REVIEW: Kid Cuisine Snack Stix Peanut Butter & Grape

Kid Cuisine Snack Stix Peanut Butter & Grape

Kid Cuisine takes me back to a time in my life where preparing my own meals was more of a novelty than a necessity. The more I think about how many years have passed since I last tore open one of their sky blue boxes, cut the film cover with a pair of safety scissors, and entertained myself with the contents of their Fun Pack, the older I feel.

And even though my appreciation for word search puzzles appears to have an inverse relationship with my appreciation for home-cooked meals, I found myself more than willing to jump at the chance of coming back this once beloved, now neglected brand.

Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches might have also invoked similar rose-tinted memories of brown-bag lunches and boxes of Hi-C Ecto-Cooler, if it weren’t invoking memories of just the other day. You can find PB&J deep fried at the Florida State Fair, or smoothiefied on the Underground Menu at your local Jamba Juice.

Not only are the ingredients cheap, but the sandwich is easy to make – a major plus for lazy 20-somethings such as myself. Not to mention Smucker’s has been providing their convenient pre-made crustless variety for some time now. But Kid Cuisine is on the scene, so let’s see of they can give Smucker’s a run for their green.

Kid Cuisine Snack Stix Peanut Butter & Grape Shelf

Kid Cuisine Snack Stix can be found in the grocery store next to their other frozen dinners, thankfully at the same price. The box touts the product’s real fruit juice filling, lack of high fructose corn syrup, and baked-not-fried nature, which is reflected in the nutrition facts. I couldn’t help but compare them to their obvious competition, Smucker’s Uncrustables which, despite being similarly priced and almost identically serving-sized, manage to have more calories and fat than the new guy.

Meant to be a GoGurt-esque snack for kids on the go, a stick can be briefly microwaved from frozen or thawed in your lunch box for your convenience. It also has a recommended consumption window of up to eight hours after defrosting, so if you forget it on your kitchen counter before you leave for the day, just eat it when you get home. In the highly unlikely event you experience food poisoning as a result, I accept no liability.

Kid Cuisine Snack Stix Peanut Butter & Grape Frozen

Kid Cuisine Snack Stix Peanut Butter & Grape Closeup

The four unassuming, individually wrapped sticks slide out of the box looking like small Hot Pockets, with a soft bread texture reminiscent of SideShots. I have to admit, my inner child was slightly disheartened at the lack of a Fun Pack. The package suggests patiently waiting two minutes after their 15 second microwave time, which I obediently obliged, remembering well my disastrous past experience with an overheated Pop-Tart.

Kid Cuisine Snack Stix Peanut Butter & Grape Innards

The first bite revealed a modest flavor to accompany its modest appearance, with a somewhat disappointing amount of PB&J that further consumption showed to be… acceptable. The PB to J ratio was decent, something that I find most products often mess up (almost always too much jelly).

The PB&J itself I found a bit lacking in sweetness, with the bread tasting exactly as you would expect by looking at it. I fear that what they’ve gained in healthiness they’ve sacrificed in flavor, but when I remember that their target audience consists of sugar-sensitive children, I figure the ends justify the means.

Though personally underwhelming, I can’t help but respect the product’s healthiness, affordability, and mobility. Though I may never buy them for myself, I’m sure they’d be great for my nonexistent children.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 Snack Stix – 160 calories, 25 calories from fat, 3 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 65 milligrams of potassium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Item: Kid Cuisine Snack Stix Peanut Butter & Grape
Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: 4 Snack Stix per box
Purchased at: Publix
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Real fruit filling. No HFCS. Healthier than Uncrustables. Hi-C Ecto-Cooler. Rose-tinted memories.
Cons: Not very sweet. Needs a little more PB&J. No Fun Pack. Overheated Pop-Tarts. Getting older.

REVIEW: Kid Cuisine Deep Sea Adventure Fish Sticks

Eating Kid Cuisine Deep Sea Adventure Fish Sticks is pretty much exactly like the experience of going on a deep sea adventure, only without an actual boat, a body of water, maritime life and any sense of fun or enjoyment whatsoever. Well, I guess if you consider “maritime life” to be breaded sticks of unidentifiable fish, then it does at least have that. And to answer your question if I’ve seen the Kayne West episode of “South Park”: Why yes, I do like fish sticks, thank you very much.

However, these fish sticks were unfortunately very tiny, flaccid, and basically, “didn’t get the job done,” if you know what I mean. It might have helped if I had followed the conventional oven instructions, but what can I say? I’m a gal on the go and I can’t afford the precious 20-22 minutes it would have taken to cook them that way.

The flavor of the sticks themselves were otherwise bland, since the unidentifiable fish was actually pollock, according to the packaging. Pollock is pretty much like the tofu of the animal kingdom since it has no flavor to speak of on its own, and is the key ingredient in most imitation “Krab” meats. The flavor was improved slightly by some homemade mayonnaise and relish tartar sauce I whipped up to go along with it. Just because I’m a gal on the go doesn’t mean I can’t take pleasure in the details.

