The Furor Over Fruit Snacks

My kids love the basic food groups — goldfish, juice, candy & fruit snacks. They comprise the Mount Rushmore of food in our house.

But one of those “staples” is under consideration to be wiped off the food map. My wife and I recently read THIS ARTICLE about a lawsuit filed against Welch’s, the maker of Fruit Snacks, for false advertising. For parents like us, who grab those ubiquitous little blue bags with brightly colored fruits adorning the front for a quick and somewhat healthy snack for our kids, it concerned us.

In the article, it says that the plaintiffs allege that the fruit snacks “are no more healthful than candy.” The lawsuit says that the snacks contain “minimal amounts” of the “vibrantly depicted” fruits on the packaging.

The two women suing say the snacks contain no fiber and tons of sugar. They also claim the vitamins touted on the packaging are added to the snacks later, not “derived from the fruit.”

Oh well. Another food option potentially off the table.

When my kids asked me for fruit snacks the other day, I debated telling them what I learned in that article.

“Well, kids,” I thought of saying. “Those delicious fruit snacks that you’ve been eating each day for two years straight are possibly filled with junk that will hurt your bodies. In fact, according to this lawsuit I read about, Mommy and I would be better off just pouring M&M’s or jelly beans directly into your mouths.”

“Ok, that sounds good,” they would tell me.

Instead, I re-routed them to another snack while wondering what I would do with the dozens of fruit snack bags shoved into our pantry. Halloween treats for the neighborhood kids, maybe?

I guess that this shouldn’t come as a surprise. From the debate over genetically modified foods to the debate over buying organic to the controversy over dyes and other things that creep into our food stream, it’s amazing that there’s anything healthy left to eat at all. It’s a full time job trying to navigate and manage what we eat and what we allow our kids to eat, too. I fear that our ignorance coupled with our desire to eat what we find tasty will shave years off all of our lives and create health problems during our precious “golden” years, if not sooner.

The bottom line for me is this — fruit snacks alone are not going to harm our kids. It’s the frequency with which they eat them. According to those moms who filed the lawsuit, we’d probably be better off turning the fruit snacks into a “sometimes” food, rather than an “always” food that we allowed them to be.

How about you? Any foods that you recently had to remove from your children’s diets?

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The Beginning
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Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I’m one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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