6 Healthier Packaged Foods

The recent Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo in Houston showcased an array of good-for-you foods that are new to the market. Here are six worth checking out.
evolution bars

The recent Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo in Houston, Texas, showcased an array of good-for-you foods that are new to the market. Here are six worth checking out.

Evolution Harvest Bars (above) at Starbucks

These bars were unveiled at Starbucks this September. The ingredient list is simple, the flavors are delish and the bars run between 180 to 200 calories each. Flavors include:

  • Roasted Soybean, Pepita & Almond with Vanilla & Sea Salt (gluten-free)
  • Pepita, Almond, Raisin & Cranberry  with Agave Syrup & Sea Salt (gluten-free)
  • Almond & Cocoa with Agave Syrup & Sea Salt
quinoa rice blend
Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice

Hodgson Mill has five new blends of quinoa and brown rice. What sets these apart from many other rice-mix brands are the sodium levels: Each serving contains between 45 to 90 milligrams per serving. This is much lower than other rice mixes on the market. The blend cooks in about 15 minutes and is great as a quick weeknight side.

dragon fruit
Navitas Naturals Sun-Dried Dragon Fruit

If you haven't already seen dragon fruit in various foods, you will soon. In their sun-dried form, the fruits are sweet yet tart. (They're a good source of iron and fiber too.) Sprinkle over Greek yogurt, add to a morning bowl of cereal, or toss into a homemade trail mix.

better beans

My mom, also a dietitian, returned from the conference and couldn't stop talking about these beans. I had a taste and could see why. In addition, the ingredients are simple, without a laundry list of can't-pronounce words. Flavors include: Cuban Black Beans, Rethought Red Beans, Uncanny Refried Black Beans, Wholly Chipotle Bean Dip and Three Sisters Chili.

dried berries
Sunsweet Amazin Berry Blend

I enjoyed munching on this combo of dried wild blueberries, tart cherries, raspberries and cranberries. One serving contains 130 calories and 3 grams of fiber. It's a quick and easy snack or a perfect topper for morning oatmeal.

nut butter

This nut butter company makes fantastic peanut and almond butters. You can now find the delicious flavors in single-serve squeeze packs. There are six (3-ounce) squeeze packs per box, and the packets are available in peanut, almond and a few other nut butter flavors. These are perfect for travel and other times you need a grab-and-go snack.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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