Monday, June 25, 2012

All snacks are not created equal, Pirates Booty giveaway

“Can’t you just let it go?” My husband and probably legions of husbands have foolishly asked this of their wives. If your husband hasn’t ever said this to you it’s probably because you let things go or go with the flow, perhaps you’re easy going. Those of us who are asked to “let it go” aren’t any of the above. We can’t let “it” go ever. Asking someone incapable of letting anything go to do so is almost as futile as asking someone to calm down. Once I think I did say “sure” but only because I was too tired to keep going. Relentless rehashing isn’t isolated to my personal life, I can get fired up when it comes to nutrition too. In fact,  let’s go back to the Cheetos conversation.

In case you missed that post, I reacted to a nutritionist’s story about buying her kids Cheetos for road trips. I explained that my kids have snacks but, knowing what I do about ingredients, I feel there are plenty of preferable substitutes at least when I’m the one buying. The nutritionist politely commented that she buys her kids Cheetos “so they know what they like” and added
I have a hard time seeing how the organic or natural version of chips or fruit roll-ups is a much better alternative, since I view them as classes of foods that I treat similarly--we treat fruit snacks as a candy-type treat, whether they're made with artificial or natural dyes. Ditto for potato chips.
While I don’t encourage my kids to mainline organic snacks,  I find it unfathomable that someone in my profession doesn’t see certain ingredients as worrisome and others as safe. Drugs are not something I encourage in my children but if I find out, in 20 years, that my kids had a beer at a keg party I’m going to be a lot less concerned as if they were shooting up…but they’re both drugs. Maybe you see snacks as snacks, so let’s take a look
First at the heroin (sorry, couldn’t let it go)

Cheetos
Ingredients: Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, and Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Corn, Canola, Soybean, and/or Sunflower Oil), Cheese Seasoning (Whey, and less than 2% of the Following: Cheddar Cheese [Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzyme], Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Canola Oil, Maltodextrin [Made from Corn], Sour Cream [Cultured Cream, Skim Milk], Salt, Whey Protein Concentrate, Monosodium Glutamate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Artificial Color [Including Yellow 6]), and Salt. 

Let’s start with “enriched”, it makes me chuckle that a company that’s giving you trans fats, MSG and food dyes serves you up a multivitamin with it. This feels like food adultery. If someone cheats on you but then tells you they love you, they are still a creep. Let’s not distract with “enriching”. Next on the list I’m intrigued by “cheese seasoning”. I looked in my spice cabinet and didn’t see anything by that name. Oh but there’s cheese in there- phew just less than 2%, I’m sure the other 98% is perfectly healthy. Why assume an adulterer will cheat again, so cynical. Then we move on to trans fats, one of the few ingredients the government has actually admitted is harmful. So we may die but rest assured your Cheetos will last forever. Maltodextrin is a cheap, processed filler but a saint compared to its company here. And for the finale Yellow 6, one of the food dyes CSPI wants to see banned. As a parent, aside from my long-term concerns about food dyes and health, I don’t need to feed them something that can adversely affect their behavior.

Now, one of the brands I suggested Pirate Booty
Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar
Ingredients: Corn meal, rice, contains one or more of the following: sunflower, expeller pressed canola or corn oil, aged cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes), whey and buttermilk. 
Corn, rice, oil, cheese and buttermilk.
I realize this is a snack and not a vegetable but this is very different from the list above. Pirates Booty is gluten free, trans fat free, baked and as a parent a great option (for the kids and adults alike). Snacks, drugs and men are not created equal. There’s a funny thing about not letting something go, after my song and dance and pose on the soapbox I feel so calm.

Pirates Booty is giving a case (24 little bags) of their Aged White Cheddar Booty to 3 of our readers. To be eligible:
Leave a comment explaining how you pick a snack food and what’s important to you, mention the giveaway if you’d like to be eligible.
Tweet “All snacks are not created equal, Foodtrainers' giveaway”
Winners announced Friday.
Do you see all snacks in the same “class”? Or if not how do you make a selection? Are you able to let things go?

48 comments:

  1. fullbellysistersJune 25, 2012 at 3:48 AM

    Boy oh boy, do I ever agree with you! When i pick a packaged snack, i try to buy one with as few ingredients as possible and I try to stick to being doctor-ly: "First, do no harm." So, no partially hydrogenated crap or artificial dyes. It's a good start, anyway :-)

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  2. I'm with you "sister". Ingredients matter, simple as that whether it's a snack, a yogurt or anything else. 

