Monday, January 24, 2011

"At LEAST they are eating, Right?"

I began writing this blog on the weekend, and I am pretty sure that I have changed the wording in it about a 100 times.  I keep trying to make sure that it isn't offensive, or judgemental but then I realized this morning as I began to edit it again I shouldn't.  I have always been mindful of the foods we ingest (thanks to a great Mom, who by changing my diet got me off the ADHD radar at school).  I should not apologize for something I am passionate about, I should share the knowledge I have gained. So please understand that I AM NOT judging anyone on what they do or eat, I am simply trying to inform you of some of the things that I have learned this last year.  Since my boys got really sick, I have had to investigate EVERY label even closer!  The slightest bit of preserves and chemical causes all kinds of stomach pain for them, even after all this time.  It has been a HUGE eye opener.  Once you read this, please let me know how feel.  There goes....

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?)

Per 100g
Per 100g
Oven baked
Per 100g
Energy kJ788kJ896kJ905kJ
Energy kcal188kcal213kcal215kcal
  of which sugars0.7g0.8g0.8g
  of which saturates0.9g1g1g
  equivalent as salt0.3g0.3g0.3g

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.

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