When you try so hard to eat healthy and to avoid harmful ingredients, it’s frustrating to find yourself a victim of Label Distraction.
Just yesterday it happened to me…
I was having a pleasant conversation with a woman who works with with me occasionally. She excitedly told me about a new “healthy” packaged snack that she found.
“I thought of you when I tried these fruit gummies,” she said. “It would be so great for your kids. The package says it’s gluten free!”
Hmmmm, I’m not big on packaged foods, especially when it comes to my kids — I’d rather feed them whole foods — but I made a mental note to check out the snack next time I was at the store.
(BTW I love getting food recommendations! My inner food-a-holic lives to discover new and delicious tastes.)
Sure enough, I found the “healthy” gummies and saw the big gluten-free stamp on the label, along with the claim to be made with real fruit.
Good deal, it’s gluten-free and there are pretty pictures of fruit on the package. So I put a box of it in my basket and started off towards the checkout line.
Wait a minute, it hit me that I hadn’t flipped the package over to read the ingredient list. That NEVER happens to me! I’m a die-hard label reader. But this package, with its label full of key words like ‘gluten-free’ and ‘real fruit’ had distracted me right out of my label reading habit.
I stopped in my tracks and flipped the package over, fully expecting it to be made with 100% real fruit…only to see corn syrup listed high on the ingredient list.
Gulp. I almost bought my kids a snack made with corn syrup while feeling like I was getting them something healthy. Yikes, that was a close one.
Then I realized that this was exactly what the food manufacturer was counting on. That their fancy, flashy labels with catchy key words and phrases would distract us right out of reading the actual ingredient list.
Don’t let Label Distraction fool you into purchasing food with unhealthy ingredients. Always read the ingredient list.
You can be sure that I’ll be more vigilant than ever about reading food labels after this near miss!
Here’s where you can find recipes for healthy, homemade snacks made with Real Food Ingredients. Enjoy 🙂