"Healthy" Kids' Foods That Aren't (Page 3)

Veggie Puffs

2. Veggie Puffs

Pirate’s Booty Veggie, along with other veggie puffs, is a popular kids’ snack that masquerades as a bag of vegetables, but is far from it. Take a look at the ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity—the first ingredient is cornmeal (a refined grain); the veggies are near the end and all of them are powdered (kale powder, carrot powder, cabbage powder, parsley powder). Then there’s the nutrition facts panel: there is only 1 gram of fiber per serving and less than 2 percent of the daily value for vitamins A and C, yet the vegetables listed are excellent sources of fiber and both those vitamins.

The bottom line is the kale, carrot, cabbage and parsley powders are nothing more than spices adding some flavor and color. Since Pirate’s Booty Veggie is trans-fat-free and relatively low in sodium, it’s a marginally better choice than cheese puffs, but should still be used as an occasional treat and definitely NOT considered a serving of vegetables.

Next: 3. Macaroni & Cheese »

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner