A Better Ketchup for Kids: It's Here!

Suzanne Murray
Toddlers & Preschoolers

ketchup high fructose corn
Flickr photo by fender5
If your toddler is like mine, then you know that some foods are just vehicles for ketchup. Lots and lots of ketchup.

The problem is most ketchups contain high fructose corn syrup.

At home, I'm fine with giving my daughter ketchup and letting her literally lick her plate clean, because we buy an organic brand that doesn't contain any high fructose corn syrup. But when we eat at a restaurant, like we did the other night, and the only option is an HFCS-infused ketchup, I stress out. My 2-year-old has never had a food containing HFCS in her short life and I'd like to keep it that way. So I hide the ketchup. I throw it under the table or sit on it or do some other quick "magic trick" so she doesn't spot it. (I'm a little crazy that way.)

Thankfully, earlier this week, Hunt's ketchup announced that it has removed high fructose corn syrup from all of its ketchup products. Yippee! (According to the manufacturer, Hunt's now contains only five ingredients: Tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, salt, and "other seasonings.") At least now when I go somewhere that serves Hunt's, I can let my daughter go ketchup-crazy.

I'm really hoping Heinz will follow suit. Its ketchup has always been my personal favorite and it's served in restaurants everywhere. And although the company hasn't changed its ketchup recipe in 40 years, this summer, it will be launching a new formula, which contains 15 percent less sodium (it's doing so in response to the FDA's plan to limit salt in processed foods).

That's a step in the right direction. Now if only Heinz would eliminate the HFCS so that all the other restaurant-goers wouldn't stare at me as I throw the bottle of ketchup under our table like it's a hot potato ... or tomato, in this case.

Does your toddler love ketchup? Does it bother you that most brands contain high fructose corn syrup?

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