Thursday, February 25, 2010

Call it what it is

I got more than a little annoyed at a mainstream parenting publication this week. They Tweeted a link to a recipe for a snack that would "sneak in wholesome goodness." The recipe? Basically it was for Rice Krispie Squares made with sweetened Cheerios, some flaked cereal and some dried cranberries, which are also sweetened.

Now let me say right away that I am no supermom when it comes to food. My kids do eat cookies and the odd piece of candy or a few potato chips. But I don't try to pretend that they're healthy. They are a treat.

I don't buy into the hype that Tostitos are healthy because they are made from "wholesome whole grain corn." I don't pretend that sugary cereal is a decent breakfast because it has a smattering of fibre and promotes a "happy tummy." I choose what my kids snack on realistically. If they've had lots of fruits and veggies in a day, and a healthy meal lay ahead for dinner, then sure, they can have a cookie for snacktime. But I'm not pretending it's healthy because I made it with a little whole wheat flour.

And that is what bugged me about the recipe that was Tweeted. They were pushing it as being somehow healthy, when in reality it was sugar, filled with sugar, and held together with more sugar. Maybe I expect too much, but really, do they have to dumb health down to "at least there's a little fibre in it?" Why pretend? Why not say, "Hey, here's something your kids will love to make with you. It's fun once in a while to prepare treats together," and leave out the attempt to make it look like it's healthy.

Maybe it's the dull, grey winter weather that's making me grumpy, but things like this just bug me. It borders on irresponsible when a national publication pushes junk as healthy for kids. As an overweight mother who has struggled all of my life with my weight, I am keenly aware of how our food choices and attitudes affect our children. Teaching them that a smattering of fibre magically makes junk food healthy is not doing them any favours.


  1. Congrats on the foodie blogroll!


  2. There seems to be a lot of junk food nowadays that is passed off as healthy, when it really isn't. It bugs me too!