29 April 2012

Nutella Has Fat and Calories? No Kidding

I count myself among the many moms out there who think the lawsuit Athena Hohenberg, California mother of a four year old, is beyond frivolous.

I, too, am the mother of a four year old (and 8 year old, 11 year old and 13 year old) and I, too, saw the advertisements for Nutella. The ads call the product a quick and easy way to give kids a breakfast they’ll want to eat. They say the product has quality ingredients. Of course they focus on the healthy ingredients, which actually make up only a small part of the spread, but it’s an advertisement! That’s what they do.

They left out the fact that one serving has 200 calories and 11 grams of fat, but guess what, peanut butter has even more, at 210 calories and 150 grams of fat!  The sugar content in Nutella far exceeds that in peanut butter, and therein lies the rub.  Nutella contains 21 g of sugar, but guess what, some brands of granola, considered a healthy breakfast by most people, exceed that!

It’s all about reading labels.  Hohenberg claims to not have time to read “all” the labels, but a mom really has to be naive to just count on the advertisements as her only source of information when buying food for her family.

I agree that the advertising changes mandated by the settlement will be helpful, but the $3+ million dollars going to consumers who claim their part of the class action settlement could really be better spent, don’t you think?  I can think of several ways right off the top of my head:
  • $3 million to a handful of food banks.
  • $3 million to nutrition information programs in under-served schools
  • $3 million to literacy programs so kids will grow up to read nutrition labels
I have bought a jar or two of Nutella for my kids over the years but I will not be claiming my $4 per jar.

Nutella DOES sometimes  play a part in providing a healthy breakfast for my kids.  The key word here is “part.”  Would I give my 4 year old a spoonfull of Nutella and call it breakfast?  No.  Would I spread in on a piece of whole grain toast and serve it with a glass of milk?  Yes.

Moderation is the key here.  Let’s use our heads.  We parents should not need a lawsuit to tell us what to feed our kids.  I can read labels for myself and I think other moms can, too.

I’m sure Mrs. Hohenberg is a great mom and wants to do what is best for her kids, just like most moms, but suing the company isn’t setting a great example.  It’s putting the blame on someone else.  I say it all the time:  Parenting is hard, do the job.  This includes reading food labels and making good choices for our kids.

I, myself, will continue to buy Nutella and serve it in the rotation of other breakfasts my kids eat.  Four kids, four breakfasts every day…  variety helps them get a balanced diet and the more choices I have to serve, the better.  If serving something chocolately on a piece of whole grain, whole wheat bread they would otherwise push away encourages them to eat it, I’m all for it.  Sometimes they eat omelets, sometimes they eat cereal, sometimes yogurt and sometimes Nutella on bread.  I’m the mom and I can decide what I provide for my kids to eat.

I’m happy when they go off to school with fuel in their furnaces, ready to learn.  That’s the important thing.

We, moms, work hard to do right by our kids.  Meal time is often a struggle.  I prepare the meals and and am happy when they eat them.

As I’ve said before:

No comments:

Post a Comment