Sunday, September 12, 2010

Smart Food or Smart Marketing?

Have you tried the Dempster Smart Bread or Wonder Bread Invisibles?  Do you think it's really healthier or at least healthy enough?  I'm not sure.  I mean the marketing is pretty convincing but then isn't that their job?  The advertising tells us that they've added more vitamins and nutrients but then again the main ingredient is Enriched White Flour..not whole wheat or plain white but "Enriched".  I am supposed to feel less guilty feeding my kids this version of white bread but I really don't.  After all, no one knows I'm buying enriched white bread, as far as everyone at my kid's school knows is that it's regular white bread and I look like some kind of junk food, sugar loaded, noncaring kind of momma. There is also the fact that enriched doesn't compare to good ol 100% whole wheat grain. 

It's kind of like Nutella.  They have this warm and fuzzy commercial that tells you not only is Nutella delicious but that it's a vital part of providing your child a healthy breakfast.  Well, hold on now.  A delicious cocoa, hazelnut spread that is not only good for me er my kids but provides them with a rich source of vitamin B6, iron, calcium, and potassium as well as extra protein and fiber.  Well back up the bus, I'm climbing on board. 

And I did.  I went out and bought myself a jar of this manna like substance and all I can say is that anything and I do mean anything that tastes this good cannot possibly be that good for me.  I probably ate the whole jar in two days a week. When I look at the ingredient list why am I NOT surprised to read Sugar as the very first one followed by modified palm oil. 

What the hell is this modified palm oil and why does it have to be in EVERYTHING and just how bad is it for me?  Inquiring minds want to know... really!

I once knew a lady in a baby group that weaned her child straight to cows milk because formula contains modified palm oil and as a nurse there was no way she was feeding that to her 8 month old baby.  I mean she's a nurse.. she should know, right?

I've googled it and one side will tell you it's a by-product that has no nutrional value at all but they have nothing better to do with it and so they toss it into our food.  If that's true, I'm really, really scared.  On the other hand apparent "research" says it's not harmful.  Are these the same researchers that say BPH in baby bottles aren't harmful? 

Let's take processed cheese.  There is a darling little gal who instructs her daddy on how to make the proper melted cheese sandwich all the while assuring him how good it is for her because it has lots of calcium in it.  Precious moments.  Now my kids love Kraft Cheese singles and so I cling to the warm fuzzies of this commercial with all my being and tell myself that it's okay, they're getting lots of calcium and after all none of my kids have a weight issue, they are actually a little on the skinny side so what's the harm.  And when my daughter comes home telling me that someone commented to her on how unhealthy that cheese was in her sandwich, I told her not to worry.  Momma's looking after her and because she eats lots of fruit and other healthy things a little old processed cheese slice won't hurt it.  Still... it's processed.  How good for you can it really be?

What are our real options for feeding our kids these days in this world of hyper marketing?  Yes, I can go back to basics and make everything from scratch and some days I do that.  In the interest of saving some money and making healthier snacks I often talk myself out of buying things that I can make myself.

Let's get real though.  I am often too lazy busy to break out the mixer and whip up some delicious snacks never mind clean up the mess afterwards.  So it's not long before I'm back in the store roaming the snack aisle.  I read labels trying to look for healthier alternatives to the high sugar, high fat options only to find even many low sugar items contain palm oil.  Sure I could buy all organic like Kashi, but when Dad's cookies has a two for one special at $3.99 and I'm looking at a $5.00 box of Kashi cookies which hold like maybe 12.. I'm sorry but this cost concious momma probably will go for the cheaper option.

Well I could go on and on about this topic and probably already have too long.  What are your thoughts on all this?  What unhealthy foods do you feed your children?  Do you feel just a wee bit guilty or could you care less about it, your kids are healthy what more is there to worry about?

1 comment:

  1. Your instincts are right. Your kids eat mostly healthy, get lots of fruits and such, so a little bit of processed or other food here and there should be FINE. That is what I think. Everything in moderation - even "healthy" eating!


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