Prior our School district’s plan to serve daily breakfast consisting of packaged foods to the whole student body, our conversations about food were mundane; “can I get the recipe for that salad?, the one you brought to the barbecue.”

As controversy over the breakfast program grew, Moms (and Dads) talked about foods in more meaningful ways. We talked about preservatives, sugar, hydrogenated oil and nutrition. Through these conversations I discovered that many of the local moms thought MY children lived without most of the truly yummy foods.

The School district abandoned the program before it was implemented. But regarding my family’s “real food,” I was glad for the opportunity to set the record straight. My kids get to eat a lot of yummy things, even foods that have sugar and fat. Albeit, no fake sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, or preservatives that I can avoid.

My Fruit Yogurt – Yummy Real Food Version of a Convenience Food

Turns out, Fruit Yogurt is a popular breakfast food in my community. Kids like yogurt with fruit mixed in, my kids are no exception. I don’t buy the ready-made type from the Super Market. yogurt & strawberries

I make yogurt cups with:
  • unsweetened natural yogurt.
  • sliced fruit
  • homemade jam- if I have it. If I haven’t made jam,
    I look for a simple jam. (10g sugar per Tbsp or less)

I’m always surprised when a national brand tries to do better. I’m not sure when Welch’s started making a more natural jam. The company calls it “Natural Strawberry Spread,” but it seems like jam to me: [Ingredients: sugar, strawberries, fruit pectin, citric acid, red grape juice concentrate, natural flavor]

The last ingredient concerns me. Is it necessary to put flavor in this product? Let’s face it, jam is not a food, it’s not healthy any way you make it. I’m looking for jam that isn’t full of unnatural and unnecessary things. Lacking preservatives, the label advises that the product be consumed within 3 months. I’m fine with that.

Watch for Sodium Benzoate. Sodium benzoate is a preservative found more often in low sugar jams. Low sugar jams are more inviting to bacteria. The FDA approves the use of sodium benzoate to prevent low sugar jams from spoiling. The FDA does not however state that sodium benzoate is benign. The FDA’s position seems to be; the amount consumed in the average diet is not harmful. Others disagree. A recent British study on preservatives shows a link between behavior problems and sodium benzoate.

When I hear “safe in limited amounts,” I wonder the size and weight of the person the “amounts” are meant for. The safe amount for a person weighing 150 pounds?; 200 pounds? I doubt the ratio considers children.

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