April 02, 2010

Bar Exam

Nutri-Grain bars were a staple in our house. Quick snack, easy to pack in a bag, the car, running out the door.

Look in pretty much any parenting magazine and I guarantee you will see an ad for a Nutri-Grain cereal bars. My kids love them and I love the convenience of them.

But what *are* they. Let's take a look (Strawberry Nutri-Grain bar):
FILLING: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, STRAWBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, WATER, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM CITRATE, METHYLCELLULOSE, CARAMEL COLOR, MALIC ACID, RED #40. CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SUNFLOWER AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, HONEY, DEXTROSE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, NONFAT DRY MILK, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE (LEAVENING), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, PROPYLENE GLYCOL ESTERS OF FATTY ACIDS, SOY LECITHIN, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID. 


Yikes.  This breaks more than a few of Michael Pollan's Food Rules!

If you think this is food, then can you please pass me the Sodium Alginate?

Of course I would love to make breakfast for my kids every morning, but getting the kids dressed, me dressed, lunch and breakfast packed, coffee made and out the door before 7:30 means that not every breakfast or snack is homemade.  

So how did we clean up our pantry and do it in a low-cost, convenient way?

Our new favorite bars are Clif Z bars and Lara Bars.






Honey Graham Clif Z Bar:
Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Oat Flour, Organic Fig Paste, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Honey, Organic Soy Butter, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup, Organic Oat Fiber, Organic White Coating (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Rice Extract, Organic Vanilla Extract), Natural Flavors, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Baking Soda, Salt.


Apple Pie Lara bar: Dates, Almonds, Unsweetened Apples, Walnuts, Raisins, Cinnamon



Now Lara Bars are a little pricey, around 1.25 if they are on sale. But we are talking all natural ingredients here.
The Clif Z Bars are much better. We get them as a "subscription" from Amazon, so every month we get a case of bars which put them about $.49 each and free shipping.  Even though Z bars are more expensive than Nutri-grain bars, I feel much better about the ingredients that are going into those little bodies than the ingredients in the cereal bars. 



2 comments:

Mia said...

Lara Bars are fantastic. When I had to be on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (which basically means you can't eat anything) these helped get me through the day. I'll have to give the Clif bars a try - my gf just bought a huge box of Kashi Go Lean Crunch bars, but considering how much sugar I assume is in them, I'm not trying to hop on that bandwagon.

Christy Z said...

Yeah, we used to get the Kashi bars, the crunch and the Go Lean. They certainly fill you up! Be sure to drink at least a full glass of water with those things...don't want the pipes to clog. :)