Chicken nuggets and breaded fish sticks from Ian's Allergen Free Products earned taste kudos for their good, natural flavor. Neither product contains wheat, gluten, dairy, egg, nut or soy ingredients, refined sugar or trans fats. They cook up quickly too. Each 8-ounce box costs $4-$5.50 select grocers.
Flour and flowers
Nicole's Divine Crackers' Heaven is Lavender flavor delivers a heady fragrance and herbal/floral taste. A hearty crunch comes from organic stone-ground corn and wheat. Nicely salted and speckled with lavender buds, they're great nibbles on their own but also provide a distinctive foundation for cheese. A 5-ounce box costs $3.50-$3.80 at some wine shops and grocers. By mail, visit nicolescrackers.com or call (312) 640-8883.
Alpha-Bits adds whole grains
If your kids love to practice their ABCs with Kraft Foods' Post Alpha-Bits cereal, you can quit worrying about the sugar in their diet.
According to the company, for the first time in 50 years, Alpha-Bits has been reformulated--without sugar. Available nationwide starting this month is Alpha-Bits cereal with 0 grams of sugar per serving; the old Alpha-Bits had 13 grams per serving.
And the cereal is now made with whole grains, upping its grams of fiber per serving to 3 grams from 1. A 10.25-ounce box is $3.39.
New cob holders debut
Just in time for Michigan sweet corn are new corn holders from kitchen gadget maker Zyliss.
What makes these different from most corn holders? The two holders fit into each other so you won't stab yourself when searching for them in your drawer. These are easier to grip because they are larger and almost seem ergonomically correct in shape and size.
The corn holders come in a set of four in yellow, blue, red and white for $4.99. They're at Pointe Pedlar in Grosse Pointe Farms, R. Hirt Jr. in Detroit's Eastern Market and Bed Bath & amp; Beyond stores.
More fruit, please
If you have been trying to increase the amount of fruit you eat each day, join the 90-day challenge, a promotion of California fruit growers.
The last day to sign up is Aug. 12. When you sign up, you will receive a daily e-mail with exercise and nutrition information and recipes, and a calendar to track your daily fruit intake. Go to www.eatcaliforniafruit.com.
GrillStone brushes from Earthstone are designed to clean food and grease from hot or cold grill grates. They really get the job done, and make quick, efficient work out of a tedious chore. The name's a bit misleading: These "brushes" are really blocks of recycled materials that provide a chemical-free, nontoxic scrub. The cleaning process grinds them down; one block is good for about 10 uses. You can buy blocks for $4 each at Lowe's Home Improvement stores; a fancier starter kit, which includes a plastic brush (not necessary but handy), is sold online at goearthstone.com for $6.