Girl Scout Cookies: Friend or Foe?

February 17, 2014   50 Comments

Snack Girl has put up a black and white of these cookies because I know these are a trigger for some of you.

Girl Scout Cookies Points Values

I get complaints about my photographs inspiring people to eat too much. I know how it is because I spend a lot of time surfing the internet for great recipe ideas. Food glorious food!

I do save the black and white for food that tends to be on the indulgent or junk food end of the spectrum. Recently, my daughter started selling Girl Scout cookies and I have about 50 boxes IN MY HOUSE.

Anyone want some cookies?

How do I feel about my daughter selling cookies when I spend part of my time criticizing processed food? Not so good. In my opinion, Girl Scouts should find another fundraiser that isn’t so loaded for so many in the USA. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

We need organizations, such as the Girl Scouts of America, to promote healthy eating and physical activity. I think it is the wrong time for this particular product.

I am now coming off my high horse because (as you may have noticed) my horse is not so high that I forbade my daughter from selling cookies. In fact, she has sold about 80 boxes to date.

A potential buyer asked me which cookies would be the healthiest choice (she knows that I am Snack Girl) and I had no idea. I decided to review the most popular cookies to see which ones were the best.

Keep in mind that all of them are treats and (tip!) should be kept in the freezer if you are apt to open a tube and keep on eating. These are the flavors of cookies that my daughter is currently selling. You may have different types in your part of the country.

The nutrition facts are for ONE cookie. This makes it easy to compare them though they are different sizes.

From Best to Worst:

Savannah Smiles

28 calories, 1 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 4 g carbohydrates, 2.0 g sugar, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 25 mg sodium, 1 Points+


30 calories, 1.2 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 5.0 g carbohydrates, 1.0 g sugar, 0.2 g protein, 0 g fiber, 27 mg sodium, 1 Points+

Thin Mints

40 calories, 2.0 g fat, 1.3 g saturated fat, 5.0 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 0.5 g protein, 0 g fiber, 27 mg sodium, 1 Points+

Do-si-dos/peanut butter sandwich cookies

53 calories, 2.2 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 7.0 g carbohydrates, 4.0 g sugar, 1 g protein, 0.3 g fiber, 30 mg sodium, 1 Points+

Peanut Butter Patties or Tagalongs

70 calories, 4.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 6.5 g carbohydrates, 4.0 g sugar, 0.5 g protein, 0 g fiber, 50 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Somoas or Caramel deLites

75 calories, 4.0 g fat, 3.0 g saturated fat, 9.0 g carbohydrates, 5.5 g sugar, 0 g protein, 0 g fiber, 30 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Savannah Smiles win! And the best part for me is that they are my favorite! They are lemon cookies dusted with powdered sugar. I like them with coffee.

How do you feel about Girl Scout cookies? Am I being a scrooge?

Points+ values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 50 )

I have a Daisy Girl Scout in my house, and I've been a troop leader for years (I have older daughters). I have a lot of cookies in my garage right now. I'm not going to quantify other than to say a lot.

But they're in my garage, not my house. When we're delivering or getting ready for a booth sale I leave them in my van. This cuts down on any temptation.

I view them like a treat, like holiday desserts or other special occasions. I know I'm supporting activities for girls in my area by buying them, but they're expensive enough that I limit how many I get. I put most of what I buy for my family in the freezer and we take out a box every now and then.

And the lemon Savannah Smiles are my favorite too. :)

When they come to my door, I just give a cash donation. I take pleasure in giving with out receiving:)

I have not cared for the artificial flavor of GS cookies since it seemed they changed their recipes years ago. I was against the ingredients more than the calories. I remember there used to be just one that passed my personal taste and healthy meter. Hey, not to be a scrooge myself, but I'm a 60-something, i.e., I remember when GS cookies were really good-tasting and had real ingredients! So, I support the GS by buying cookies and donating them to our community dining room. Same goes for any youngster selling candy! I'm hoping, no I'm confident that someday there will be organic options in fund-raising goodies then I'll still donate some to our community dining room but I'll keep some for me too and just count my calories! :)

If the trans fats were removed I would be far less disappointed. This coming from a silver star girl scout and former group leader, now mom to two boys. They are cookies and are marketed as such. Treats not meals or snacks. They provide many girls the opportunity to participate in camps and trips that otherwise could not afford them. But thr trans fat in some keep them now out of my house.

Frozen cookies are delicious! That little zip of coldness in addition to the lovely cookie-flavor: yumm. You can see that all cookies have to stay out of my house. I buy GS cookies and donate them.

I had friends who managed the campsite where Girl Scouts in the region came to camp. This also happened to be where they stored their cookies. We were given a chance to visit this enchanted place. Cookies from floor to ceiling, wall to wall. :-)

They aren't the healthiest food, but it's only once a year. That is as long as you don't stock your freezer with them. A great way to support the girls is to support an organization that sends the cookies to the men and women serving in war zones. They are working hard and sweating in the desert. The cookies are a welcome treat. It's a win-win-win - you feel good about donating to the troops and the troops, plus your hips aren't growing.

I agree that they should make the cookies healthier . My daughter sold them when she was young. It is a great fundraiser for a great organization, so why not change the recipes to make them better for us?

My daughters were scouts. Sadly, GS of America only gives the kids a few pennies on every box they sell and they donate funds to organizations I do not support. So I felt it was better to opt out of cookie sales and donate funds directly to the troop. A win-win all around.

