Betty Crocker sent me a prize package give away which included Create-A-Bug Fruit Flavor Shapes, Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit By The Foot, a frisbee, pic up sticks and a light up yo-yo. I have to admit I have turned away other offers for "fruit" snacks because they haven't been organic, but I cut Betty Crocker some slack--I owe them one for creating mainstream gluten free baking mixes.
Anyway, my kids were pretty psyched, because they haven't seen that kind of junk food in our house since last Halloween. I have to say, it is nice to have a little junk food every now and then so no one feels like it is actually off limits or forbidden. I try to be under the radar about unhealthy food--I just don't buy it. So, here is my take on these Betty Crocker "Fruit" snacks...
-It is really helpful to have mainstream snacks that are labeled gluten free.
-These snacks contain pears (not apples.) Pears are the least allergic fruit there is, while apples contain salicylates which some people are very sensitive to. Most "fruit" snacks contain apples. If your child reacts to other dried "fruit" snacks, they might do better with these Betty Crocker "fruit" snacks. If they react to these as well, it might be the dye or the corn syrup.
-The Fruit Roll ups are only 50 calories and 7 grams of sugar, which means it's not a ridiculous amount of corn syrup and sugar. Some kids are sensitive to the amount of sugar in a snack and most other brands contain more sugar.
-My kids loved them and I think I could have gotten them to do anything for a Fruit Roll Up!
-They are a mainstream product that friends and family might have in their house or find in the regular grocery store.
-They turned my daughters tongue bright blue, which was a little scary. Ideally, I would like NO dye, but could they scale back on the dye so her tongue wasn't quite so blue? See my post on Lose the Dye for more info.
- They contain cottonseed oil--which is a "byproduct of an industry that has a surplus of seeds and it is one of the most pro-inflammatory oils."
-They aren't organic, so they might contain up to 28 pesticides that are found on pears according to What's On My Food.
-Almost anything could be in "Natural and Artificial Flavors"
I was thrilled that everyone is healthy enough now that they don't get thrown off by a little junk food. In addition, my kids are enjoying the light up yo-you (even though it is plastic.) I would like to request that Betty Crocker consider taking the dye out of their fruit roll ups. Food companies took the dye out of many drinks and they are now clear. They took the dye out of gum. Why not consider taking the dye out of these "fruit" snacks at some point? We just don't need bright blue food. I asked Betty Crocker which of the snacks had the least dye. They told me to check the packaging as formulas change. I am guessing from my kids mouth that the fruit gushers have the least dye and the fruit roll ups have the most dye. Hopefully Betty Crocker will consider taking the dyes out of products marketed to children, as they have in England where "Food manufacturers, including Mars and McDonald's, have agreed to replace artificial dyes with natural alternatives, but only in their UK products." 1
If you want your own "Simple Joys" prize package from Betty Crocker, leave a comment with your email by December 1st (or leave a comment AND send your email to my email separately by clicking on the @gmail.com on the right.) You can get an extra entry by blogging or tweeting this and leaving a link to your post/tweet in your comment.
1. Food Colorings and ADHD in Children