I’m a Professional Baker but My Kids Love These Store-Bought Treats

Honestly, I cannot even believe that as of September I’m now living with two children in high school. It was bad enough when I had one; I’m very attached to the image of myself as the “young” mom jauntily running after her little ones on the playground, hair swinging over her shoulders, clad in designer jeans and “retro” sneakers.

I’ve learned a lot feeding my boys over the past 16 years, and perhaps the most important lesson has been to ease up on expectations about homemade food being the only kind they can have, and cutting myself a few breaks when food shopping.

Related Reading: Healthy Make-Ahead Breakfasts to Grab & Go

My favorite grocery store products for my kids tend to be of the snack variety, as I still don’t really buy premade dinners, frozen pizzas, chicken fingers, etc.—though I love them all (no judgment here). And though I tried buying organic breakfast burritos for a time, everyone basically hated them, and I was politely asked to stop. So here are my go-to snacks to pick up at the store:

GoGo SqueeZ Applesauce (20 pouches), $9.78 on Amazon


Our number one packaged snack is GoGo SqueeZ—yes, believe it or not, 6-feet tall teenage boys dig squeezing applesauce into their mouths and I’m okay with that. We stick the box (or several) in the freezer and they snack on them after school, after dinner, and well, constantly to be honest. We buy the organic ones made with 100 percent fruit and no added sugar.Buy Now

Related Reading: 5 Things You Should Know About Sugar

Stonyfield Yogurt Tubes (8-pack), $4.49 at Target


Both of my boys love Stonyfield yogurt tubes which come in a bunch of fun flavors like strawberry, blueberry, and peach—I freeze them also and they just can’t get enough.Buy Now

Chocolate Chip Cliff Bars (pack of 18), $16.34 at Target


My 14 year old—the one starting high school this September—loves chocolate chip Clif Bars and I always have a large box of them on hand for him post-school.Buy Now

Paul Newman’s Mint Newman O’s (pack of 6), $24.35 on Amazon


The 14-year-old also digs Paul Newman’s Organic mint sandwich cookies. And although as a professional maker of sweets and have some issues with purchasing packaged cookies, I have chilled out a great deal when it comes to this sort of thing. Doesn’t hurt that Newman’s might be the most charitable food brand of all time so we can feel good about that.Buy Now

Related Reading: These Charitable Food Brands Are Helping Fight Against Hunger

Cracker Barrel Cheddar Sticks, $3.19 at Target


Finally, I’ve been known to buy a package of Cracker Barrel cheddar sticks on occasion. I always have a variety of (slightly) more fancy cheeses in the cheese drawer of the fridge, but if they want a stick of the cheap stuff over a spoonful of stinky Roquefort every now and again, who can blame them?Buy Now