I can count on one hand the number of Pop Tarts I've had in my life. Maybe on one finger. We just didn't have them around when I was a kid, so I never really knew if I was missing something. I think I remember trying one once and thinking it wasn't all that great. Anyway, Daphne has recently seen PopTarts commercials, and wants one desperately. And since PopTarts are not part of a nutritious breakfast, I don't feel good about giving her one. That being said, I did look around at the Pop Tart section of the grocery store today, and if it was possible to purchase ONE Pop Tart, I might have considered getting her one. But, the smallest package had eight, and after reading the ingredients, I just couldn't do it. These things are filled with all kinds of bad:
ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, DEXTROSE, VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN, PALM, COTTONSEED AND/OR HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL† WITH TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID FOR FRESHNESS), CORN SYRUP, WHEY, CRACKER MEAL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, COCOA, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF CORNSTARCH, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, SALT, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), MODIFIED CORN STARCH, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, GELATIN, DRIED EGG WHITES, DATEM, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL†, MODIFIED WHEAT STARCH, XANTHAN GUM, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR, SOY LECITHIN, CALCIUM PHOSPHATE, COLOR ADDED, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), FOLIC ACID.
So, now, I am the mean Mommy who won't let my kid eat a PopTart.
Ugh. It's so HARD. I mean, I don't want to be some kind of Food Nazi, but so much stuff out there is just filled with crap. It's depressing. And you cannot count on the TV ads or product packaging to steer you right. For example, I have been eating Special K for breakfast almost every day since the beginning of this year, and feeling pretty good about it. Before, I was eating Eggo Waffles and bagels and other "bad" stuff. So, this whole PopTart situation prompted me to look at the ingredients on the Special K box, and let's just say it ain't all it's cracked up to be. I would have never imagined that Special K had HFCS. It isn't the least bit sweet! But there it is in black and white on the side of the box. Dangit. Time to rethink my morning routine just a little bit. And I just bought a huge Family Size box!
Anyway, I have made a very conscious effort lately to serve myself and my family as much REAL FOOD and as little processed stuff as possible. I truly believe that so many health problems are related to the chemicals we constantly put into our bodies, whether from artificial or processed foods or cleaning products or perfumed and dyed products or whatever. But it's impossible to avoid it all completely. So where do you draw the line? I think maybe at Pop Tarts.
But I feel bad. So, after looking around the greatness that is the Internet, I found this recipe for homemade pop tarts. And sometime soon, maybe this weekend even, me and my kid will be making some. It may not be the most healthy thing we ever make, but at least we'll know what's in it, and be able to pronounce every ingredient. And in the meantime, I'll be searching for a new cereal.