What society depicts as "healthy snacks" for children

Is it just me or does anyone else see something wrong with this picture? When we lived in Florida I signed up with Publix’s baby club. I got coupons in the mail and a quarterly newsletter with little articles regarding baby topics. I got one a few weeks ago and as I was flipping through it I came across an article about what they call “Healthy Snacks.” I laughed a little to myself knowing this would be pretty interesting to see what they classified as “healthy snacks.” You know the food system is pretty screwed up when they are recommending rolls, bread and goldfish as healthy snacks…especially for babies and toddlers!

One of the things that are wrong with the United States and their food standards is the food pyramid. The food pyramid clearly shows most of our food intake should be coming from whole grains, cereals, breads and pasta. Wait a minute… Did I read that correctly?… Cereals, breads, and pastas? Aren’t those the very things people are trying to cut out of their diets because of the negative impact it is having on their bodies and health? Oi vay…. I could go into a whole post about why the food pyramid is clearly misleading Americans but I’m going to refocus on the main reason I was inspired to write this post.
1. Whole grain muffins or cookies sweetened with fruit pieces
So what is wrong with this? 
Well first, we’re talking whole grain muffins. I wonder what ingredients are actually IN the whole grain muffins? Refined sugar? High fructose corn syrup? Soy lechitin? Maybe eggs that were industrially raised with the most unhealthy living conditions possible. Or maybe there is hydrogenated oils and GM ingredients. These are all very highly possible with more on the 80% of one or two of those ingredients being presents. You can also count on those ingredients being in the cookies sweetened with fruit. Because most cookies that are on the market may have fruit but are also loaded with sugar and tons of things people, let alone babies should be eating.
I do have to also point out that it is a sweet item that is listed first…
2.Graham crackers, whole-grain pretzels, breadsticks, rolls and bread
What is wrong with this? I’ve got an easy answer for that… EVERYTHING is wrong with that statement!!! My goodness, it’s amazing how contradicting that food pyramid is already… don’t you think? Here we go again with tons of highly processed, refined, denatured foods that are filled with nothing that is good for you… at all! When I go grocery shopping I almost NEVER go into the middle isles with the exception for paper towels or spices. I decided to take a stroll down the cookie isle and take a picture of the actual ingredients in graham crackers. Here is what I got-
First off, let’s take a look at what it means when flour is enriched… 
Enriched flour is flour in which most of the natural vitamins and minerals have been extracted. This is done in order to give bread a finer texture, increase shelf life and prevent bugs from eating it (bugs will die if they attempt to live off it). Then because the flour has been completely devoid of its natural vitamins they add synthetic vitamins and minerals that are difficult for our bodies to absorb.
Next, we see the synthetic vitamins- vitamin B1 and B2. Following the vitamins comes the sugar. I can guarantee the sugar is refined. We all know sugar is not good for you in general but when it becomes refined and not in it’s natural state… that’s even worse. 
Oooo… I LOVE when I read this… Soybean oil and/or partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. What the heck?? How is it an and/or??? Should they know what exactly is in that food product? That really makes me question buying food that has the “and/or” about something.
Soybean oil is bad for you. Cottonseed oil is bad for you. Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated oils are bad for you. Most likely, the soy bean and cotton are genetically modified. Here is one product we might as well put the skull and crossbones on it’s packaging. Don’t you think?
Let’s not forget that high fructose corn syrup is bad for you. The salt is probably refined and stripped of all it’s naturally occurring minerals.
Artificial flavoring… That’s always good to give to our babies. 
And last but not least, I had to put the arrow next to the manufacturers name. Note to self- do NOT buy products made from this company.
3 & 4 & 7. Cheese and plain yogurt with added fruit/add fresh fruit to milk & make smoothie
So what’s wrong with this? I do have to say, I was pleased to see this was on the list. Unfortunately it doesn’t state the cheese or milk should be raw (from grass-fed cows) and/or made from cows that were not treated with antibiotics and hormones. Also the yogurt should be from a good source.. always full fat and never made from cows treated with all the bad stuff. I would say no to the fruit sweetened jams and stick to the fresh fruit.
I often feed Andrew some full fat yogurt mixed with a banana or blueberries. The good thing about yogurt is it has a slightly sour taste to it so it helps make the fruit seem not so sweet plus it exposes him to different tastes. I however don’t feed him any type of yogurt. Although the yogurt isn’t raw, it’s from a farm that grass feeds their cows and uses vat pasteurization. Vat pasteurization is where they heat the milk to low temperatures with the result of some of the enzymes still alive. I believe vat pasteurization also makes for a thicker cream. Obviously raw is the best choice but I would choose something that is vat pasteurized before ultra pasteurized. The brand of yogurt I get is Saint Benoit Plain Yogurt and they are actually located in Sonoma County- pretty local to where I live.
5. Papaya, honeydew, cantaloupe or apricots
So what’s wrong with this? Nothing really besides the fact that it’s not specifying if they should be organic or not. I understand not every one can afford buying organic but I believe when it comes to your child, you should be doing every thing in your power to make sure they are starting their lives off right. I’m sorry if I offend anyone with this statement but if you can’t afford to feed your child the right way, you shouldn’t be having one! Wait until you are financially prepared!
6. Cheerios and Goldfish are perfect snacks especially for toddlers on the go
So what’s wrong with this? Pretty much they are saying to feed your child cheerios that only has really one thing to offer- the fact it’s whole grain. But because the whole grains have been highly processed and stripped from all the natural occurring vitamins and minerals the whole grain has to offer there really is no nutritional benefit to it. Let’s not even go into the fact that the whole grain hasn’t been soaked and sprouted the way they should be to enhance digestibility. 
Goldfish… *Shakes head and takes a deep breath.* How can goldfish be a healthy snack!? I just don’t see it. There is absolutely nothing natural, healthy or unprocessed about it. Goldfish pretty much have the same ingredients as the graham crackers. Goldfish are easy, that’s all. 
I’m surprised they didn’t put fruit juices up there with all the other healthy items they listed….
I’m wondering if as you were reading this you noticed something that was NOT on this list? Where is the notation about cooking things in healthy fats because babies NEED healthy fats to develop their brains properly? What about popcorn popped in coconut oil? What about pastured meats? What about vegetables? What about fruits like berries that have antioxidants? Lightly steamed carrots and baked sweet potatoes (mashed with butter of course), avocados and bananas? I mean come on!  What about a nutrient dense pastured soft boiled egg yolk (note- a non pastured egg yolk should never been given to a child)?
The first few years of life that your child has is where they learn and get the essential fundamentals for every thing life has to offer them. If you start your baby with sugar filled, processed foods- that remember were concocted with harmful ingredients to taste really good- and refined food you are inevitably leading them to a life of denatured health. It’s important to start them off with foods they were meant to eat. Foods that are filled with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, foods that are whole and fresh and do not come in packages.
I feed Andrew almost every thing we eat as long as it is considered a whole food with the most natural ingredients possible. I say no to commercially made french fries, bread, packaged foods (including those baby puff things), meats that are not pastured and I’m sure there is more. I’m not saying it is easy all the time because I definitely have to become creative with what the feeding menu has to offer but it is worth it. It is deeply satisfying to know I am nurturing my child the best way I can and setting him up for a life filled with nourishing foods and optimum health. I know it will be a proud day for me when he sticks his nose up to a fast food meal someone offers him. 
I think maybe the next post will be dedicated to the different types of food I choose to feed Andrew.
Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul 

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