What to Buy at the Grocery Store for Adventurous Kids

Sometimes kids surprise us. They go and become the face of climate change action like Greta Thunberg, or they yodel real loud in a Walmart (I know, deep cut), or sometimes they do the unthinkable: sometimes kids eat things other than chicken nuggets and boxed mac and cheese. I know, what?!? *le gasp* indeed. If your kid has decided to be an adventurous eater and is looking for new and fun things to try, here is our list of foods that just might strike their (fancier than normal) fancy.

Dietz & Watson Kosher Pickle Spears

It is a well-known fact that pickle girls are cooler than other girls. Why? Because they like pickles, of course—why else? And if you want your adventurous eater to be a cool, cool pickle girl when they grow up, have them give these Kosher Pickle Spears from Dietz & Watson a try. Senior writer Jordan Myrick called them “crunchy, flavorful, and juicy”—what more could you want from a pickle? Plus, pickles are decently healthy (save for all the sodium), so bonus there.

Related: The 8 Best Dill Pickles Are a Big Dill

Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah

MAKE. YOUR. FIVE. YEAR. OLD. A. CHEESE. SNOB. If for no other reason than it will be so funny. Some kids have a palate that can take on a little more than string cheese and plain orange cheddar. Some kids are ready for the Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah from Trader Joe’s. Jordan called it “one of the most delicious cheeses I’ve ever tasted in my life” and they are a professional food taster, so just imagine what your non-professional food taster child will think?! It has a fruitiness to it and those little crystalline bits that come in the best hard cheeses. My lord, your kid will never eat a Kraft single again (so tread lightly).

Related: The Best Cheese at Trader Joe’s

Lao Gan Ma Chili Oil with Fermented Soy Beans

Not every kid, even the adventurous ones, can handle spice. So start them off with Lao Gan Ma, the mildest of the chili crisps we tried, and slowly work your way up to the extra-spicy Momofuku one. Put it on their mac and cheese and watch their faces light up. Or better yet, make them love vegetables by stir-frying them in this “sensationally savory” food accouterment!

Related: They’re Spicy! They’re Crunchy! They’re the 5 Best Chili Crisps

Baken-Ets Traditional

Some kids might think, “Ewwwww pork rinds are scary not a chicken nugget,” but not your kid. Your kid is the Indiana Jones of meat products, always going into jungle temples and stealing stuff and getting chased by boulders and things. Metaphorically speaking. In other words, your kid wants to try new things and if they like bacon, they are going to LOVE these crispetty, crunchetty, insanely flavorful pork rinds, which managing editor Gwynedd Stuart called “pretty much perfect.”

Related: Best Pork Rinds: Buy These When You’re in the Mood to Eat Skin!

Liege-Style Buttery Maple Flavor Waffles

Is your kid tired of the mundane, bourgeoisie Eggo toaster waffles and ready for an elevated experience? Well then graduate them to these Eggo’s Belgian liege-style waffles (just don’t tell them they are still Eggo. Or do. I don’t know how much your kid pays attention to branding). And while these may be more on the dessert-y, afternoon snack-y end of the waffle spectrum, they are something new for your adventurous lettle lad or lassie to love, plus, according to editor-in-chief Justine Sterling, they taste like they are “drenched in maple syrup,” and I don’t know a whole lot of kids who are against that.

Related: All the Eggo Waffles, Ranked

Lemony Arugula Basil Salad Kit

I know, salads. The one thing most kids hate unless it is doused—and I do mean DOUSED—in ranch (except my brother, who as a kid inexplicably liked salad but only without dressing). Well, for your adventurous flavor seeker of a child, I give you Trader Joe’s Lemony Arugula salad. Let me be clear: I do not like the taste of leaves on their own. I like leaves when they taste like dressing and there are lots of other colors and crunchy bits and nuts and cheese to distract me from the fact that I am eating leaves. In other words, my taste in food is essentially that of an adventurous child. And I LOVE this salad. It is so delicious (and as Justine put it, “bright and zingy”) that I often house a whole bag of it in one go by accident. But guess what? It’s salad! It’s fine! That just means more fiber and who doesn’t want that? Well, maybe your kid. But just don’t tell them the fiber part and they will love this salad so much they might even branch out from the ranch.

Related: 10 Trader Joe’s Salad Kits, Ranked from Substandard to Stupendous Salad


About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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