back to school

The Best Things to Pick Up from Trader Joe’s for Back-to-School Season

updated Aug 13, 2019
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Credit: Diana Liang

The latest Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer is out and it’s the culinary version of the September issue — only instead of elaborate dresses and absurd outfits we can never afford, it’s chock-full of the foods we’ll actually buy and pack into our kids’ lunches. Or at least wander by and wonder if it’s actually good until someone raves about it, we buy it once and fall in love, and then Trader Joe’s decides to discontinue it.

Anyway, the point is, it’s good to pay attention to the seasonal gems they list so that you can maximize your shopping and find the next product that will earn a spot on your shelves — and in your lunch box.

But before you even get to lunches, there’s banana almond protein smoothies to start your day — and chocolate milk for the kiddos. And there’s gluten-free cocoa crunch cereal to go with it.

For lunch, they’ve got the pre-made options, like the Mexican corn and quinoa salad, and the rainbow wrap with roasted sweet potato, curried hummus, beets, and spinach. There’s also the grilled balsamic vinegar and rosemary chicken, which is great for making your own wraps. Or you could dig into the organic reduced-sugar strawberry preserves and pair it with the creamy salted peanut butter. For a super-easy option, there’s also the chicken or the miso instant ramen cups. Either way, to round out the meal, they’ve got sharp cheddar snack packs; corn, pea, and quinoa crisps; “salty squares” that are their version of saltines; and, of course, yogurt-covered pretzels.

If that’s not quite enough, don’t worry — there are plenty of dessert options like dark chocolate almond butter cups (think: fancy Reese’s) and soft baked peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

In other words, Trader Joe’s just schooled us on how to go back to school.