Handheld is in. You’ve got your Kindle and your iPhone and your keyless remote, juggling to grab your little one out of her car seat while texting to confirm weekend plans. But what about lunch? That’s where newcomer Kye’s comes in, with the newest healthy alternative to give the sandwich standby a run for its money. Stroll into their sunlit shop in Santa Monica and unwrap an unexpected (and healthy) handheld treat for your toddler’s tastebuds.

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With KyeRitos, Super Foods Get Super Convenient
Think of it as a healthy push-up. Start with a crisp sheet of shiny nori, already a fave with your little ones. (Other wrappers are available, too.) Now add kid-friendly fillings that double as healthy nutrition. KyeRitos are the brainchild of owner and local mom (to Kye) Jeanne Cheng (with degrees is traditional and holistic medicine, so you can really trust that this stuff has the goods) who conceived of the taste treat.

Dr. Seuss himself would be intrigued by the Nori N’ Lox resplendent with green eggs, smoked salmon arugula and tomatoes, all neatly wrapped in crisp seaweed.  Fans of old-school ‘wrappers’ can partake of the deli turkey, which reminds you of the classic wrap with a smear of tasty giji aioli for that super-food punch. The secret to the ‘slip wrap’ as they call it is Kye’s patent-pending packaging with a sheath of cellophane to keep the ingredients in and the mess off. And most choices are dairy and gluten-free for sensitive tummies. In fact, Kye’s accommodates every dietary need, from vegan toddlers to Paleo parents to macrobiotic mommies.  Whatever healthy eating plan you’ve committed to for this New Year, Kye’s will help you stick to it.  Happily.

IMG_8612A Super-Food Side With That
Kye’s happy fare continues with kiddo-pleasing beverages like their signature caramelized banana shake: like candy in a cup with no refined sugar (dehydrated cane juice, aka sucanat, does the trick) but a dose of Chinese yam for extra vitamins and coconut milk for enough added energy to chase those ducks at nearby Douglas Park. The avocolada smoothie is a guilt-free mocktail that begs for a mini umbrella. And what LA kids don’t prefer to drink their veggies, especially in a yummy shake?

IMG_8622Healthy Sweets For Picky Petites
No matter how healthy you’re eating, there’s always room for dessert. The brownies of black bean and rich cacao are as moist and rich as any you’ve had, while the chocolate avocado pudding pulls double-duty with omega3s and bioflavinoids in one delectable dish they’ll ask for over and over.  Because dessert is only dessert if it feels like an indulgence, and these do.

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You Can Get There From Here
Kye’s in conveniently situated in the center of Montana’s main shopping strip, on the same block the recently-opened NYC fave Pink Chicken. And there’s free parking  behind the restaurant.
Tasty, healthy, kid pleasing and free, easy parking? Now you have no excuses to start the New Year on a healthy note!

Open Tuesday – Sunday, 7a.m.-7 p.m.

Kye’s
1518 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, 90403
Phone: 310-395-5937
Online: kyesmontana.com

– Kim Orchen Cooper

All photos courtesy of Kye’s and Kim Orchen Cooper.