When we think of orange snack foods, a few favorites likely come to mind – Cheetos, Doritos, Goldfish crackers, and orange slices. But there are actually many more delicious and nutritious orange snack options beyond those classics. In this article, we will explore the range of orange snack foods available and provide an overview of their key traits. We’ll also look at some of the health benefits and drawbacks of different orange snack foods.
Popular Orange Snack Foods
Here are some of the most popular orange snack foods that are readily available in grocery stores and online:
Cheetos are an iconic orange snack made from cornmeal that have been around since 1948. The crunchy sticks and puffed balls are coated in an orange powdered cheese flavoring. Varieties include original Cheetos, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and Cheetos Puffs.
Doritos are another beloved orange snack made from fried tortilla chips coated in orange seasoned powder. Flavors include Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Spicy Sweet Chili, and Flamin’ Hot.
Pepperidge Farm’s orange Goldfish crackers are made from baked cheddar cheese and are a staple in kids’ lunchboxes. Sizes range from petite original crackers to giant baked grahams.
Cheddar Cheese Popcorn
Many brands make a popcorn seasoned with orange cheddar cheese powder or liquid cheese flavoring. Smartfood and Boom Chicka Pop are two popular options.
Utz, Planters, and other brands produce crunchy puffed cheese balls with an orange cheese coating. Similar options are Cheese Curls from brands like Cheetos.
Macaroni and Cheese
Boxed macaroni and cheese mixes from Kraft and Annie’s contain dried orange cheese powder that turns into gooey cheese sauce when made. The pasta shape options are endless!
Cheese puffs like Cheetos are a classic orange snack, but several other brands offer similar products. Snack Factory has organic cheese puffs, Food Should Taste Good makes multigrain puffs, and Pirate’s Booty has aged white cheddar puffs.
Whether they’re baked or sandwich-style, cheese crackers often have an orange cheese flavoring. Brands like Cheez-It, Better Cheddars, and Annie’s all make tasty orange options.
Less Common Orange Snacks
Beyond the most popular orange snack foods, there are many more unique options to discover:
Fresh carrot sticks make for a healthy orange snack when served with ranch dressing or hummus for dipping. Baby carrots are another convenient option.
Sweet Potato Fries
Both fresh and frozen sweet potato fries provide vitamin A and have an orange hue when baked. Season them with spices for extra flavor.
Butternut Squash Chips
Dehydrated thin slices of butternut squash are an emerging orange snack option. Brands like Rhythm Superfoods make roasted veggie chips out of this winter squash.
Orange Freeze Pops
Freeze pops come in an array of colors and flavors, including orange options like creamsicle. Brands like Otter Pops and Fla-Vor-Ice offer these refreshing frozen treats.
Fresh mango slices are a nutritious orange fruit snack. The tropical superfruit is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C.
Sweet Potato Chips
Brands like Terra, Jackson’s Honest, and Ruffles all produce sweet potato chips that are crunchy and orange-hued from real vegetables.
Cheddar Sunflower Seeds
Seeds coated in orange cheese powder offer protein and crunch. DAVID and Flavor Twists are two brands with cheesy sunflower seeds.
The nutritional value of orange snack foods varies quite a bit across the different options:
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As shown, most traditional orange snacks like Cheetos and Doritos are high in calories, fat, and refined carbohydrates like white flour. They also tend to be low in protein and fiber.
However, some alternatives like cheese popcorn and Goldfish are lower in fat and calories by comparison. And fresh options like carrot sticks and mango contain valuable vitamins without all the processing.
So when choosing orange snack foods, be mindful of nutrition labels and ingredients lists to identify healthier options. Prioritize snacks with more protein, fiber, vitamins, and whole food sources.
Some orange snack foods do actually offer legitimate health benefits:
Many orange foods get their color from carotenoids like beta carotene that the body converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A supports eye health and immunity. Options like carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, and butternut squash all provide this nutrient.
