Thoughts About Snacks Geared Toward Kids

Wouldn’t it be nice if all snacks made for children were also made healthier because that’s what’s best for the child?

Reality is no such case.

First, I do want to start with a review of these whole grain bites. I bought them for my son’s school lunch. They come 5 packs in a box and if you read my discount snacks post you’ll probably recognize that these expire soon.

I ate a pack today to see how they taste. And because I really like blueberry flavored stuff.

While it is annoying when other people eat my son’s school snacks, I feel okay when I do it. But, I don’t even let my son eat his snacks unless it’s going into his Transformers lunch box. I actually had to hide some of his snacks because he will eat them all otherwise. That has actually happened. And do you know how frustrating it is to try to put a school lunch together when your son has eaten all the snacks that go into it? It’s not easy!

But, I digress. I’ve digressed like twice from the topic insinuated by the subject line.

So first, these snacks:

Quaker Kids Organic Blueberry Whole Grain Bites.

These have great flavor and a nice soft crunch. But they stick to your teeth and that’s not all that pleasant. I don’t know if I’d buy these again because I am just not a fan of snacks that stay on my son’s teeth all day. Yes, of course he brings water and juice to school every day but I’m just saying. I don’t know. Maybe if they’re on sale again I’d buy.

Anyway, now that that is out of the way, according to the ingredients list, all 11 ingredients are organic. That usually means that there are no excess pesticides use in the making of this snack. Thanks a lot!

I try to be optimistic but I’m pretty sure that this organic snack is made that way because of the crunchy mom’s that like organic foods for their children. And I know mom’s who are like that. Some of them are cool and flexible (like me) who realize that we do the best we can but we’re not gonna be obnoxious about organic only foods.

Then, there are other mom’s who are strict about organic foods to the point that they critique the foods that other people choose to eat as well. That is obnoxious.

Healthy is a word that means a lot of things to a lot of different people. People who are vegan for health reasons will say that meat and dairy are unhealthy while people who eat meat and dairy will say that baked is better than fried foods and they’ll probably mention portions too.

And then there are things that we can all agree on – artificial colors and flavors are bad, real fruits and vegetables are good, water is wet.

Now, I’m not asking food producers to make the healthiest snacks ever for the children of the world. But it would be nice if they permanently excluded ingredients that are certified unhealthy just because they’re not good for you.

These Quaker organic bites that I just ate state on the pack that there is no high fructose corn syrup in them. That’s great! But to be critical of Quaker (just for a moment) I wonder: have they excluded the syrup because the organic lovers crowd doesn’t like it or have they excluded it because it’s an unhealthy ingredient.

The answer to that question can be found by looking at Quaker’s other snacks. If excluding that type of corn syrup is a theme among their snacks then they are probably committed to producing semi-healthy foods.

I’m curious about this now and I hope that is the case TBH. I like Quaker but since we’re talking about them, I have one other complaint and this one is about their instant oatmeal packs. For obvious reasons, I buy the lower sugar ones for my son to eat in the morning (sometimes, he hasn’t wanted it lately) but that narrows the choices down to 4 specific flavors in the cinnamon and spice realm. I wish that the fruity flavors came in a low sugar choice too. But, it’s not that big of the deal given the fact that I try to avoid dairy as much as I can and the fruit and cream oatmeal’s have powdered milk in them.

Anyway – I wonder about the companies that blatantly produce colorful unhealthy snacks for children. They put it in bright, fun packages that entice children into thinking “I want whatever is in that box.” My son falls prey to this, as well as many other children. He will ask me for something and I’ll say – “Do you even know what it is?” Then as I proceed to tell him, he will sometimes realize that he doesn’t even like that flavor and put it back.

Along those lines, we also have a couple of specific ingredients that are an instant no for both of us, which makes my job easier. High Fructose Corn Syrup is one of those things. That’s not to say that we never consume that syrup because sometimes I buy something that then don’t realize that it’s in it until way later. But we try our best.

So, to round out the end of this essay, I guess it all comes down to supply and demand. If parents cared about food coloring being bad for children, it would appear less and less in foods (I do notice more candies are made with natural colors). But companies figure that since some mom’s don’t care about that stuff, then why should they care.

The same goes with the Impossible Burger, too. No, I have not tried it. Maybe I will one day but I won’t kid myself- It’s not a veggie burger, it’s a fake meat burger. I like veggie burgers. And if more people liked veggie burgers I think the Impossible Burger would have visible vegetables in it. It could be an enhanced version of the garden burger that has been sold at Burger King for the last 15 or so years.

But, since people want something that tastes like meat, all the resources went into making a meat like substance that doesn’t contain any animal products. The Impossible Burger has to have been made for people who are vegan for the animals. People who are vegan for the health benefits can’t be too excited about it because of the unhealthy additions that are used to make this vegan burger easy for mass production.

Okay, my rant is over.

But I do have to say that I am so thankful that vegetarianism and veganism is a mainstream thing now. My mother would be so pleased to see “vegan” proudly listed on food labels. She’d still read the ingredients, though. Just like me.

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