Dear Woman at My Resort,
I really appreciate you apologizing so profusely when, out of the blue, your 20-month-old went postal on my 2-year-old and smacked her as we passed by. I really do. I wasn’t that fazed by it, actually. Kids are kids. They do nutty things. And I didn’t think a second thought about the fact that the kid was bouncing off the walls and screaming at the top of his lungs so early in the morning. (Wow, he can really shriek, can’t he!) Or that he wasn’t listening to a word you said when you were asking him ever so nicely to apologize. Until, that is, I saw what you were feeding him. A huge cup of Froot Loops, a cup of some otherworld-colored red juice, and a bag of cookies. Hmmm.
Hey, lady, don’t take this the wrong way but how can you expect your kid NOT to be hyped up and wacky when you are feeding him crap for breakfast? Yes, I said it. Crap. A quick read of Fooducate’s excellent blog post — Froot Loops is NOT a “Smart Choice” — about the topic explains why. See, that large cup of cereal you’re giving your kid? Well, it’s probably bigger than the actual serving size that has — get this — 12.5 grams of sugar and 150 calories. In fact, the first ingredient, according to the good folks at Kellogg’s, is SUGAR! Here’s the ingredients list taken from the Google cache of the Kellogg’s website. (I couldn’t get the actual Kellogg’s ingredients page to load live.)
SUGAR; WHOLE GRAIN CORN FLOUR; WHEAT FLOUR; WHOLE GRAIN OAT FLOUR; OAT FIBER; SOLUBLE CORN FIBER; PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (ONE OR MORE OF: COCONUT, SOYBEAN AND/OR COTTONSEED OILS)†; SALT; SODIUM ASCORBATE AND ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C); NIACINAMIDE; REDUCED IRON; NATURAL ORANGE, LEMON, CHERRY, RASPBERRY, BLUEBERRY, LIME AND OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS; RED #40; BLUE #2; TURMERIC COLOR; YELLOW #6; ZINC OXIDE; ANNATTO COLOR; BLUE #1; PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6); RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2); THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1); VITAMIN A PALMITATE; BHT (PRESERVATIVE); FOLIC ACID; VITAMIN D; VITAMIN B12. † LESS THAN 0.5g TRANS FAT PER SERVING.
I love Fooducate’s take on this, so I will just provide it below.
“In fact, Froot Loops is 41% sugar by weight. And Whoa(!) partially hydrogenated vegetable oil too. Doesn’t sound like a smart choice to us. A 1 oz serving (which by the way is too small for regular people) contains 12 grams of sugar – that’s 3 teaspoons. 48 of the 110 calories per serving are from sugar.”
I will give Kellogg’s props for going for the real sugar over the high fructose junk, but still…that’s a lot of sugar! What, you don’t think sugar riles kids up? Okay, well you can’t dispute the fact that the artificial colors do. About two years ago The Center for Science in the Public Interest formally petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban eight artificial colors that had been conclusively linked to hyperactivity in children: Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Orange 8, Red 3, and Yellow 6.
The FDA in March will finally get around to determining whether or not the ban should happen. Meanwhile, in Europe, there’s already a warning label on foods that contain these chemicals: “Consumption may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” But I digress as always…
By my count, there are four of the six offending colors in Froot Loops. Wow. So maybe, just maybe that’s the reason your kid is acting a little wacky? Kid eats food dyes and LOTS of sugar. Kid goes bonkers and starts smacking anything that walks by it. Sort of like a rabid dog. But instead of rabid we’ll call it hopped up on sugar and food dyes kid. And we haven’t even touched the colored water masquerading as juice or the bag of cookies!
Okay, so getting back to the point of this letter. Again, I am so fine with the fact that your kid smacked my kid in an unprovoked manner. Kids that young are just learning. I can even overlook the frenetic behavior. Big resort. Micky and Minnie hanging out close by. However, I am not fine with the fact that you’re giving him food that’s possibly making him nuts. Maybe you could try a more healthy alternative next time? If not for your kid’s health but the health of the innocent bystanders?
Getting off my soap box now, and thanks in advance! Love, –KB