Orange fruits and vegetables can also supply vitamin C, an essential antioxidant. Mangoes and orange juice are particularly high vitamin C sources.
Whole food orange snacks like fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber crackers offer dietary fiber important for digestion and heart health. Look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Cheese-based orange snacks often provide satiating protein to help you stay full. Opt for options with at least 5 grams of protein per serving.
Orange foods like cheddar cheese, nuts, and seeds contain monounsaturated fats that support overall health when eaten in moderation.
So while neon orange powdered snacks are enticing, try balancing them out with more vitamin-rich orange foods like carrots and mangoes when possible. Just a serving or two of these whole foods can provide important nutrients.
Some possible downsides of frequently eating highly processed orange snack foods include:
Popular orange snacks tend to be very high in added sodium, with up to 250+ mg per serving. Too much sodium can increase blood pressure.
The vivid orange color in most chips and puffs comes from artificial food dye rather than real food sources. Studies link dyes to hyperactivity in some children.
Many orange snacks rely on artificial rather than natural cheese flavoring derived from real foods. The long-term impact of these chemical flavors is unknown.
Snacks made with white flour and other refined grains create a blood sugar spike and crash. They provide empty calories lacking vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.
Some orange snacks like Cheetos were previously fried in unhealthy trans fats, though many brands have now eliminated their use. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol and increase heart disease risk.
Cheetos, Doritos, and other high-carb snacks cooked at very high temperatures may contain traces of acrylamide, a potential carcinogen.
To limit exposure to these compounds, enjoy highly processed orange snacks in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet, not as a daily go-to food.
Kid-Friendly Orange Snacks
Here are some of the best orange snack options for pleasing kids’ palates:
– Goldfish crackers – A lunchbox staple kids love with some nutritious whole grains.
– Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies – The organic version of Goldfish made without artificial anything.
– Baby carrots – Fun finger food for dipping in ranch dressing.
– Clementines – Sweet little cuties easy for tiny hands to peel.
– Macaroni and cheese – The classic cheesy orange comfort food.
– Cheesy popcorn – Lighter than Cheetos but just as cheesy-delicious.
– Cheese sticks – Portable protein-packed orange snacks from brands like Frigo.
– Pretzel crisps – Flat pretzels perfect for dipping in nut butter or cheese spread.
– Pumpkin or sweet potato muffins – Quick breads that sneak in veggies.
– Orange or peach smoothies – Fruity drinks with yogurt, milk, and spinach.
With creativity and balance, you can find orange snacks even picky eaters enjoy that still provide nutritional value. Just be mindful of limiting ultra-processed options heavy in artificial ingredients.
Orange snacks often pair deliciously with other food and beverage options:
– Cheese puffs with salsa, guacamole, or queso dip
– Doritos dunked in plain Greek yogurt
– Sweet potato fries with spicy ketchup or ranch
– Carrot sticks with hummus, guacamole, or peanut butter
– Cheddar popcorn washed down with citrus sparkling water
– Cheetos floating in tomato soup or chili
– Goldfish crackers atop a spinach side salad
– Mac and cheese as the main dish with cooked veggies
– Clementines and cheese as the protein in a lunchbox
– Pretzel crisps served with sliced cheese and meat roll-ups
Feel free to get creative with fun flavor and texture combinations using your favorite orange snacks!
Where to Buy
Orange snack foods are widely available at these grocery and convenience stores:
– Major grocery chains like Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Target, and Trader Joe’s
– Warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club
– Convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Wawa
– Dollar stores like Dollar General and Family Dollar
– Gas stations and travel centers like Pilot and Love’s
– Online retailers like Amazon, Instacart, Walmart, Target, and Jet
– Wholesale distributors like Sysco and US Foods (for food service businesses)
– Specialty brands’ online stores like FlavorTwist.com and FlaVorIce.com
– Farmers markets for fresh orange produce
– International food markets for unique mango and coconut snacks
So whether you’re shopping for orange snacks in bulk or just need a quick bag of Cheetos, you shouldn’t have a problem finding some. Stock up on a variety so you always have options for healthy or indulgent orange snacking.
