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Convenience Food is Not Always Junk Food

brotherscrisps.jpgMy seven year old son, "The Cat," is on The Feingold Diet. Without the diet, his difficulty with impulse-control and hyperactivity level rises. The same diet helped me when I was young. For those who are sensitive to the chemicals the diet eliminates, the change can be unbelievably dramatic.

Many parents may hear about the diet and others like it, but choose not to try it because they fear that it involves making everything from scratch. In today's day and age of organic produce and special attention towards "all natural" ingredients, there are more and more packaged products that are Feingold-safe. (Besides, it takes more effort to constantly deal with hyperactivity and impulsiveness issues than it does to make things from scratch, so I would hope that food preparation wouldn't become a barrier to trying the diet.)

I'm starting a new category here to mention and discuss some of the products out there that I use and love. While we still usually make cupcakes from scratch, there are a few mixes out there. And did you know that major fast food chains have Feingold-safe options? It is surprising, but true. Being on the Feingold diet does not mean being deprived.

The Feingold Diet in a nutshell: avoid trigger salycilates (berries, citrus fruit), all artificial colors, all artificial flavors, and all petroleum-based preservatives, such as BHA, BHT, and TBHQ.

Today I will profile what is considered a junk-food staple: the chip. I am pleased that I had the opportunity to try out Brothers NEW All-Natural Potato Crisp. I also received some of their existing Fruit Crisps, including Asian Pear, Banana, and Pineapple.

Brothers All-Natural Fruit Crisps are 100 percent freeze-dried fruit. Each single-serve package contains zero grams of fat and is only 30-70 calories apiece. What I care about is that there is no added sugar or preservatives. I will say it again - no preservatives!

Similarly, Brothers' new product, the Potato Crisps, do not have preservatives either. They are peanut and tree-nut free, gluten free, soy free, dairy free, not genetically modified or engineered. They are vegan and kosher. They don't contain added fat, oils, grease, or Olestra. The Cat tried the Original with Sea Salt variety, but there are three other potato varieties: Black Pepper with Sea Salt, Fresh Onion and Garlic, and Szechuan Pepper and Fresh Chives.

The Cat loved all four types that he sampled. He was particularly a fan of the Asian Pear and Banana. Spliggle preferred Pinapple. Both ate the Sea Salt Potato Crisps, but the Cat liked them the best. Spliggle wanted more spice on his potatoes, and I had to agree. So Splig and I tried the Fresh Onion and Garlic and loved it. I'd like to try Szechuan Pepper and Fresh Chives at some point. But the Cat, who dislikes any heavy tastes, really liked the Potato Crisps with just Sea Salt.

Two "mainstream" chips that are Feingold-safe include Lays and Kettle Chips. The Cat also enjoys Sun Chips. But, Brothers All-Natural Potato Crisps are much more healthful than any of these. While Brothers Potato Crisps have zero grams of fat, the others are 6-10 grams, depending on the variety. Most importantly, Brother's Potato Crisps don't include added oils or sugar.

Similarly, many of the fruit snacks out there have added sugar, preservatives, artificial colors (to simulate a desirable fruit color), and even soy lethicin. Soy is something that to which the Cat is definitely sensitive, so avoiding the various foods that have variants of soy can be difficult. But Brothers All-Natural Fruit Crisps contain... fruit. Yes, fruit, nothing else. They are actual, real fruit.

Since they come in single-serving portions, Brothers All Natural Crisps (Fruit or Potato) are convenient for travel and kids' lunches. Admittedly, the serving portion was about twice what my boys wanted at one time, so I've had to put the same package in for two days in a row to have them finish them off.

I am glad that I was introduced to Brothers Crisps, both for fruit snacking and our potato chip needs. The Crisps may fill a position typically for "junk food," but they certainly aren't "junk," just convenient and healthful!

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