21 Healthiest Packaged Foods


Why it's a winner: Each bite of this marinara sauce is bursting with authentic Italian flavor. The ingredient list is full of whole foods — tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, onions — and it is sweetened with carrot puree, not processed sugar. The low-carbon-footprint packaging is microwaveable and leaves you with an easy clean-up.

Healthy highlights: 80 calories, 4.5 g fat, 380 mg sodium, 20% vitamin C

Snacks & Drinks

Best Kid-Friendly Dish: Dr. Praeger's Sweet Potato Littles

Why it's a winner: These adorable sweet potato bites will be devoured in seconds. Plus, with just a few ingredients in them, your family won't be getting any unwanted extras. The dinosaur shapes may help win over the younger crowd, but the sweet flavor and crispy texture of these Littles are just as good for grownups.

Healthy highlights: 60 calories, 2 g fat, 85 mg sodium, 16% of your vitamin A

Try them: as a side with sandwiches, or as a snack

Best Chips: Laurel Hill Multigrain Chips

Why it's a winner: If you have a chip craving, these babies will satisfy your need to munch and crunch. Brown rice, quinoa, flaxseed, and stone ground yellow corn combine to add fiber to this snack, but what keeps you coming back for more is the light, crispy texture with the perfect hint of salt.

Healthy highlights: 140 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g fiber, 80 mg sodium

Best Nuts: Planters Jalapeño Pistachios

Why it's a winner: Tasters loved the spicy taste of these nuts, claiming it was hard to scarf down more than the recommended portion because the zesty flavors made them so satisfying. Plus, pistachios are rich in heart-healthy fats, are a good source of protein, and studies show they may help lower cholesterol.

Healthy highlights: 160 calories, 12 g fat (1.5 sat fat), 3 g fiber, 125 mg sodium

Try them: as a snack, mixed in a homemade trail mix, or crush a handful and use to coat a meat dish.

Best Bar: KIND Bars Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio

Why it's a winner: One look at this bar and you can actually see the almonds, cashews, blueberries, and raisins. Readers liked the tart and tangy taste that wasn't "too sweet." With 50 percent of your daily supply of vitamins A, C, and E, you can be sure you're getting health boost in each bite.

Healthy highlights: 170 calories, 8 g fat, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein

Try it: as a cure for the afternoon slump — they're perfect to throw in your purse.

Best Nut Butter: Barney Butter Almond Butter Snack Packs

Why it's a winner: Almond butter lovers will literally go nuts for these 90-calorie portable packets, which offer easy portion control, because nut butters can be high in calories. Food blogger Maria Lichty of twopeasandtheirpod.com, is a huge fan. "I love Barney Butter because it is all natural, contains no hydrogenated oils, and the texture and taste can't be beat."

Healthy highlights: 90 calories, 7.5 g fat, 0.75 g saturated fat, 3 g protein. Contains vitamin E, iron, and magnesium

Try it: Spread it over a piece of whole wheat bread or use it to make a creamy milk shake

Best Juice: Apple and Eve Fruitables Tropical Orange Juice

Why it's a winner: This drink may be packaged for kids, but it's great for all juice drinkers. Although it's always better to get your vitamins from whole fruit, this is a refreshingly light sip. Juices from fruits and veggies, including oranges, butternut squash, and carrots, are combined with water in a portion-controlled 6.75-ounce container, with one-third less sugar than other fruit drinks.

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