Parents magazine reveals the 25 best packaged foods of 2014


Related Articles

Keeping your diet 100% free of packaged foods might be a healthy idea, but it isn't always convenient. Every now and then, you just don't have the time and need to reach for a pre-made grocery item. 

Since differentiating the good from the bad isn't always as simple as it seems, Parents magazine made it easy for you and found the 25 best packaged foods of 2014. First, they scoured supermarkets for new family-friendly items that fit three criteria: 

  • Has reasonable levels of fat and sodium
  • Contains no artificial colors or flavors
  • Saves time in the kitchen


Next, they asked more than 75 kids and parents to partake in a taste test and choose their favorites, which were categorized into kitchen staples, meals and sides in minutes, better-for-the-family desserts and quick snacks. 

You can find the full list — and more detailed descriptions of why certain products were chosen — in the March 2014 issue of Parents magazine and online at Parents.com/packaged-foods.


Kitchen staples

  • Mrs. Dash Salt-Free, All Natural Taco Seasoning Mix 
  • Ortega Fiesta Flats 
  • Smucker’s Natural Concord Grape Fruit Spread
  • Marzetti Simply Dressed & Light Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  • Jif Whips Creamy Peanut Butter 


Meals & sides in minutes

  • Birds Eye Recipe Ready Grilling Blend
  • Dole Chopped Asian Blend Salad
  • Lisa’s Organics Sweet Peas in Parmesan Herb Broth 
  • Ore-Idea Simply Olive Oil & Sea Salt Homestyle Wedges
  • Earth’s Best Organic Mini Pancakes (Homestyle flavor) 
  • Tyson Fun Nuggets
  • Applegate Naturals Uncured Reduced-Sodium Sunday Bacon 


Better-for-the-family desserts

  • Roba Dolce Ocean Spray Honey Fig Gelato 
  • Newtons Fruit Thins (Cherry Vanilla) 
  • Ruby’s Rockets (Rock-It Red flavor)
  • Keebler Simply Made Butter Cookies


Quick snacks

  • Amy’s Bean & Cheese Burrito Snacks
  • Dannon Oikos Yogurt Dips (Cucumber Dill)
  • Pearls Olives to Go!
  • Simply Balanced Sweet Corn Freeze-Dried Vegetables
  • Wholly Salsa Avocado, Black Bean & Roasted Corn Dip
  • Chobani Champions Flyin’ Dragon Fruit Yogurt Tubes 
  • Cascadian Farm Crunchy Oats & Honey Granola Bars 
  • Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain Organic Soft Pretzels
  • The Laughing Cow Light White Cheddar Flavor