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  3. Gina (Candid RD)June 25, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    So, once again, I partially agree with the other dietitian (don't kill me Lauren!).  I guess I have a hard time being so picky about what's in my food, because I know that I very RARELY buy packaged foods anyway.  If you look in our house, 99% of the foods are fresh and homemade (heck, I even made my own Reece's PB cups last night!) and therefore when I do buy the occasional packaged treat, I don't worry as much about what's in it, as much as how it tastes.  I do agree that yellow dye is NO BUENO, but if I only buy it once in a blue moon, I doubt it will kill me.  I wouldn't ever buy Cheetos anyway, gross, I'd do Doritos :)  Just as bad, I'm sure, but I never do those. I like the Foods Should Taste Good foods, and the Smart Foods snacks.  Oh, and Pirate's Booty, of course!

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  4. Gina, disagreeing is fine, as long as I can disagree back. Why use death as a criteria "it will not kill me if I have it once in a while". Rather, why support companies that add these things to foods that many people eat way more than once in a while? Why does the yellow 6 need to be there? And I'm not a frequent chip eater but when I do I want it to be wholesome. If we want to see changes from food companies "it will not kill you" is not a good start. It may kill others.

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  5. I was thinking about you last night as my mom & sister & I were sitting at the table talking about kids & eating. My sister was saying that even though she tries to

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  6. I bought shredded mini wheats recently because I crave milk and that leads me to milk-related items. I don't normally eat cereal and I would use that as a snack, too. While I agree with you, I can't say I would NEVER buy a bag of Fritos. I just remind myself how fattening it is and 99% of the time I  walk out sans Fritos.  

    I can drop things, but my opinions of people change if they don't agree with me on things that are *super* important to me. Just being honest. I think everyone is like that, but not everyone will admit it. 

    Have you ever known anyone who craved milk? I have since I was 19 and have had two doctors say they've never heard that before. I'm curious. It's the only food I would say I truly crave (as opposed to just having munchies and wanting a particular treat). 

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  7. Oops, sorry I was having computer isses...I will try again
    Last night I was having a conversation with my mom and sister about kids and eating.  We started talking about snacks and school lunches and the things that other kids eat. I said that I do not plan to cave on sending a lot of snacks in my kid's lunches, that I make anything sweet that I put in there and it isn't very often.  RIght now they take excellent healthy lunches to school.  She said that it is fine for now but I might find that other kids starting make comments about what my kid's have in their lunch and how they do not have the same things and that they are "different". She has always made everything in the kid's lunches but the kids and their friends are starting to make comments. I said I just don't care that I did not plan to cave on that.  This of course led to the discussion of what is in our house and I said we just try to not have the junky snacks or sweets in the house, that if it isn't there then they can't ask for it.  She made a comment about how when other kid's come over that they will want things like juice and soda and snacks.  I insisted, again, that I will just not have it.  And her reply to this idea is that other kids will want what they are used to, and since she wants the kid's friends at her house (so they know what they are up to) that she will have the snacks that they are used to.
      I just don't agree with this.  I don't see how I would be setting a good example by giving these things to my kid's "just because every other kid eats it".  That is not our purpose as food educators.  I was wondering during that conversation how other food educators deal with this? I felt like I was up against a brick wall a little bit trying to explain about the amount of ingredients and food dyes in all of the foods out there.  I am not working in the field right now, I am home with my kids, so it definitely made me wonder if I am totally blind to what I would be facing out there since this is my family giving me  a hard time and they know my stance.  I get the feeling that they think my insistence on organic and wholesome foods is still just because I am a RD and not because I truly believe that we need to think about where our food is coming from and what is in it.
      How do you deal with "what other people think"?  I mostly just do not care, but all of the people that our kids do spend time with tend to follow our same ideas...for now.  Our kid's are still young (4 & 6)and they go to a small Montessori school so they do not have a lot of outside influences.  I'd like to keep them as sheltered as I can for a while but I know that cannot always be.
    ps - and we love Pirates Booty!

