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The Target store-brand snacks to buy today and thank us for tomorrow

Chef, entrepreneur, baker, reluctant cupcake master, cookbook author, humorist/memoirist/essayist (writer), public speaker, raconteur, wife, mother,

We noshed through the Target snack aisles, and these are our picks for your kids' lunchboxes

I want to lead this article by saying “you’re welcome” to all of you, because it took some serious effort to research this one. I had to go into a Target on assignment, with the singular goal of trying out its house brand — Market Pantry — kids' snacks. I promised myself that this was going to be strictly business — no blacking out and finding myself in the parking lot two hours later, surrounded by sports bras, jumbo packs of toilet paper and some decorative birdhouses that were on clearance.

More: 10 things you must buy at Aldi

The good news is that I managed to only spend $99.58. That’s the first time I’ve ever stayed below $100! The bad news is that less than $30 of that was for snacks pertaining to this article. Though in that context, this is fantastic news, because I managed to stock an entire snack cabinet for less than 50 percent of what I’d normally pay at the supermarket. So yay?

Target has made some serious strides in its food department: expanding its existing Market Pantry line (now with snazzy new packaging!), introducing the Simply Balanced line and adding hundreds of brand-new products to fill up its rapidly multiplying grocery aisles. Here’s what you should fill your cart with the next time you brave its red aisles, because if you pad the whole thing with cookies, there will be less room for junk you don’t need.

More: After-school snacks your kids can prepare, because they've got hands, right?

Fig Fruit Chewy Cookies

We noshed through the Target snack aisles, and these are our picks for your kids' lunchboxes
Image: Target

I’m pretty sure Fig Fruit Chewy Cookies ($1.87) are actual Fig Newtons that they got off the back of a truck and repackaged. I have no complaint about that.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies: Regular and Birthday Cake

We noshed through the Target snack aisles, and these are our picks for your kids' lunchboxes
Image: Target

Fun fact: We can’t really call these “fake Oreos,” because Oreos started as a ripoff of Hydrox cookies waaaaay back in the day, so they sort of have whatever is coming to them. Market Pantry isn’t messing around either and is coming out with different flavors of these chocolate creme cookies ($1.97).

Peanut Butter Crème Sandwich Cookies

We noshed through the Target snack aisles, and these are our picks for your kids' lunchboxes
Image: Target

I’ll be honest, I’d eat peanut butter sandwich cookies even if they were filled with broken glass and hobo blood, so I’m probably not the best person to be reviewing these. I can tell you, though, that these Peanut Butter Crème Sandwich Cookies ($1.79) did not seem to contain any hobo blood.

Simply Balanced Crunchy Peanut Cookies with Quinoa

We noshed through the Target snack aisles, and these are our picks for your kids' lunchboxes
Image: Target

OK, I’m starting to realize I may have gone a bit heavy in the cookie aisle, but it’s fine, because these Simply Balanced Crunchy Peanut Cookies ($2.99) are healthy. The front of the box says they have quinoa in them! I won’t look at the back of the box, because that’s where the truth lives, and I’d rather stay in my comfortable bubble of lies.

Fruit-flavored Snacks: Strawberry and Tropical

We noshed through the Target snack aisles, and these are our picks for your kids' lunchboxes
Image: Target


I asked my kids what they thought of these Fruit-flavored Snacks, and they said, “Good.” I said, “Mommy’s writing an article about these, so could you give me a little more?” And they said, “Really good.”

More: 12 creative sandwich ideas for the most discerning eaters

Also worth mentioning

We noshed through the Target snack aisles, and these are our picks for your kids' lunchboxes
Image: Target

I don’t know why I bought these for the kids, because they’re most definitely bad for them. It’s like, why are we even bothering with this “granola bar” charade? They know it’s junk food, we know it’s junk food — why don’t we just cut the oats out of this and go whole hog? I still gave in to the kids' begging, because by that point, we had been in the store for 40 minutes, and I was just done with them. They’re lucky I didn’t slap orange tags on their heads and abandon them in clearance.

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