Pop to it
Popcorn is so popular, the National Popcorn Board has even named October as "Popcorn Poppin' Month" for a month-long promotion. According to Wendy Boersema Rappel of the National Popcorn Board, 16 billion quarts of popcorn are consumed by Americans each year. That's roughly 51 quarts per every man, woman and child, with popcorn's popularity partially due to not just its irresistible aroma and taste, but the fact that it's also a food that's long been a part of American culture, associated with good times. So the new Theater Popcorn Maker, part of BELLA Dots Collection, is a great retro and fun idea.
WHERE TO BUY: $69.99 at bellahousewares.com or Macy's or Target
A new tasty innovation for Halloween treats give kids something sweet to enjoy that promises to improve oral health. SparX tiny bite-size fruit-flavored candies are a new sugar-free candy line sweetened exclusively with xylitol. Xylitol is an all-natural sweetener derived from corn cobs, birch trees and other natural sources, and is similar to sugar in taste and texture, but with unique health benefits not found in other sweeteners. Xylitol contains 40 percent fewer calories than sugar, has a net carb level of only 0.4 per gram, and has minimal impact on blood-sugar levels, making it an appropriate sugar substitute for individuals with diabetes. Made by Xlear, Inc., each bag contains 30 individually sealed packets in natural fruit flavors.
WHERE TO BUY: $7.49 at xlear.com or at Vitamin Shoppe stores
Created by a candy-loving, 15-year-old boy upset when he awoke to find his parents had confiscated half of his Halloween loot a couple of years ago, UNREAL is a line of candy promoted as containing less sugar, more protein and more fiber. Unlike typical candy bars, UNREAL candies can proudly claim no corn syrup, no hydrogenated oil and no artificial flavors, and they use dairy from free-range cows — pasture raised without antibiotics or added hormones — with all natural origin colors, coming from plants like beets and red cabbage. With 30 percent less sugar, 60 percent more protein and more fiber, the line includes candy coated chocolate, candy coated chocolates with peanuts, chocolate caramel nougat bars, peanut butter cups and chocolate caramel peanut nougat bars.
WHERE TO BUY: priced at 89 cents to $1.29 individually or $4.99 for bags, they are available in stores such as CVS, Kroger and Staples or getunreal.com