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  8. Karin, very good questions and points. I have to say I've had a very different experience than your sister. Granted, we're in NYC and I am sure it's not this way everywhere but it's more unusual for us to go to a house and see kids having soda than it is for them to have water. I am not the only one waving the healthy flag, so I don't feel like a healthy pariah. I don't serve broccoli as a snack when kids come over. I'll pop popcorn, serve a bowl of berries, melon or grapes and kids don't complain. I made watermelon skewers for a baseball game and they were gobbled up before the pretzels. I think getting junk so kids want to come over makes me sad. Keep making your kids delicious lunches, spread the word, others want their kids to eat well too. 

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  9. for the most part cravings are unrelated to nutritional need. I am curious though. Love the honesty Caron, I can count on you to "admit" things. 

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  10. I have had the same experience as you, we are about an hour outside of NYC and my sister lives in a very small town in Eastern Canada. I definitely see a difference in habits here, it makes me sad too. Our closest friends feel the same way we do about healthy eating (and I will pat myself on the back here...they have learned a lot from us). I am going to hang on to my beliefs on healthy eating and continue to believe my kids will appreciate it! We are moving to Europe in a couple of weeks so I am sure I will encounter a whole new set of ideas!

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  11. I absolutely see your point and very carefully choose snack foods. We never have soda and "regular chips" in the house, and we never buy them when out.

    Having said that, we were at a baby shower yesterday and there was soda and Lays Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. Hubby had a soda and let the kid have a little. The kid actually wasn't very interested in it and drank water instead (he said the soda was "too spicy.") Hubby also had about 8 potato chips. He actually asked me if he could have some... :) I didn't feel like being the food police and said go ahead (mainly because the kid was playing and didn't see it and therefore didn't ask for any, too.) I honestly think hubby was somewhat "cured" after tasting a few chips (they were "too salty and artificial tasting" - his words!).

    I'd love to win some Pirates Booty!

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  12. I definitely don't see all snacks the same way. I think anyone who puts them all in the same class will also be the person in the "all foods are ok, in moderation" camp. I choose every day snacks made with produce+protein. When it comes to "snack foods" I usually go by ingredient list and stick to what I recognize.

    I try to let things go, but it always bubbles up at the surface a little later. Another one that doesn't work is "relax". If he says it, you can be sure that won't happen, ha!

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  13. I have a hard time with seeing a Cheeto as a food. Yep "relax" with stoke my emotional fire anytime. 

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  14. I think it's different when you are in a social situation and the silver lining is that foods taste fake when you haven't had them in a while. 

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  15. "Why use death as a criteria "it will not kill me if I have it once in a
    while". Rather, why support companies that add these things to foods
    that many people eat way more than once in a while?"

    This is the issue for me.. supporting companies that do it right. Sending a message to the others that we want the crap removed from their foods. Every time you buy that crap, you are giving them an ok to continue.  Many of the food corporations are working to remove the junk because they have seen a trend against them.. but it is a slow process and will not happen if people support their foods regardless..

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  16. When I was little I ate mustard by the spoonfuls. The doctors told my mom not to worry about it. I got past it and moved on to milk. ;)

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  17. I've heard the term fake foods to describe stuff like Cheetos that are overly processed and have factory made items as ingredients.  I tend to use that as my guide when picking foods.  If it has more then one ingredient, determining if any of them were made in a science lab and if so then it is a 'fake food" or a "food like substance" and I try to stay away from it.

    I would like to win a case of Cheddar Booty..

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  18. 100% Bzybee, I will not vote for junk even once in a while, especially not processed junk. I'll admit, getting my kids a cookie from a bakery feels different to me because though not healthy, it's the real deal. If we don't blow whistles MSG, dyes and trans fats will continue to be passed of as "normal" as a commenter mentioned below. How is that normal?

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  19.  Loved this article but even more so loved Karin's comments as I too do not care what people think. We live in the outskirts of a main Midwest city where certain foods are not "typical" especially for kids. I have two daughters, a 4-year old and a 14-year old. Everyday both take lunches to school. And yes other kids make comments, but as they always grew up eating all types of foods at home since they were tiny, they think others kids are actually missing out. In terms of snacks, even though i DO like Pirates bootys and others alike, I must say our kitchen counters are always filled with bowls of fruit, therefore that is the very first "snack" my kids go for when they arrive home or even at school. Their lunch boxes consists of: 2/3 fruits and veggies and 1/3 dinner from the night before. Prior to going to school they have eggs, sausages or bacon and home made fruit smoothies. Whenever they go to other people's homes I am not going to worry what they will eat there. I recall my oldest used to first go for the junk food but now always asks if they have fruit instead. So if they eat the occasional cheeto, or other alike elsewhere I will certainly not loose sleep over it as 90% of their time they are eating healthy choices. Also we never have sodas at home. The choices are simple. water, water water and milk!