I love Girl Scout Cookies, but between the price, the calories and finding out the Thin Mints have trans fat, I stopped buying them. Now I make my own.

perhaps they should start selling dried food instead or nicely packaged nuts assortment. however, if the general public will not resist the cookies, this tradition will not go away.

For the past few years, I have bought and then donated the cookies to my local food bank. This way, I am helping the GS and others, and also helping myself by not eating them. :)

Millie, what you are doing is commendable.

I'm with Doreen - I stopped buying GS cookies when I discovered how little the Girl Scout troops actually get of the cost of the cookies they work so hard to sell. I donated directly to the troop instead. This year my granddaughter wanted to earn some sort of prize for selling 100 boxes of cookies donated to the armed services, so I did buy 10 boxes to help her out. I think it's like soda machines in schools - there has to be a better way for children to raise money and shame on the adults for not coming up with one. I personally would not let my girls sell them nor would I buy them because I'm against the whole idea on so many levels - health, low percentage of profits received, amount of time and effort expanded for very little return. But you will note that I gave in this one time to help a little granddaughter, partly because I live on the other side of the country - when I move to town next year, I will explain why I won't participate and will donate directly to her troop. Sometimes you have to pick your battles :-)

Personally I'm passing on the cookies this year partly because they don't fit in with my personal healthy eating plans and partly because I'm concerned about Girl Scout's affiliation with Planned Parenthood and abortion.

Doreen said it perfectly.

I support the girls locally, but the cookie sales are loaded with other agendas besides calories and trans fats.

If you still buy anyway, do it with the knowledge these girls work so hard for so little return.

A corporate shame.

I thank those that donate to troops, etc.

I was a scout leader many years ago , we even had a tour of the Salerno cookie plant when they made them . I loved the thin mints until they started using hydrogenated oil ! It's not the calories I'm concerned with , it is the ingredients , too bad !!

So far this year I have avoided Girl Scout cookies! I hate that they sell them at this time of year when people are really trying to be healthier. I have ignored the people at work selling them for their kids, and walked quickly past a few booths outside stores. I did stop and buy 1 box of thin mints to send to my daughter in college for Valentines day. In years past I would buy at least 20 boxes a year, and my family would eat them all. The girls are always trying to sell more to earn some cheap prize. I was a Girl Scout Leader for several years, and looking back I really do regret the time and energy we wasted selling cookies. I do not believe that the young girls really gain skills from these sales, since the parents and leaders do the work. At the booth I stopped at, they we trying to teach a little girl to make change for a $20. It took so long, I almost left without buying! I don't have all day! Certainly the older girls can learn skills if they actually are responsible for money themselves. We bothered our neighbors and spent so much time for just a small amount of money that actually came back to our troop. I would rather have just paid more dues and fees for activities.

And if I don't want to eat the unhealthy cookies myself, I don't feel it is good to donate them to others to eat.

And donations of money don't necessarily go directly to the troop. The Girl Scout organization wants a portion of those too!

I'm not a big fan of GS cookies but am a HUGE fan of the Girl Scouts! I order cookies from my favorite scout each year but have them donated to our U.S. service men and women.

What if Girl Scout cookies are neither friend or foe? What if they are just cookies?

I spent decades caught up struggling with my weight and obsessing about food. I guess I thought if I could identify the food heroes and villains all would be right with my world! Wrong!!

The trouble is that all the "nutrition" experts keep changing their minds about what's good and what is bad.

Remember when transfats were the savior from the evils of butter?? (I do!)

The more I read, studied, worried, and obsessed the less happy I became. And I still struggled with my weight.

What a terrible waste of my valuable life energy!

My grandmother lived to be 93 and she didn't obsess about food and nutrition. She just ate everything in moderation. And she was happy. So, I'm trying to be more like her and give up all the "good" and "evil" thinking.

A Girl Scout showed up at my door yesterday. I took one look at the pained expression on her face and I was transported back in time to my own cookie selling days, when I rang doorbells and had neighbors refused to make a purchase. It was such a personal assault on a young shy introverted girl.

At the moment I didn't care anything about whether they were healthy or not. I just wanted support a shy young lady who had been courageous enough to knock on a stranger's door and ask for a sale.

So, I bought 3 boxes - Thin Mints, Samoas and Trefoils. I immediately tucked them out of sight in the pantry. I'll bring them out one at a time and put them in the cookie jar for a special treat.

I've now come to believe that the stress from constantly obsessing about my food was probably causing me more damage than the food itself. So, I've decided to relax about all the "good" and "evil" stuff. Since there's a very good chance that whatever is "good" today may be "evil" a few years from now, anyway :-)

And I strive to find a happy/healthy balance that feels right for me.

I was just on the Girl scouts official website checking out the types of cookies that they have and noticed a new flavor called cranberry citrus crisps. The initial descriotion says that the cookies are made with real fruit,whole grain,no HFC & no artificial colrs flavors or sweetners. But when you click on the details to view the ingredients & nutritional info,there is thiamine mononitrate,monocalcium phosphate,soy lecithin & distilled monoglycerides. Those don't exactly sound like non-artificial ingredients to me but nonetheless I would try them as an occasional treat. While I would like it better if the cookies at least contained familiar ingredients that are more food than chemicals,I still find myself getting a few boxes for me & my husband. I do like the thin mints,tag alongs,& samoas but luckily I have enough control to eat only 2 or 3 cookies in a setting and not make it an everyday habit so I don;t think it's so bad to have them as a treat so long as I balance out the rest of my lifestyle in healthier ways

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