Here are typical price ranges for popular orange snack foods:
– Cheetos and Doritos – $2.50 to $4 for a 9-10 ounce bag
– Goldfish – $2 to $3.50 for a 6-9 ounce box
– Cheese popcorn – $3 to $5 for a 6 ounce bag
– Cheese balls – $1 to $2.50 for a 2.75-3 ounce cylinder
– Mac and cheese – $1 to $3 for a 6-12 ounce box
– Fresh citrus – $1 to $3 per pound
– Carrots – $1 to $2 per pound
– Sweet potatoes – $2 to $3 per pound
– Mangoes – $1 to $3 each
– Pretzel crisps – $2.50 to $5 for a 7-8 ounce bag
– Freeze pops – $4 to $6 for a box of 24
To save money, buy larger bag or bulk box sizes when possible. Also choose store brands of snacks like cheese balls and macaroni and cheese to pay less. Stock up on sale items and coupons too.
Keep these tips in mind when selecting the best orange snack options:
– Check labels for artificial colors, flavors and unhealthy oils.
– Seek at least 3-5 grams of protein and fiber per serving.
– Look for shorter ingredients lists with recognizable whole foods.
– Make sure salty snacks have under 300mg sodium per serving.
– Buy certified organic when possible to avoid pesticides.
– For produce, choose brightly colored, unbruised fruit.
– See if snacks are certified non-GMO or gluten-free if needed.
– Compare brands and flavors to find your personal favorites.
– Mix up crunchy processed snacks with fresh fruits and veggies.
– Allow yourself an indulgent treat on occasion – all foods fit.
Storing Orange Snacks
To maintain freshness and quality, store orange snacks properly:
– Unopened boxes and bags: Store in a cool, dry pantry away from sunlight.
– Opened boxes: Seal in airtight containers or bags.
– Fresh produce: Refrigerate in humidified drawers.
– Freeze pops: Place in freezer immediately since they melt quickly.
– Cheese: Seal tightly in original packaging and refrigerate.
– Popcorn, crackers, chips: Transfer to air-tight containers.
– Snacks for kids’ lunches: Use insulated bags and cold packs.
– Buy single serve packs when possible rather than family sizes.
Following expiry dates and freezer guidelines will also help orange snacks retain their flavor. Most processed snacks last around 6 months unopened.
Creative Serving Ideas
Orange snacks can be used in creative ways beyond just eating them plain:
– Use Cheetos or cheese puffs as crunchy breadcrumb toppings.
– Crush chips and crackers to make orange snack mixes.
– Layer yogurt parfaits with orange fruits and Goldfish.
– Skewer fruit and cheese cubes for orange kabobs.
– Make trail mix with orange dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
– Whirl carrots, mangoes, and orange juice into smoothies.
– Bread chicken tenders with crushed cheese crackers.
– Mix sweet potato fries into soups like potato leek.
– Add orange veg like squash into omelets, lo mein or mac and cheese.
– Blend pumpkin into pancakes, muffins, hummus or lattes.
– Candy or caramelize sweet potato slices into desserts.
With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless for using orange snacks in fun and nutritious ways!
While neon orange snack chips and puffs may be the first things that come to mind, there is actually a diverse range of orange snack options from sweet to savory. When choosing orange snacks, balance ultra-processed ones like Cheetos and Doritos with more nutritious picks like fresh fruits and veggies. Mixing up your options can satisfy cravings while still getting vitamins from whole foods. Cheese puffs and crackers can make handy on-the-go snacks, while carrots and mango provide great nutrition for sitting down. And remember to enjoy treats like mac and cheese or sweet potato fries in moderation without going overboard on empty calories. With so many choices, create your own palette of go-to orange snacks to mix and match.