Burden of Knowledge

It was bad enough spotting the return of the school supplies last week in Target.

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This week I have to deal with the end-cap displays of Twinkies.

To reinforce the return of the crème-filled yellow sponge cakes, the little boy said, in a whisper, and I quote:

“Do you know how embarrassing it is to be 9 years old and to have never eaten a Twinkie?”

Did I feel guilty? Yes.

Did I buy a box? No.

I mean, I guess everyone should experience a Twinkie once in their lives but I knew yesterday was not the day for him.

We proceeded passed the Twinkies in search of Gatorade.


He insisted on bringing Gatorade to camp.

I of course wanted him to bring the dye-free Gatorade.

And of course Target was out of the Gatorade of my choice.

All they had left was what I refer to as the bottles of – Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5.


If you aren’t familiar with the questionable dyes and additives in our foods, I highly recommend the website, www.dyediet.com. Click here for a the link to the article regarding the artificial colors in Gatorade.

Sometimes I feel burdened by my knowledge and awareness related to the questionable ingredients in our food.

Maybe it would be better if I saw a Twinkie as simply a sponge cake filling with creamy goodness instead of a box laden with chemicals you can chew.

I wish I could still view Gatorade as the Thirst Quencher rather than envision the artificial colors that wreak havoc on our bodies and have been linked to ADHD.

If you don’t have children, trust me, once you do, you will limit any possible food source that may slightly raise the risk of hyperactivity.

Children should be seen not heard is a great little motto.

Sometimes I think it would even be better if I could just acknowledge caloric content and ignore the ingredients labels that stretch the lengths of the packages. But I can’t.

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Take these new Chocolate Peanut Butter Pop-Tarts for example (conveniently displayed on another Target aisle end-cap).


Forget the calories- I can’t ignore the fact that you don’t see peanut butter in the list of 50 ingredients until you pass the first seven. And chocolate isn’t until after that.

Not to mention, did you know these chocolate and peanut butter pop things also contain the artificial colors of blue, red and yellow?

Last I checked, chocolate and peanut butter were brown.

I ended up compromising with the little boy on the Gatorade. I let him pick one small bottle of his choice.

I realize I can’t shield my son from everything and I really don’t want to create a situation where he feels so smothered by his health conscious mother that he ends up only wanting what he can’t have.

With this in mind, perhaps his first Twinkie experience should be of the fried Twinkie version that I have seen at street fairs.

We can even go all out and get a side of fried Oreos and fried Snickers bars and then we can call it a day. And a stomach ache.

Question of the Day:

Do you read the labels for the calories or the ingredients?

Author: The Cookie ChRUNicles

Hi! I'm Meredith. Join me while I run and cook my way through single motherhood. It is always an adventure trying to teach my 12 year old son the benefits of an active lifestyle combined with healthy eating while of course, still leaving room for dessert.

6 thoughts on “Burden of Knowledge”

  1. I didn’t used to read labels, but now I definitely do. Here’s my thing, I don’t mind splurging on food sometimes, but if an everyday food item is outrageous in calories like a granola bar that is 300+ calories for 4 bites of food well that is not going to happen. I’m also a lot more concerned about getting items without additional sweeteners. When you know what is and isn’t good for you, buying packaged goods becomes difficult and narrows your choices, I think.

  2. The section of health coaching training that I’m in right now is all about children and how to help them make healthy choices without being overburdening, etc. It’s hard! But you’re doing the right thing! And when they grow up, they’ll be so happy for the fundamentals that you’ve taught!

  3. I definitely read the labels–I do look at the calories, but I am mostly interested in the amount of saturated fat, carbs, fiber, and most recently: protein. I realized recently that I am not getting nearly enough protein, so I’ve added that to my list. I rarely read the ingredient list.

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