Monday, August 2, 2010

Mommy's Little Helper

I do not like granola bars.  If they have to use the smallest font possible and take up 1/4 of the package to list the ingredients chances are good I do not want it in my body.  Have you looked at the ingredients?  It's an eye opening experience.  I mean really, how many different ways can they say "sugar" and still claim it's a healthy snack?  That said, sometimes Momma needs a little something to toss in the lunch box or fill that tummy before trudging through the grocery store with my six year old "helper".  So what do I turn to?

Seriously, I LOVE these things!  Love isn't strong enough of a word to properly express my emotions....If you haven't tried them, do.  They are all natural, vegan, gluten free, raw and most importantly delicious.  This little gem pictured above was my afternoon snack today.  It's called Apple Pie.  How many ingredients are there?   Six.  How many of them are unrecognizable as food?  Zero.  They are all food, real, unprocessed food.  They are:
  • Dates
  • Almonds
  • Unsweetened apples
  • Walnuts
  • Raisins
  • Cinnamon
These are all foods that occur in nature, not a lab, and that I consume on a regular basis and I'm happy to feed my children on an equally regular basis.

Let's compare now to a competitor's Apple Strudel flavored bar.  This bar contains over 38 ingredients.....3....8....not including the list that continues with the "might be here in less than 2%" category.  Seriously, 38?!  Dried diced apples are the 4th ingredient on the list after high maltose corn syrup.  I wasn't sure what high maltose corn syrup was so I googled it:
HMCS is also referred to as maltodextrin. It is considered to be less harmful then HFCS because the body is able to metabolize the maltose without straining the liver. However, it is relatively new to human consumption, so effects on the body are unclear. HMCS contains gluten, which should be avoided by those with celiac disease. HMCS is labeled as "other carbohydrates" on products because it is digested easier and causes fewer health concerns then standard carbohydrates. Maltodextrin is derived mainly from cornstarch, but can also come from rice or potato starch.

Glad I did look it up, or I might not have known that my son, following his elimination diet protocol, should not consume the above mentioned "granola bar" because HMCS contains gluten.  See, the Internet can still teach us new things! 

I understand that sometimes we need a quick snack not only for the kids but also for ourselves but the next time you're standing in the snack bar aisle-which is enormous and growing bigger every time I go to the grocery store-take a moment and flip those boxes over.  Is there anything on the ingredient list that you would not have in your pantry?  Then put it back.  If you wouldn't cook with it, if you wouldn't keep it in your house to add a pinch of this or that to your bread, soup or salad dressing, why consume it because it's in a cute cardboard box and claims to meet 35% of your daily fiber needs?  Put it back, buy the apple.  Better yet, try the Lara Bar the next time you need a go to quick fix snack-you will not regret it.


  1. Went to New Seasons and TOTALLY forgot to get these. 10 for 10! You know, I think I'm going to bulk up and keep take with me to Europe for quick snacks! They are DELISH!

  2. Oooh, that would be a great thing to stash in your carry on!


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