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  20. This is a another very thought-provoking post. I went and checked out that other dietitian's post and these are my thoughts:

    I GET what she's saying....but I don't necessarily AGREE with what she's saying. When it comes to snacks...I choose em with the LEAST ingredients possible and ingredients for which we can read and understand. No CHEMICALS and my hubby is on board with me. "Snacks" that I have in my cupboard since our grocery trip yesterday? TJ's Olive oil potato chips; potatoes, olive oil, salt (I would have bought organic had it been an option), guacamole:avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, salt, garlic (not a fan...will stick with making my own), and RAW Revolution organic live food bar; cashews, sunflower seeds, agave nectar, dates, cocoa, almonds, rasp. powder, sprouted flax seeds (bc it was something new and I might blog about them), oh and 1 bag of wavy Lays potato chips leftover from the superbowl (my brother bougth them...don't ask WHY we haven't thrown them out...doing so NOW!!). Other than that...my snacks usually consist of carrots/hummus, raw almonds + organic raisins, fruit + grass-fed cheese, etc. I pride myself in choosing REAL, WHOLE foods as much as humanly possible. I want my kids to grow up learning the same. 

     Will my child have Cheetos someday? Probably...but not on my watch! It's the same with my husband. I know he'll sneak a pop from his work fridge every now and again (and I can't stop him) but he's been educated enough to know that his old habit of 2-4 cans a day was toxic (when I met him in college) and he gets healthier every day. I want my kids to LEARN what is healthy and whole is best and understand that the choices we make every day directly impact our health. Their friends MIGHT brag about all the fast food they eat, but my hope is that I can raise my child on REAL foods without them feeling like they missed out bc I didn't take them to MCd's every other day growing up. So if that means buying some "healthier" snacks (that are really only healthier bc of the ingredients they contain or don't contain), I'd much rather do that than allow them cheetos or fast food on roadtrips Bleck. 

    I know I'm rambling but this is SUCH a great topic! 

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  21. Exactly! 100% agree!! Oh and lauren, I love a good, wholesome bakery cookie (not healthy but not fake either)! I will even admit to eating an occasional fresh glazed donut from a local bakery down the road....they are AMAZING and from talking to the baker? At least they use REAL ingredients and no trans fats!!!!

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  22. Great points Karen! I hope you keep setting the healthy example! I'm about to have my first in a few weeks and this scares me! Although I don't want to come off as the "food police" I WILL be setting a healthy example for those around me. I've made my in-laws healthier just from keeping a blog and setting an example...I hope to do the same when my child starts school!!

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  23. I have to agree with Lauren on this one again Gina! Still love you though ;)

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  24. Funny that my girls are eating Pirates Booty as I came across this blog. I choose whole food snacks that my children won't have to detox from later. We'd love to win the Pirates Booty giveaway. It is our favorite snack during family movie night paired with organic dark chocolate bar.

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  25. All snacks are not created equal! If i dont know what the ingredient is i wont eat it. Period. This is an awesome giveaway since pirates booty is one of my nephews favorite "treat" snacks! I realized processed foods like cheetos may be nutritionally similar, but i have yet to read any researh saying more processed foods are a good thing! Sounds like that ntritionist needs to catch up on her research reading....

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  26. Snack foods are not all created equally!!! The topic of real food is something that i have been focusing on recently. The more I read the more concerrned I get. The area that we live in right now it can be difficult to find organic foods. I would love for my family to try the Pirate's Booty snacks!! Thank you for this giveaway!!! We are focusing so much more on fruits and veegetables for snacks. The Farmer's Market has been the best place for us this summer to get good wholesome food!

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  27. Blair Stone SchneiderJune 25, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    here here! i agree entirely. not to say that my little ones have never had cheetos (they actually had them for the first... and i hope last time recently). but i think there is a lot to be said for better, quality ingredients in snacks, regardless of whether they are processed or not.

