The inspiration for this blog came to me at the grocery store. I was standing in the frozen french fries section reading the label on the McCain frozen sweet potatoes ( Thanks Amie, it was bothering me all day, I kept thinking HOW CAN YOU RUIN A SWEET POTATO FRY!!??!!) a lady reach in beside me a grabbed a bag of those Mc Cain "smiles", then looked over at me (I am pretty sure I had a HUGE look of discussed on my face or something, I am not very good at hiding my feelings) and said to me, "The only thing my daughter will eat, BUT at least she is eating, Right?" For some reason that statement really bothered me. I felt like say "UM, NO actually it isn't alright! Don't you know lady that because of food like this our nations children are 30% fatter than they were even 10 years ago, do you know that the obesity rate among children has skyrocketed and they are predicting that this generation will suffer from unheard of amounts of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer but the time they reach YOUR AGE!!" Have we really become that busy that we don't care about the contents of the food our children are eating, just that they are eating?? This bothered me so much I came home and did some research to show you the comparison between eating a clean lifestyle french fry and a "SMILES". I compared the serving of the smiles (which by the way is 100g, or about 4 smiles, what kids would only eat 4 SMILES!!??!!) and a whole russet potato cut into french fries, lightly brushed with oil and baked in the oven. Here is what I found out..
Smiles - oven baked ( 100g serving)
Ingredients - Potatoes, Dehydrated Potato, Sunflower Oil, Potato Starch, White Pepper
(sounds good enough right?)
|of which sugars||0.7g||0.8g||0.8g|
|of which saturates||0.9g||1g||1g|
|equivalent as salt||0.3g||0.3g||0.3g|
Calories - 213
Fat - 8.8 g ( 1.0g is saturated)
Clean French Fries - oven baked Russet (213g serving)
Ingredients - potato, oil
Calories - 164
Fat - 1.2 g (0.1g is saturated)
So the smiles serving is half the size, but contains 49 more calories, 7.6 g more fats, and 0.9g more heart clogging "Saturdays" fats!
So, for me the choice is clear, but to so many people it isn't. I have talked to people about this before and heard "but my kid isn't fat, and they eat box food". OK, good point, but does your child have problems sitting still, concentrating, have they been labeled ADD or ADHD, are they lethargic, always getting that "classroom cold / or cough" are you prepared to take care of them when at age 40 they suffer a stroke? Eating bad foods, is like smoking. The effects aren't always visible until it is too late. So chew on this for a bit, and let me know your input.