Caring for seven school aged children is rewarding, but when it comes to feeding them after school snacks, it can become very expensive. They have huge appetites, and I am always looking for cheaper alternatives. I am on a USDA food program, and am allowed to feed the children cookies twice a week. When I see a great deal on cookies or other snacks, I stock up.
Such was the case when I was shopping at my local Fred Meyer store. They had their Kroger Value cookies on sale for only $1.50, so I bought a few assorted bags. The version we just finished is the Kroger Value Chocolate Chip Cookies.
This bag reminds me of the Walmart “Great Value” brand, the bag is colored red, white and blue. There is a small clear window on the front of the bag that allows you to see the contents, and I appreciate that! The one pound bag contains 36 artificially flavored chocolate chip cookies. These do not taste like homemade cookies, (not many “bagged” cookies do, in my opinion), but they are nice and thick and my daycare children love them.
The front of the bag included some information that really took me by surprise. It states that these cookies are vegetarian and that they contain no preservatives. The calorie counts, fat content, sodium, and grams of sugar are also listed on the front of the bag, in a logo that looks like a house key.
Speaking of nutritional values, two cookies contain 130 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 1.5 grams of trans fats, 0 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 18 grams carbohydrates, less than 1 gram dietary fiber, 8 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.
When I saw that these were labeled “artificially flavored”, I figured that they didn’t contain real chocolate chips, so I looked at the ingredient label. Listed are “cocoa chips” which are made from sugar, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa, cocoa processed with alkali, dextrose, and soy lecithin. Real chocolate chips are made from semi-sweet chocolate, so I guess this is where the “artificially flavored” comes in. While my kids really liked the taste of Kroger Value Chocolate Chip Cookies, I don’t feel they are the healthiest choice that I could purchase for their snacks.
I don’t like buying foods that contain the unhealthy trans fats, and I don’t like the use of hydrogenated oils. I am aware that these days many processed foods contain palm oils, but from now on I will be reading my ingredient labels with a much more critical eye.