Healthy Junk Food: Are You Seriously Buying This?

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chef boyardeeRemember Chef Boyardee -- that ravioli in a can? I grew up on home-cooked meals and my mother didn't consider Chef Boyardee nutritious enough to buy. So imagine my surprise when I learned that not only is the Chef back, it's also trying to brand itself as "secretly nutritious." Oh yeah, apparently it's a great way to sneak in the whole grains and veggies.

Okay, first of all, I don't have to "sneak" vegetables into my family's meals. We just eat them regular like plenty of other people on this planet. Secondly, those vegetables still come in a highly processed package. But go for it, Chef Boyardee. You reinvent yourself in our increasingly slow-food world. You're certainly not alone.

Wait till you see what Pop Tarts are up to in Times Square ...

Pop Tarts World is a new pop-up cafe where you can watch a light show, customize your own Pop Tarts, or eat Pop Tarts Sushi, three kinds of tarts chopped up and wrapped in a fruit roll-up. Buy the t-shirt before you leave! This sounds like a great place for a birthday party for parents who think Chuck E. Cheese is too quiet and wholesome.

Speaking of wholesome, remember when Lunchables came along and we all knew they were pretty much repackaged fake cheese with crackers? Now they've come out with new "wholesome" packs with whole-grain (sorta) rolls, turkey, 2 percent cheddar, applesauce, water, and Kool-Aid singles. But don't worry, they've kept all the freaky chemicals just for nostalgia. And did somebody say Kool-Aid?

Kool-Aid is selling itself as the healthier alternative to soda because it contains 1/3 as much sugar per 8 ounce serving. Wow, that's a pretty low bar to set, don't you think? I mean, why not make your slogan "Kool-Aid, better for you than crack"?

All of this reinvention of junk food from my childhood almost makes me long for the olden days when you could just admit that certain food was crap with a shrug. You know what kind of nostalgia food reinvention I like? The home-made kind, like the fresh "oreos" and "twinkies" my local pastry shop makes: all the fun of the original without the chemicals or health claims. More of this, please!

Image via Con Agra Foods

dinner, desserts, grocery shopping, healthy choices, snacks, trends

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KTMOM KTMOM

Nasty, nasty, nasty.

Kayla DeLeon

if you were to look at the lunchables it is SUAGR_FREE =) i buy them for my girls once in a while for a treat for lunch and sorry but some ppl need to "sneak" food into their child food.....my youngest it the pickiest eater ever and it is so hard to her to eat healthy
so i am sorry but this post is crap.....you might want to do some research first please

nonmember avatar Jen

"I don't have to "sneak" vegetables into my family's meals. We just eat them regular like plenty of other people on this planet"... Wow you should be nominated "Mom of The Year" you self-righteous creep. Not all kids are great eaters (2 of my 3 are and the littlest one gags on any veggie)and some moms need to be creative.

Sunny... SunnyBaby

I agree with this post. There are plenty of HEALTHY ways to sneak fruits and veggies into those little picky eaters. Giving a picky eater crap isn't going to do anything but make it worse.

RanaA... RanaAurora

From what I've seen lately of people though, for those who refuse to better themselves, giving them no choice is better than nothing.

nonmember avatar JD

Good for you for being so much better than the rest of us. You don't like any of this stuff, don't eat it.

ImNew... ImNewHere

Kool aid has always presented itself as a healthy alternative to soda because 1/3 less sugar. This isn't a new trend.

RanaA... RanaAurora

I don't quite understand why people are getting offended that the author is pointing out that these foods that are claiming to be healthy are being deceptive?


Check out the ingredients of a Lunchable:


 

RanaA... RanaAurora

Ingredients: INGREDIENTS: WATER - SPRING WATER. APPLESAUCE - APPLES, WATER, CONCENTRATED APPLE JUICE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C). SUB BUN - ENRICHED BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR ([WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE VITAMIN B1, RIBOFLAVIN VITAMIN B2, FOLIC ACID], MALTED BARLEY FLOUR), WATER, WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF THE FOLLOWING: SOYBEAN OIL, YEAST, DOUGH CONDITIONERS (MONO & DIGLYCERIDES, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, ENZYME MODIFIED SOY LECITHIN, DATEM), SALT, GUAR GUM, MODIFIED CELLULOSE, CALCIUM PROPIONATE PRESERVATIVE), XANTHAN GUM, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, ENZYMES. CONTAINS: WHEAT, SOY. OVEN ROASTED TURKEY BREAST - CURED - SMOKE FLAVOR ADDED - BROWNED WITH CARAMEL COLOR - TURKEY BREAST, WATER, POTASSIUM LACTATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SALT, DEXTROSE, CARRAGEENAN, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SODIUM DIACETATE, SODIUM ASCORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SMOKE FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR. 

RanaA... RanaAurora

REDUCED FAT CHEDDAR PASTEURIZED PREPARED CHEESE PRODUCT - PASTEURIZED PART-SKIM MILK, WATER, MILKFAT, SODIUM CITRATE, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF MILK PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, LACTIC ACID, SORBIC ACID AS A PRESERVATIVE, SALT, OLEORESIN PAPRIKA (COLOR), ANNATTO (COLOR), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, ENZYMES, CHEESE CULTURE, WITH STARCH ADDED FOR SLICE SEPARATION. CONTAINS: MILK. NILLA WAFERS - UNBLEACHED ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, WHEY (FROM MILK), EGGS, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA AND/OR CALCIUM PHOSPHATE), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (EMULSIFIER). CONTAINS: WHEAT, MILK, EGG. NONFAT MAYONNAISE DRESSING - WATER, VINEGAR, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, SUGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOYBEAN OIL*, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF SALT, NATURAL FLAVOR, CELLULOSE GEL, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, XANTHAN GUM, EGG YOLKS*, MUSTARD FLOUR, LACTIC ACID, PHOSPHORIC ACID, CELLULOSE GUM, VITAMIN E ACETATE, LEMON JUICE CONCENTRATE, DRIED GARLIC, DRIED ONIONS, SPICE, YELLOW 6, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR), BLUE 1, WITH POTASSIUM SORBATE AND CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA AS PRESERVATIVES. *TRIVIAL SOURCE OF FAT AND CHOLESTEROL. CONTAINS: EGG

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