Christmas is indeed one of those most wonderful times of the year. It’s a time when families gather together to celebrate one another and gift gives of appreciation. We get a chance to see those family members who we may not see all throughout the year.
If your family cooks a Christmas dinner, then you know it can be Thanksgiving all over again, but with more red and green. It’s a fun time and you should definitely enjoy yourself. That being said, it should of no surprise that many holiday treats and snacks should be avoided as well.
Christmas Snacks And Treats That Should Be Avoided
There are many treats that we already know to stay away from because we stay away from them the other eleven months of the year. For example, all those different Christmas Hershey Kisses. However, a lot of Christmas snacks are things we’re unfamiliar with.
While Christmas shopping, I was tempted to buy us a gingerbread house. It was something I thought my son would really enjoy. But my oh my, I turned over that box and was so stunned by all the ingredients in there. All I could think was, “Do people really eat this stuff?”
A good rule of them when shopping for food is to buy things with five or fewer ingredients that you recognize. That’s why I put this item back down as soon as possible.
After reading all those ingredients, I wish I would’ve looked at the sugar content. There are so many different forms of sugar in this product listed as different names such as:
- high fructose corn syrup
- corn syrup
The First Ingredients Are What It’s Mostly Made Of
To make it worse, the majority of these different parts list sugar as the main ingredient. On the ingredient label, the order is significant. The ingredients are listed by most to least. Let’s pick apart the “fun stuff”.
Icing: Sugar, water, palm oil, cornstarch, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, modified cornstarch, salt, acetylated monoglycerides (emulsifier), artificial flavor, color (titanium dioxide, yellow #5, blue #1, polysorbate 60, potassium sorbate (preservative) citric acid.
This icing is mostly sugar, water, palm oil, and cornstarch. Then, they added more sugar in the form of deadly high fructose corn syrup, and regular corn syrup. Followed by some GMO’d cornstarch, salt, and a bunch of chemicals. Just in the icing! It also includes artificial colors yellow 5 and blue 1 which are believed to increase hyperactivity in children and give them ADHD-like symptoms.
Artificial flavor is highlighted because this is known as their “secret formula”. Notice that it doesn’t tell you which artificial flavors are used or the ingredients in it. They don’t have to. There can be fifty different ingredients in these “artificial flavors” and the consumer truly has no idea what they’re putting in their body.
Mini Jellies: Corn syrup, sugar, cornstarch, water, natural and artificial flavor, citric acid, sodium citrate, color (titanium dioxide, yellow #5, yellow #6, red #40, blue #1, blue #2)
Again, these mini jellies are mostly made of sugar with the heaviest form being corn syrup and then sugar. After cornstarch and water, we see natural and artificial flavor, which is not disclosing the full list of ingredients and chemicals used in these flavorings. This makes the consumer vulnerable to any illness or disease that these chemicals may cause but also 100% liable. That’s right! If you get sick off of these foods and can even prove it, it doesn’t matter. Since the ingredient label discloses everything it needs to by law, you’re responsible.
After some more chemicals, we see a bunch of different color dyes. Again, these should be avoided.
Peppermint Balls: Sugar, corn syrup, color (titanium dioxide, red #40 lake), peppermint oil.
These peppermint balls are mostly sugar mixed with red #40 lake and oil. Is any of this made of real food?
Christmas Lights: Dextrose, corn syrup, citric acid, calcium stearate, tapioca dextrin, color (titanium dioxide, red #40, yellow #5, blue #1), confectioner’s glaze, carnauba wax.
The Christmas light candies are made of sugar in the form of dextrose and corn syrup, followed by chemicals, artificial coloring, confectioner’s glaze (which is made from resin left behind by Asian beetles) and wax.
I don’t know about you, but none of this sounds appetizing to me at all!
Here’s another good rule of thumb: If it takes longer to read then it does to eat, don’t eat it!
These Pillsbury Products
Funfetti Brownie Mix With Candy Bits: Sugar, enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), candy coated chips (chocolate flavored compound chips [sugar, vegetable fat (palm kernels and/or palm), cocoa powder processed with alkali, dextrose, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, natural flavor, salt, natural vanilla extract], sugar, titanium dioxide, maltodextrin, gum arabic, confectioner’s glaze, fd&c red 40 lake, fd&c yellow 5 lake, fd&c blue 1 lake, and carnauba wax), cocoa processed with alkali, contains 2% or less of: cornstarch, salt, natural and artificial flavor, baking soda, canola oil.
I truly can’t believe there are so many chemicals and unhealthy ingredients in this product. Although I didn’t read all the ingredients, the Betty Crocker Christmas cookies had way fewer ingredients.
This product is nothing but sugar, modified ingredients, chemicals, artificial flavorings (which we don’t know the ingredients of), beetle juice, and artificial coloring.
Frosting: Sugar, palm oil, water, corn syrup, corn starch, canola oil, contains 2% or less of: salt, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 60, modified corn starch, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), soy lecithin, artificial color including red 40, yellow 5 and blue 1, xathan gum, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, antioxidants (ascorbyl palmitate, mixed tocopherols, chamomile and rosemary extracts).
Candy Bits: Sugar, corn syrup, vegetable oil (palm and palm kernel), rice flour, contains 2% or less of: artificial color (including red 40, yellow 5 lake, blue 1 lake and yellow 6 lake), dextrin, soy lecithin, confectioner’s glaze, gum arabic, cellulose gum, natural and artificial flavors, carnauba wax, carrageenan.
It’s scary to think that such little bandy bits can carry so many different chemicals and dangerous substances. Combining the two of these products is insane! No wonder many people feel sick after too many sweets. This stuff is not food!
Always Check The Ingredients
Nonetheless, learning to read a nutrition label is one of the most useful skills I’ve gained. It’s not hard once you get the basics of it. It’s truly sad that companies can get away with loading up “food” with so many chemicals and preservatives. But the truth is, we vote with our money. Every dollar we spend tells the companies what we want more of.
That’s why, unfortunately, there are some products I would never buy. For example, I don’t buy anything with high fructose corn syrup. There have been many times I’ve been tempted to buy items, but the back of the box is nothing but ingredients.
The good news is you can make anything at home with real, wholesome ingredients. Sure, it takes more work and may cost more but your health is worth it. You’re worth it. Your family is worth it. Remember, something is only hard at first. The more you practice, the better you’ll get!
There are many other Christmas treats and snacks out there to avoid this holiday season. Always check the nutrition label before you make a purchase. Stay safe and enjoy some real food!