from recipes on Pinterest using cauliflower, to frozen versions that are gluten free, vegan and filled with good for you stuff. Annie’s has a huge line of breakfast staples, snacks and so on, and their organic mac and cheese is both affordable and similar to what you’d find in the blue box, what most of us grew up on. Easy to make, with an organic cheesy powder that you might end up sneaking a pinch of, it’s a healthier version of an American classic.


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