Sweet Treats With 'No Funky Stuff'

The snack you remember from your school days -- Otis Spunkmeyer -- is making a new promise to parents: "No Funky Stuff."

The company says its all-new retail line of 20+ cookies and sweet treats is made without artificial flavors or colors, high-fructose corn syrup, or partially hydrogenated oils. The individually packaged offerings include snack cakes, loaf cakes, mini muffins, mini cupcakes, and its famous cookies in a variety of flavors. More info can be found at otisspunkmeyer.com.

Expert: Recall Increase Doesn't Mean Food is Less Safe

It seems as if rarely a month passes in which there isn't a new major food recall announced, but Martin Wiedmann, professor of food safety at Cornell University, says that doesn't mean food today is riskier than ever before.

"[The recall rise] doesn't mean our food is less safe," he told CBC News. "It's the opposite. What happened over the last 20 years and really accelerated over the last two years is the use of completely new DNA fingerprinting tools to detect disease outbreaks. Today, we are 100 times more likely to detect an outbreak than we were 20 years ago."

However, he reminds consumers that it's impossible to remove all risk.

"It's just not like 'risk' or 'no-risk.' There's a gradation... And then somewhere in the middle, someone puts a line," he said. "And that line is arbitrary, because no food is risk-free."

A New Way to Get Kids to Try New Foods

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service has developed a fun new way to help parents get their kids to try new foods. The free Kids Food Critic Activity encourages children to pick out and try a new food, and then rate it.

Parents can download and print out the free PDF at http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/kids-food-critic-activity, on which kids can rate a food's:

-*- Visual appeal

-*- Smell

-*- Taste

-*- Texture

-*- And more!

Download the PDF at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/tn/Food_Critic_508.pdf

Make Lunch Fun, Healthy and Easy

Show kids how they can make lunch-packing neat, organized, and healthy with Yumbox. This bento-style lunchbox delivers an education in nutrition through its pre-portioned design and illustrated serving tray. From vegetables to proteins, it shows how much of each food group should be consumed while encouraging greater variety. BPA-free and leak-proof, it fits in any standard sized thermal tote, and the removable tray offers fast and easy cleanup. yumboxlunch.com.

A Fun New Life for Halloween Candy

Get that leftover candy stash out of your house in a cool new way via Good Cooking's Electric Deluxe Dual Chocolate Melting Pot. In addition to the melting pots, which perfectly melt your Halloween candy for hot fudge, s'mores, or a twist on traditional chocolate dipping, this kit comes with 30 accessories, including fondue forks, fruit skewers, a spatula, handling fork, truffle dipper, molding trays, and a metal cooling rack. At $39.99, this would also be a great holiday gift for the chocoholic in your life. More info and purchase information can be found at mygoodcooking.com or Amazon.com.

Cool Twists on Fave Kitchen Tools

Two staples of every kitchen get a fun and functional upgrade thanks to Urban Trend. The Fruzen Ice Cream Scoop ($14.95) may not look much different than the one in your drawer, until you check out the end of the scoop -- optimally designed to scape the bottom edges of ice cream pints (it works just as well on half-gallons, too).

And the company's Halo Pizza Wheel ($17.95) is designed to be palm-held for single-handed cutting or two-handed leveraged-held for cutting through thick dough and deep dish pizzas. It folds flat (the black safety ring doubles as a blade guard) and, better yet, it looks like a Poké Ball. urban-trend.com.