While relaxing the other night after a long day with my darling children, I saw a commercial that caught my interest. It looked like an Oreo cookie and the commentator was claiming that feeding your kids these “nutritional” cookies gives them:
- As much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal
- As much calcium and vitamin D as an 8 oz glass of milk
- As much vitamin C as a cup of blueberries
The website goes on to include:
- As much Iron as a cup of Spinach
- As much Vitamin E as two cups of carrot juice
- As much Vitamin B12 as a cup of cottage cheese and fruit
- As much Vitamin A as an 8oz glass of tomato juice
Now this sounded way too good to be true. And I don’t like to be one to judge without knowing the facts so I did a little research based on The Healthy Edge guidelines for reading food labels.
When looking at the ingredients, whatever is listed first is the ingredient that particular product contains the MOST of. Guess what the first ingredient in this so-called nutritious cookie is? SUGAR! At this point I am turned off, but I continue to read: the second ingredient is wheat flour, then vegetable oils (canola, palm, palm kernel oil, soybean oil and partially hydrogenated cottonseed and coconut oil), cocoa, dextrose, polydextrose, yellow corn flour, corn syrup (more sugar), baking soda, soy lecithin, salt, natural and artificial flavor, monoglycerides, vanilla extract. Ok, so far nothing that sounds nutritional to me.
Partially hydrogenated oils are TRANS FATS! The worse kinds of fats you can ingest because they not only increase your BAD cholesterol they decrease your GOOD cholesterol and young children have a lot of years of living and in my opinion should NOT be exposed to trans fats this early in life…or ever!
Then comes the best part, a list of vitamins and minerals that give them ammunition to talk about how nutritious the cookie is. I LOVE how they put this underneath the ingredient list instead of in the list so you cannot tell how much, or how little of each ingredient is actually in the cookie.
So here we go for the vitamins and minerals: calcium carbonate, vitamin c (ascorbic acid), iron orthophosphate, zinc oxide, copper oxide, manganese gluconate, iodine, chromium chloride, vitamin e (tocopherol acetate), vitamin a (palmitate), biotin, vitamin b3 (niacin), vitamin b5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin d3, vitamin k (phytonadione), vitamin b1 (thiamine mononitrate), vitamin b6, vitamin b2, folic acid. Contains wheat, soy, milk.
So as your kids are bouncing off the walls from the sugar high, ingesting trans fats that is affecting their cholesterol and eating the wheat flour that is high glycemic and leads to more sugar highs and cravings think about if you REALLY think that a cookie can provide the nutrition your kids need to grow big and strong. Do you want your kids to formulate a belief system that cookies are healthy? Is that going to serve them later in life?
The Superfood Sisters would like to introduce you to something we call WHOLE FOODS treats. A great company is LaraBars that have minimal ingredients that are real and whole foods. An example is a Coconut Cream Pie that contains: Dates, Unsweetened Coconut, Almonds, Cashews and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
Another example is the Peanut Butter Bar which contains: Dates, Peanuts and Sea Salt. That’s it! WOW! These can easily be advertised as “cookies” to your kids and you can feel great giving them this treat daily.
Another great suggestion is to prepare your own “treats” for your kids using recipes that use whole food ingredients. The Healthy Edge is a great resource for tons of recipes that are whole food based and kid friendly. Check out The Healthy EdgeCookbook for 120+ recipes (including gluten-free) that are simple and quick or The Healthy Edge subscription program that provides over 250 recipes and a new recipe each week that you can trust to make for your family.
Together we can become educated consumers and change the health reality for our children’s future.