Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Popsicles of Death?

So, my 3 year old son needed some blood to be drawn at the doctor's office the other day. It was not a happy ordeal, I'm sure you can imagine. It took me and a nurse to hold him down and another nurse to draw the blood. Poor guy. In his heart-wrenching tears afterwards he asked for popsicles and I told him we'd go to the store and he could pick out any popsicles he wanted.

He decided on some Dora the Explorer popsicles that came in different shapes and colors. Definitely an attraction for a toddler. (Note: He has no clue who Dora is. We don't have TV.) Well, we get home and I'm looking at the ingredient list. I started kicking myself instantly: water, liquid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, various fruit juices, turmeric oleoresin (what?), and ice structuring protein (huh?) Lesson #1 - Having a toddler pick out their own junk food isn't a good idea.

This is the first time that I've researched the unknown ingredients in food that I've bought, but I did learn some things. Oleoresin is a fatty byproduct leftover from extracting spices into their powdery form and helps the popsicles keep their shape. And ice structuring proteins are proteins found in organisms that can withstand below freezing temperatures (like certain types of mushrooms.) These popsicles I bought were "slow melt" which sounds freaky to me.

In the end, the popsicles didn't have bizarre toxic chemicals (at least none that I'm aware of.) But I definitely want to stay away from corn syrup if I can. Next time - I'm making our own popsicles! After all, it's one of the easiest treats to make ever. (Or we can just buy the sugar free fruit popsicles too if it's an emergency like a post-blood draw...)


Rachel B. said...

I love popsicles but I try to at least go for the ones that have chucks of fruit in them. I like Edy's strawberry fruit bars, and Whole Fruit popscicles.The whole fruit popscicles have a little better ingredient list:
Ingredients: Water, Mangos, Sugar, Mango Puree, Corn Syrup Solids, Guar Gum and Carrageenan, Natural Flavors, CItric Acid, and Annatto (for color)
I like how the fruit is listed second and fourth. Those babies only have 60 calories. A almost prefect snack. Take out the corn syrup, guar gum (a thickener), and carrageeman (a thicker made from seaweed) and perhaps annatto (plant that makes a yellow/orange food coloring) and we'll be even better.

Katherine said...

It won't kill him, Sarah, to have that 'scary' stuff once in awhile, so I wouldn't feel bad about it. Yeah, perhaps make your own, or stop by a gas station and have him pick ONE out, rather than a box of 'em.

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