Lately, Snack Girl has been deluged by requests about toaster pastries and frozen waffles. So, I decided to take a walk down the cereal aisle.
On the top shelf were two brands of toaster pastries: Fiber One and the famous Pop-Tarts. Both brands were advertising a 20% daily value of fiber. Could Kelloggs have transformed Pop-Tarts into a healthy choice?
Regular Pop-Tarts have less than 1 gram of dietary fiber. New and improved Pop-Tarts have 5 grams of dietary fiber, which has been added by using whole wheat flour as the first ingredient. Remember that they are not considered 100% whole grain unless all of the flour used to make them is whole grain flour.
The problem here is that the rest of the ingredients in this chocolate fudge Pop-Tart remain the same. High fructose corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, corn syrup, are just a few of the examples of the sugar added to these pastries.
It is admirable for Kelloggs to want to improve Pop-Tarts. My opinion is that this is lipstick on a pig.
I do like Pop-Tarts, but they should be considered a cookie and NOT breakfast. I can't imagine eating 380 calories (2 Pop-Tarts) and feeling like I had a great start to my day. I would have consumed 28 grams of sugar - 6 teaspoons! - and I am sure I would crash around 10 AM.
I know this is not news, but breakfast is your most important meal of the day. It sets you up to feel good or feel like crap. If you can only make one meal a healthy one - this is the one to choose.
My suggestion is to look for other cereals or frozen pastries that have both fiber and less sugar. Basically, what works for cereal (see: Candy or Breakfast? Evaluate Your Cereal will work for other "cereal like" products.
Use your common sense as well. Do you really think something called "Frosted Chocolate Fudge" is going to be a healthy breakfast?
I know that there isn't a parent out there who doesn't want to give kids what they want. This packaging helps parents to absolve their guilt when their children demand Pop-Tarts. So, give them these improved Pop-Tarts, but as a TREAT not as breakfast.
What do you think of PopTarts? Please share.