Fancy Food Show Roundup: Beverages
I attended the 53rd Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City this pastweekend. Most of the show’s 50+ aisles were filled withcheese, cured meats, olive oil, and chocolate vendors, but there were afew standouts that are relevant to parents. (For my husband Josh’s faves, visit The Food Section.)
I don’t drink nearly enough water I just find it, well, boring. WhenI’m at a restairant and they give me lemon slices, I can drink glassafter glass because it tastes good and refreshing. I know I’m not aloneand chances are, your kids feel the same and there’s HINT water to therescue. Unlike Fruit Water made by Glaceau and other fruit "waters,"HINT’s clean and subtles flavors come from natural oils and essencesand there are no sweeteners and therefore no calories- it’s just water.That makes for subtley that tastes like someone infused pear orpeppermint in the water. My favorite flavors are cucumber and lime.Their Hint Kids line comes in smaller bottles and includes includeTropical Punch, Apple, Grape, Strawberry-Kiwi and Mixed Berry. Otherflavors include mango-grapefruit, pomegranate-tangerine,strawberry-kiwi, raspberry-lime, and "tropical." $1.69/15 ounce bottle.Available at Whole Foods, Ralph’s, Shop & Stop, PAX, GourmetGarage, Real Foods, Dean & DeLuca.
I also don’t get enough fiber in my diet so I was excited when Iencountered Nature 101’s Vitamin + Fiber Water. Excited, but skeptical. Iasked the salesguy, "how do you get the fiber in there?" because thebottle’s contents appeared completely clear. One sip answered myquestion- there’s dietary fiber dissolved in the water that you canfeel but not taste. "I ask kids, ‘can you taste the gummy bears inthere?’" the salesguy told me. With fruity flavors like peach, orange,guava, and mixed fruit (which I tasted), I bet this will be a verypopular drink with kids. I would prefer for it to be less sweet (sugaris the second ingredient) and there’s only 2 grams of fiber in a 16ounce bottle, but at least you’re getting -some- fiber in there. Available at BevTrends.com for $25 for 18 bottles.
Rounding out the flavored water category is Metromint. The originalflavors of Peppermint and Spearmint are very cooling and refreshing.The natural menthol can freshen your breath, clear congestion, increasethe flow of digestive juices when consumed before a meal, soothes thelining of the digestive tract when consumed after a meal, ad pregnantwomen and athletes report that it staves off nausea. Studies even showthat just the scent of mint gives cyclists more stamina duringcompetition. Is mint the new pomegranate? They’ve just added two newflavors- Lemonmint, described as tangy and brisk, and Orangemint,described as aromatic, citrusy and mild. I’m not a big fan ofminty-citrusy combinations but I know others must be because there arechewing gums and toothpastes with those flavors. $1.39-1.69, available at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Safeway Naturals, and other stores.
When Anya had a stomach virus earlier this year and got severelydehydrated, our pediatrician told us to give her Pedialyte, which is anelectrolyte replenishing drink, similar to Gatorade but lower in sugar.An electrolyte solution contains sodium and sugar and Anya refused itbecause of the funky taste and eventually had to be hospitalizedbecause she started refusing even breastmilk. I wonder if she wouldhave been more interested in cococnut water, which contains the same balance of electrolyes as human blood, and is the second most popular beverage in Brazil. Plain coconut water has an interesting taste- sort of blandand inoffensive. Vita Cocoalso offers coconut water with fuit juices which enhances the taste. Idon’t know about you but sports drink flavors like blue, orange, andred gross me out but I would definitely reach for a naturally flavoredPeach & Mango, Passion Fruit and Pineapple drink and I’d prefer mykids to as well. According to the company, VitaCoco’s coconut drinks have 15 times more potassium than sports drinks(potassium is the accelerator for the rehydration process), more potassium than 2 bananas, andcontain alkalinizing minerals such as magnesium and calcium. I wishthey chose not to additionally sweeten the fruit blends (in the form oforganic evaporated cane juice) but it’s the second to last ingredientand the addition of the fruit purees and canejuice adds an additional7-8 grams of sugar (or 28-32 calories) to the coconut water whichcontains 15 grams of sugar and 60 calories per 11.2 oz bottle.
$1.49-1.69 each, available at Whole Foods, Ralph’s, and other stores.
Most bottled iced teas are too sweet for me so I like Honest Tea whichhas a third of the sugar of other bottled teas and sports drinks. Theyare also sweetened with organic cane sugar instead of high-fructosecorn syrup (which studies show may be linked to obesity because thebody doesn’t process them as well as natural sugars). In any case, theytaste good. I was excited to learn they have introduced an organickids’ drink called Honest Kids. With three flavors including BerryBerry Good Lemonade (which I tasted and found to be very mild and onlyslightly sweet, kind of like a watered down lemonade), GoodnessGrapeness, and Tropical Tango Punch, the 6.75 oz drink pouches (likeCapri Sun), the drinks contain a daily supply of Vitamin C and are lowin sugar: 40 calories and 10 grams of sugar (half the sugar of mostkids’ drink pouches which have more sugar ounce per ounce than soda!).While sugar is added to the drinks, at least it’s organic cane sugar,and the rest of the sweetness is derived from organic juices, making up6-10% of
the drink. While we don’t plan to give Anya juices for awhile, when she starts asking for them, I’d rather put Honest Kidsdrinks in her lunch box than a drinkbox of punch, even a totallyjuice-based one. Honest Kids is sold in boxes of 8 pouches orindividually at stores like Whole Foods.
A healthy alternative to Crystal Light and other drink powders is StashTea’s new iced green tea powder. Unlike other powdered teas, you’reactually consuming whole Sencha Green tea leaves that have been ground into afine powder. You get more of the healthy antioxidants since the entiretea leaf is consumed. Just add a packet of the powder to your glass orbottle of water (or more packets to a pitcher) and you’re drinking amore healthful iced tea. If you need more flavor, they also offer mintgreen, blueberry green, and lightly sweetened green. It’s a greatalternative to mainstream iced teas and diet drinks. $3.49 for a box of 8-12 packets. Available at shopstashtea.com and select retailers.
I can’t necessarily recommend Vitamax Cereal Milk but it was sohilarious I had to write about it. From Singapore comes a beverage forpeople on the go who don’t have time for a bowl of cereal- it combinesthe calcium yoiu get from milk with the fiber, protein and vitamins andminerals you get from cereal. It’s also, according to the manufacturer,Tastyfood Industry (but of course), a source of energy due to its usageof glucose which is known to be a source of energy. It comes in chocolate and corn flavors. Another product from Tastyfood is Jelly Joy – "slurpy jelly juice."