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  28. When I realized that my children snack more than they "eat" I realized I had to pay as much attention to their snacks as I do to their "food". Amazing what kind of junk shows up in junk food. These days I look for snacks without sugar and dye (neither of which helps their attention much!) and strive for snacks with some actual good stuff in there! Pirates booty is a fan favorite. (especially the sponge bob bags!!!). Hope we win the giveaway! So glad a little productive venting helped! It sometimes works with husbands too ;)

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  29. Thanks for these tips sharing with us. Your post is really helpful for me.

    Palm kernel expeller
     

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  30. great point about the fact that kids snack and do so often so quality extra important. Thanks for the beahvioral advice too Dr K.

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  31. Thanks Blair, I still find it hard to believe someone would think otherwise, I actually don't think she did but wanted to refute my post, ha.

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  32. Fruits and vegetables first and I give you even more credit Delana living in an area where organic hard to come by. Where does your family live?

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  33. 100%, no studies to show processed foods are beneficial. I am sure the chip companies would be plastering it on every bag and ad if it existed (doesn't)

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  34. Laughing at kids needing detox from the snacks their parents serve them.

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  35. thanks Erin, maybe a post how you hope your child will eat (if not too weird). Real and whole foods, who would I think at least our peers in nutrition would agree? Once in a while crap and feeling that's fine upsets me.

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  36. ooh I could've sword I replied to you Connie. I would use fake food over food-like because I feel fake tells it like it is. Well done.

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  37. you have a healthy home Sofia, well done. I would choose fruit and vegetables first but pointing out good snacks exist and a good compromise. I also like to "vote" for companies like Pirates brands trying to "keep it real". I'm impressed with what your'e doing. Thanks for commenting.

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  38. Since my kid eats things like cheetos or doritos really rarely, I won't stress about it too much.  I don't love it but don't kill myself over it either.  I also try not to make a big deal about it to him so that he won't see it as a forbidden treat or something.  But you're right that we can make better choices than that, and my son LOVES pirate booty (likes the veggie kind best actually, which I think is weird but whatever).  I don't think he has a preference for cheetos and the like over more natural snack foods like Food Should Taste Good or Pirate Booty, so it's an easy choice for me - anything with a short and recognizeable ingredient list!

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  39. Another excellent post!  For the last 

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  40. I'd love to win the giveaway-Pirates Booty is delish!! I try to pick snacks with some protein to fill me up. Or else I end up snacking all afternoon....

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  41. NO, I do not think all snack are created equal, and I think we have to take a stand against the artificial colors, preservatives, chemicals, etc in so much of our food, by not buying it, otherwise, manufacturers will continue to make the same junk.  Yes, I know my kids have had Cheetos before, but we don't buy them at our house. My husband {who honestly doesn't read labels} brought home a bag of ranch flavored sunflower seeds the other day.  I was getting ready to put some in my kids lunches, as they love sunflower seeds, when I happened to glance at the label.  The very LONG label that included at least a couple of food dyes at the end.  Not really sure why all those ingredients needed to be in there, especially the dye, so I tossed them. OF course I forgot to mention this to y husband and her bought home another bad the next day.  Sigh....As far as letting things go, I have a hard time at first, but usually get over stuff after awhile.  Except for those sunflower seeds!!!

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  42. It's so sad when someone things something is good and ends up being a bust. Here your husband was doing something nice...I do feel I've told family members about certain ingredients and they selectively remember. I guess we can't all be as vigilant. 

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  43. another good reminder, not just about the ingredients to avoid but looking for protein or fiber to keep you satiated.

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  44. Such a good population Marie, to improve college options. Kids are away from home and though some go to the junk others learn to cook and want to turn over a new leaf. Loved the Bryn Mawr info you sent. Keep it up, great job.

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  45. Thanks for commenting Jen. While I would never endorse "killing yourself" over a snack, I think choices add up. I also think though we don't have to use the word forbidden, it's not terrible to see some foods as unhealthy. It's all about approach. If your son is enjoying more natural snacks, you can slowly explain nutrition and ingredients so that he can choose on his own when the time comes.

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  46. I LOVE white cheddar Pirate's Booty!! It's my "cheat snack" while not really cheating much. I had my doubts about it's overall healthiness but if I'm going to have a snack it might as well be healthier than a bag of dehydrated genetically modified cheese ingredient, you know.

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