How many people eat the first meal of the day on the go? If ever-expanding options for portable breakfast are any indication, the answer is: a lot. A crew of taste testers recently sampled a few of the newer items and offered their opinions.
How many people eat the first meal of the day on the go?
If ever-expanding options for portable breakfast are any indication, the answer is: a lot.
The Peoria, Ill., Journal Star’s crew of taste testers recently sampled a few of the newer items and offered their opinions:
Jennifer Davis, lifestyles editor: Jenni is not a breakfast person but has been brainwashed that it's the most important meal of the day. Her favorite breakfast is chocolate cake, hands down, but she usually eats Kashi oatmeal.
Danielle Hatch, Cue editor: Danielle has enjoyed one bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios and two cups of coffee with cream for 99.9 percent of the mornings of her life.
Ryan Ori, features reporter: Ryan will try just about anything for breakfast, as long as it's served with black coffee.
Steve Tarter, media columnist, business reporter: The strangest thing Steve has eaten for breakfast is kippered herring, a British thing. He admits really stinky fish on toast is probably not everyone's cup of tea.
Product description: Bagels with Philadelphia cream cheese in the middle can be served cold or warmed in a microwave or wide-slot toaster. The panel tried them out of a toaster.
Available with original, strawberry, cinnamon or chive cream cheese, or with whole-grain bagels.
Original flavor contains 200 calories per bagel, including 5 grams fat, 31 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams sugar, 7 grams protein and 2 grams fiber.
Price: $3.29 for a box of four bagels.
Danielle: "The bread seems sweeter than a bagel." ... "I like the shiny texture." ... "I would definitely buy these." ... "It seems like if you cooked it in the microwave, it wouldn't be as good."
Jenni: "They're kind of doughy." ... "I like the fact that the cream cheese is still cool - that it's not hot and runny."
Ryan: "I could eat these while driving. With a regular bagel, the cream cheese would make a big mess."
Steve: "It seems like there's more and more of these portable breakfast items popping up." ... "This is commute-alicious. I like it."
Erin Baker's Original Breakfast Cookies (double chocolate chunk cherry)
Product description: One of several breakfast cookies to recently join grocery shelves, these oatmeal cookies are marketed toward athletes and other on-the-go people who need "sustained energy."
This flavor has 310 calories per 85-gram cookie, with 6 grams fat, 56 grams carbs and 20 grams sugar. But it has no cholesterol, 6 grams of dietary fiber and 6 grams of protein.
Package touts cookies' lack of trans fats, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients.
Price: $1.79 per individually wrapped cookie
Danielle: "Is there molasses? I can taste it." ... "It reminds me of a Clif bar. You have to chew a lot to get it down." ... "I like chocolate and cherry chunks in there. It doesn't seem like you get shorted."
Jenni: "This is interesting: There's chicory extract in these." ... "It is a little dry, but I like this. The taste is good." ... "This is substantial enough that you'd feel like you actually had a meal - a full breakfast." ... "I think my daughter would eat this. It looks like a cookie and even though it's high in calories and sugar, I would feel really good about giving her this because the ingredients are good." (I took leftovers home to see if my picky 5-year-old would like these. Her response: "This isn't a cookie. Can I have a real cookie?")
Ryan: "This seems filling. I don't know if I'd eat the entire cookie for breakfast. I'd probably have to eat half of it later as a snack. I do like the taste, though."
Steve: "It's kind of heavy going." ... "I don't know about breakfast, though. This just seems like a cookie. It seems better for a high-energy boost more than a breakfast thing." ... "I think there's a marketing question here: Can you sell a cookie for breakfast?"
Whole Grain Pop-Tarts (strawberry flavor)
Product description: A new twist on the old toaster favorite offers a surprising 5 grams of dietary fiber per 50-gram pastry.
But each Pop-Tart also includes 35 grams of carbs, 15 grams sugar, 5 grams fat and 2 grams of protein.
These were warmed in a toaster. Also available in brown sugar cinnamon flavor.
Price: $1.99 for box of eight
Danielle: "I would buy them in the place of regular Pop-Tarts because of the fiber, but I would probably try to get fiber from something else." ... "They should make an adult Pop-Tart that tastes less sweet."
Jenni: "I immediately noticed there's a lot less frosting than a regular Pop-Tart." ... "I don't know if you could get kids to switch from the full frosting to this." ... "I've had regular Pop-Tarts recently, and this does seem more like real food. Normally when I'm eating a Pop-Tart, I feel terrible about it." (At home that night, I tried to get my 5-year-old daughter to try these, but she wasn't interested.)
Ryan: "Five grams is a lot of whole grain, but if you look at the ingredients it doesn't seem to otherwise be all that healthy." ... "I think if you were trying really hard to add fiber to your diet and you still wanted to eat something junky, these would be good."
Steve: "It would be even better with coffee or tea. It's a little bit dry without some kind of liquid." ... "I still look at Pop-Tarts as kid stuff. It's something you buy for kids and end up eating one yourself - or a box yourself. But I don't think I'd go buy these for myself."
Jimmy Dean Pancakes and Sausage Minis (blueberry flavor)
Product description: Sausage links breaded with pancake batter can be heated in a microwave or conventional oven.
The tasters prepared them in a microwave.
Each serving (three pieces) includes 260 calories, 18 grams fat, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams sugar, 5 grams of protein and no dietary fiber.
Also available in original flavor.
Price: $2.99 for box of 10
Danielle: "The texture is horrible. It's spongy." ... "They're too greasy to try to eat in the car or while you're doing something else."
Jenni: "Those look incredibly unappealing. They look like little dog (droppings)." ... "This is not good. I don't know who would like these." ... "They look like they'd be bigger on the box. They're really small."
Ryan: "It might not be as slimy if you cooked these in the oven, but it takes about 20 minutes. That kind of eliminates the convenience factor." ... "These seem really gooey and greasy." ... "Maybe the original flavor would be less offensive, but it would still probably be mushy." ... "The ingredients are also the least healthy out of all of these items."
Steve: "Would they be better in the oven?" ... "I think this is at the bottom of our pecking order today." ... "Actually, it doesn't even look that appealing on the box. Maybe they could make them with a sausage inside a tater tot. That sounds better than this."
Breakfast items are the latest in an occasional series sampling food products. Is there a food or type of food you’d like to see in future reviews? E-mail ideas to email@example.com.