Oatmeal news

Mr. Tidbit recently made a smallish fuss about the gluten-free oats in a yogurt selection from Chobani. Then, noting firms such as Bob's Red Mill offered gluten-free oats, he went on to mention the new gluten-free organic oats (old-fashioned and steel-cut) from Country Choice Organic. So Mr. Tidbit feels it only right he make some noise about the newest gluten-free Chex from General Mills. Yes, it's Chex gluten-free oatmeal — instant oatmeal: original, maple brown sugar and apple cinnamon.

Given that all the other Chex cereals are crunchy little cross-hatched pillows, how is oatmeal even remotely Chex? Mr. Tidbit guesses they gave it that name because the Chex line is so prominently gluten-free: seven of the other eight cereals — all but Wheat Chex — are gluten-free. (Yes, if oats are grown and processed so they aren't contaminated with wheat, barley or rye — as ordinary oats generally are — they are gluten-free.)

More oatmeals

Back in the regular oatmeal aisle, Quaker has added steel-cut oats (which cook in three minutes in the microwave) in regular and two flavored versions: blueberries/cranberries and brown sugar/cinnamon. And, because everybody seems to think we need more protein, there's also new Quaker Protein instant oatmeal (banana nut and cranberry almond) — with 10 grams of protein per serving, compared with 3 or 4 grams in regular-flavored instant oatmeal.

Beyond tuna

Mr. Tidbit doesn't scan the tuna aisle often, so it's possible that the following Bumble Bee development isn't exactly breaking news. But although Bumble Bee and Star Kist offer kits containing tuna salad and crackers, Bumble Bee's Snack on the Run line has moved well past that.

Besides tuna salad and crackers (and fat-free tuna salad and crackers), Bumble Bee offers these kits, all with crackers: chicken salad, chicken in barbecue sauce, Buffalo style chicken salad, chipotle chicken salad, ham salad, seafood salad (that's surimi — and that's pollock or whiting), salmon salad and (wait for it) hummus.

Dear friends: Last week it was 25 years since my son Joe died in a seven-story fall from his college dorm room in Madison, Wis. He had taken LSD; he was 18. Hug your kids.

Al Sicherman