Other than the fish sticks, the meal also contained a meager portion of corn, which was chewy, unsatisfying and still kind of cold. I was too apathetic to heat it back up though, since I figured thorough heating wouldn’t really improve the situation. There was also an equally meager portion of “Macaroni and Cheese Sauce,” which kind of threw me for a loop. That’s like when you get chocolate covered pretzels and the packaging says: “Chocolate Flavor Coated Pretzels.” Really? I know the flavor is chocolate. But what I really want to know is what exactly the hell is on this pretzel. At any rate, the macaroni with cheese sauce was adequate, because honestly how can you screw up mac ‘n cheese?

Unless of course you put cut-up hotdogs in it like my boyfriend does. Gross.

The real excitement of the meal was a packet of three gummi sharks that came with it. They actually just tasted like normal gummies, albeit the kind of gummi that has that fluffy layer of white stuff on the bottom. My only complaint is that I got only one lime-flavored and two blue raspberry, when I would have preferred it the other way around.

Kid Cuisine Deep Sea Adventure Fish Sticks are prefect for parents who love their children just how they are, because with continued consumption, the 500 milligrams of sodium should eventually effectively pickle your child thereby preventing any unnecessary aging. For an adult over the age of eight, on the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend this meal since it’s basically totally unfulfilling and will make you go get your own personal tub of gummi zoo animals, which contains a much more satisfying amount of green gummies.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 meal – 390 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 500 milligrams of sodium, 55 grams of carbohydrates, 6 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, 14 grams of protein and 8% iron.)

Item: Kid Cuisine Deep Sea Adventure Fish Sticks
Price: $3.29
Size: 7.6 ounces
Purchased at: The Fresh Grocer
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: The Kanye West episode of “South Park.” Taking pleasure in the details. Gummi sharks.
Cons: No sense of deep sea enjoyment. Having to ever wait more than two and a half minutes for a meal. Only one lime-flavored gummi shark. Imitation Krab meat. People who put hot dogs in mac ‘n cheese.

REVIEW: Kid Cuisine Bug Safari Nuggets

Kid Cuisine Bug Safari Nuggets

Kid Cuisine is the only nationally sold frozen dinner brand that is marketed towards, and most likely made by, latchkey children. It’s only fitting that a person like me with the attention span of a child would review one of its meals. You can never accuse Ace of not loving the kiddies.

Wait, that came out wrong. I meant to say that I love making young children happy…(fuck! Abort! Abort!). Damn it, you know what I mean.

Kid Cuisine was on ultra-clearance at the local supermarket. At about a third of their regular price, I couldn’t help but be curious enough to pick a few boxes up. Most people would see this as a bad sign of things to come, but not me. This is mainly because I’m an idiot, but I also had the thought that perhaps these meals were so good that it would be a crime to keep them on the shelves. I mean…the penguin looks like it’s having so much fun swinging on the jungle vine. Sure, it’s absurd, but is it any more ridiculous than a movie about surfing penguins? This is the stuff I think about as the meal heats up.

Hunger and low self-esteem are a great combination for frozen dinners, so I was actually anticipating its arrival out of the microwave. Unfortunately, the meal is not fantastic fare. Even as far as processed chicken nuggets go, these rank pretty low on the ladder. These are the chicken nuggets that other chicken nuggets beat up on the playground.

The fact that they feel the need to take on the form insects is obviously a case of severe overcompensation. By the time they come out of their microwave cocoon, they are dry and flavorless. I guess all is not bad, though. Mothers can find solace in the fact that the chicken is real “white chicken breast nuggets” and none of that filler crap. Never mind the fact that it’s shaped like a fucking butterfly — as all natural and wholesome foods are.

I would bet everything I own that there was a frozen food convention some years back where it was decided that macaroni and cheese had to be 95% water and 5% soggy mealworms. Kid Cuisine does their best to conform to the standards and offers up a meager helping of the orange and runny mess that they insist is pasta. Iron Chef Mario Batali must be rolling over in his grave. Well, he’s not actually dead yet, but judging from his expanding beltline I’m banking on this review being accurate within the next 10 years.

Kid Cuisine meals are never complete without one or two hilariously gimmicky ideas that are used to make the meal fun. Only Kid Cuisine can try and make ketchup cool, and they do their best by putting it in a sealed plastic pouch that is supposed to be used for nugget decoration. People…IT’S A FUCKING KETCHUP PACKET.

How they managed to pitch this idea as a selling point is beyond me, but I guess that’s why I’m not making six figures a year doing marketing. It’s almost as gimmicky as if they released Michael Jackson onto the reality show Kid Nation and let the pieces fall where they may. Along with the ketchup, some bug-shaped gummy snacks are included to ensure that the children learn how to ingest insects at an early age.

The best thing I can say about Kid Cuisine is that they appear to have good intentions. They keep me sane because they don’t spell their name Kid Kwizine. They have mazes and other games for kids on the boxes. Until their penguin becomes a sexually suggestive Bratz-like mascot, and you better believe this will happen, they deserve to be commended. Just not on their food.

Item: Kid Cuisine Bug Safari Nuggets
Price: 2 for $1.67
Purchased at: Stater Bros.
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Kids will probably like it. Edible even though it’s not the greatest. Fun and wholesome mascot that apparently encourages dangerous physical activity.
Cons: Bland and dry nuggets. Passing off a ketchup packet as a cool treat. Encouraging children to eat insects. Michael Jackson on Kid Nation. Bratz.