Inspiration from Meghan

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Magically Delicious? How About Magically Diabetic!


As a kid, I was a huge cereal lover. I ate it every morning before school and on most weekends. To make matters worse, while I was munching on my sugar nuggets, I would watch all those cute little cartoon commericals on TV advertising new varieties of these marshmallow-filled boxes of joy. Of course, I proceeded to do what any child high on ridiculous amounts of sugar would do - I ran around the house asking for the newest cereal concoction. My wish was always granted. The only catch was that I had to finish off the old box first. I never did though; the new box got opened up the morning after it was purchased. I was sneaky like that.

Thinking about all those different "kids'" cereals now, I don't know what I was so excited about. They're all pretty much the same: Sugar, wheat/corn/rice, sugar, sugar, food colouring, BHT (we'll get to what this BHT stuff is in a bit!). I don't know about you, but looking at that picture above makes my teeth ache and pancreas cry. Did I really eat all those boxes of cereal as a kid? Do parents still feed their kids this stuff? Do kids still ask for it?

Although it's not very often that I go into a conventional grocery store, I recently found myself in one with my father and was shocked to see how much of the "cereal isle" is devoted to these colourful sugary cereals. The ones marketed towards children are cleverly found on the lower shelves so that they are eye-level with youngsters. How diabolical...

This is the ingredient list of an ever-popular kids' cereal Lucky Charms:

Whole Grain Oats, Marshmallows (sugar, modified corn starch, corn syrup, dextrose, gelatin, calcium carbonate, yellows 5&6, blue 1, red 40, artificial flavour), Sugar, Oat flour, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Colour Added, Natural and Artificial Flavour. BHT added to preserve freshness.

The Ugly Breakdown:

  • Sugar is listed 5 times.
  • There are 4 types of food colourings.
  • "Flavouring" appears 3 times (there is nothing natural about "natural flavour". Real food has flavour on its own).
  • Genetically modified corn ingredients are abundant (modified corn starch, corn syrup listed twice, and corn starch).
  • BHT has been added. Although it does not specify whether it has been added to the actual cereal or to the packaging material, this is not something we want in or near ourselves/our kids. As a food additive, BHT increases a food product's shelf life but it has been linked to numerous health concerns such as cancer, thyroid and kidney disorders, allergic reactions on the skin, and reproductive issues. Health Canada has categorized BHT as a "moderate human health priority".
Meghan is convinced that the gelatin in this cereal comes from horse hoof. I have no idea where she gets this from, but every mention of this post had her typing "Naaaaaay" after it. She also shared with me this little tidbit- as a kid her mom wouldn't buy Lucky Charms. But her grandma would. Meghan would eat it by the bowlful- dry, saving the marshmallows for last. She is now convinced that indirectly, she has eaten about a dozen horse and pig hoofs in the form of gelatin in Lucky Charms marshmallows.

We've all heard the age-old but true nutritional advice that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is espeically true for kids who are still devleoping and will really have trouble maintaining focus and energy during a long school day without stable blood sugar levels. Why feed kids this product? Is there anything good about it? Maybe the whole grain oats, but it really takes only a few minutes to cook up some oatmeal on the stove. From scratch! Nothing fake and mashmallowy about that!

If you still need a cereal fix, Meghan's got you covered tomorrow. A perfect breakfast idea for the warmer weather is coming your way!

Question Of The Day: What was your favourite childhood food? Have you found any ways to remake it?

22 Responses to “Magically Delicious? How About Magically Diabetic!”

  1. Just the title made me laugh :) Ewww.... horse hooves. I actually never liked Lucky Charms... luckily ;) I used to LOVE Cap'n crunch. However, I have not found a way to re-make the sickeningly sweet, mouth-tearing orange squares of death that are the cap'ns treasures. I have no idea how I would, either. Maybe it's a challenge? hah xo
  2. [...] Jen shared some info with us about the hoof content of Lucky Charms. Okay- maybe there is no proof of hoof, but I feel it. I feel the gallop just thinking about what [...]
  3. [...] Be informed, and we’ll help you along the way. Jen already has been with her tales of ice cream, veggie dogs, hot dogs, and kids breakfast cereal. [...]
  4. [...] I’ve also uncovered a few of my favourite (or not-so favourite) food-type items that have crazy un-food like ingredient lists. Speaking of un-food ingredient lists…Check Meghan’s interview with the Chef Boyardee [...]

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