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Sep 9, 2007 06:03 PM

can anyone tell me what pre-packaged snack foods are kosher?

I just found out that not only can I not send my son to school with meat but the stuff I do send needs to also be kosher. What pre-packaged cookies, snacks, chips etc... are out there???? is there a list some place?

any other ideas for a non-meat lunch other than pasta (which he eats), mac and cheese, cheese sandwhichs, pizza - all of which he does not eat. I can't just send yogurt, fruit and veggies every day!


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  1. Karen,
    You should contact the school and ask them which Kosher symbols they recognise first. Believe it or not there are several. Then check each package in your store. It would make life easier if you shopped at a kosher food store, which if you live in NYC shouldn't be too difficult.
    What about plain old PB&J--or is the school also peanut free? My 11 year old has eaten that for every school lunch since 1st grade :)
    Good luck!

    1. My daughter goes to a school with a similar kashrut policy. In her preschool they were able to use a microwave to warm foods in closed containers, but that is no longer permitted (so she now refuses stir fries, macaroni and cheese, burritos, etc.) Does your school actually prohibit sending food that you cook in your home? That would be a crazy strict policy... Presuming they don't, you can always send whatever pretzels or crackers or whatever you always buy, but them in ziplocs and be done with it.

      But, here are some examples of hekshered snacks, of which there are a million -- at Trader Joes both the whole wheat pretzel sticks and the flat pretzels are hekshered. We also like TLC brand crackers and Kettle Chips. Oreos and lots of other nabisco cookies have a heksher. Stoneyfield farm and Horizon organic "squeezy" yogurts are great for a snack and have a heksher. I found a bunch of Barbara's naturals cookies and crackers in little packs that have a heksher.

      6 Replies
      1. re: milklady

        we are actually in Greenwich, CT but I can also hit Westchester to shop for foods. The pre-school did not bother to mention ANY of this to me but I saw it in the welcome booklet that we got a week or so ago. Are Danimals kosher? I am shocked that oreo's are - isn't the stuffing made with animal lard or something like that?

        the school (as is everywhere in the world these days - or at least in the tri-state area) is nut free. I can send him with soy-nut butter but he needs something else to eat and I know he is going to want deserts and the like..... isn't kosher kosher? what do you mean there are different types????

        1. re: KarenNYC

          From Judaism 101 The task of keeping kosher is greatly simplified by widespread kashrut certification. Products that have been certified as kosher are labeled with a mark called a hekhsher (from the same Hebrew root as the word "kosher") that ordinarily identifies the rabbi or organization that certified the product. Approximately 3/4 of all prepackaged foods have some kind of kosher certification, and most major brands have reliable Orthodox certification.

          The process of certification does not involve "blessing" the food; rather, it involves examining the ingredients used to make the food, examining the process by which the food is prepared, and periodically inspecting the processing facilities to make sure that kosher standards are maintained. The symbols OU (circle U), OK(circle K), Star K, Kof-Kare all widely-accepted hekhshers commonly found on products throughout the United States. These symbols are registered trademarks of kosher certification organizations, and cannot be placed on a food label without the organization's permission. With a little practice, it is very easy to spot these hekhshers on food labels, usually near the product name, occasionally near the list of ingredients. There are many other certifications available, of varying degrees of strictness. The most controversial certification is the K, a plain letter K found on products asserted to be kosher. A letter of the alphabet cannot be trademarked, so any manufacturer can put a K on a product, even without any supervision at all. For example, Jell-O brand gelatin puts a K on its product, even though every reliable Orthodox authority agrees that Jell-O is not kosher. On the other hand, some very reliable rabbis will certify products without having a trademark to offer, and their certifications will also have only a "K." Most other kosher certification marks are trademarked and cannot legally be used without the permission of the certifying organization. The certifying organization assures you that the product is kosher according to their standards, but standards vary.It is becoming increasingly common for kosher certifying organizations to indicate whether the product is fleishik (meat), milchik (dairy) or pareve (neutral). If the product is dairy, it will frequently have a D or the word Dairy next to the kashrut symbol. If it is meat, the word Meat may appear near the symbol (usually not an M, because that might be confused with "milchik"). If it is pareve, the word Pareve (or Parev) may appear near the symbol

          Oreos are no longer made with lard-that practice was discontinued several years back.

          1. re: alyssa


            Just to expand on Alyssa's post: A plain "K" can be placed on a label by anyone, whether the product is certified or not. There are many products which are just presumed to be kosher by the manufacturer. However, others with a "K" may be under scrupulous supervision. The problem is that one simply doesn't know without checking further. In the case of Jello, the product is indeed supervised, or at least was not too long ago, by an orthodox rabbi considered to be very knowledgeable. However, he holds to a minority opinion concerning the kashrus of ordinary gelatin, whereas the major certifying agencies hold to the majority opinion. Which doesn't mean that Jello gelatin is not kosher, but it definitely means that most halachic decisors would not recommend its use.

          2. re: KarenNYC

            What is "kosher" is actually a very tricky question. Do you have your preschool parents' handbook? If you could copy out the text it would help us answer better. Though I keep a kosher home IMHO (we sometimes buy vegetarian foods without a heksher), I still struggle with the kashrut policy at my daughter's day school and at my synagogue.

            I'm not sure if Danimals are strictly kosher. If I remember correctly they have a plain K on them, which is not a real heksher (it can't be copywrited), but the ingredients are certainly vegetarian. (This is an example of something that's definitely okay for my household, but not for all of my daughter's friends, and at her current school they would prefer if she didn't bring it -- all packaged foods require a reliable heksher.)

            Oreos used to have animal fat in them, but they are strictly kosher now.

            There are a lot of different hekshers, which means that different rabbinical groups have approved the making of the product and its ingedients. The most common one is O-U (an O with a U in the middle), but there are tons of others. For my daughter's school, tablet K is a definite no-no, but most others are okay. It can be very confusing.

            1. re: milklady

              the issue with Danimals is that they contain unhechshered gelatin;some of them contain ingredients colored with carmine. Carmine is never kosher as it is made from crushed bug shells!

              1. re: alyssa


                Here again, there is a question about Carmine, and there are a varietyu of opinions on it. But it is true that it is allowed by none of the major kashrus organizations.

        2. cape cod potato chips - snyder's pretzels

          1 Reply
          1. re: cherylp3

            Utz and Herr's products (besides the pork rinds) are all OU, some are dairy. Entermains snack packs are also under the OU, (watch out for the new products that are not), Buggles, Pringles (you can get a huge box of the snack packs at Costco. Most snack pack pretzels are acceptable. We get a lot of the fruit roll ups and the like for our kids. (the new Stackers are a big hit this year for us).

            Granola bars are good (watch out if your school as a nut product ban). The Stonyfield Farms yogurts are good as well.

            Best bet is to find someone who has a kid in the school and went through this last year, they can guide you better then we can for sure. (I know because we get call from our friends who's kids are in the grade behind ours.)

          2. My suggestion is to find out whick kosher symbols are permitted. You can either go to the store to check which products have these symbols or go to their websites to see which products they supervise.

            1. Here is alist of symbols that should be universally accepted -