Are Goldfish Crackers a Healthy Snack Option? A Surprising Answer, Plus 3 Alternatives

Disclosure: The following is written by Erica Danziger, Holistic Health Coach and owner of Nature Girl Wellness.. Contact Erica at info@natuuregirlwellness.com.

I can’t believe I did it.

I teach this stuff!

I live these lessons!

How could I have bought my kids Goldfish crackers today?

Sure, we have the occasional junk food when we eat out but….Goldfish – in my house – NEVER!

How it Came to Pass

There we were, in the market and my almost seven-year old son asked if he could buy a certain (junky) cereal.

After offering my standard reply like a drone, “We don’t eat those foods in this family” over and over again, I suddenly realized he needed to know more.

He needed to know WHY.

So I decided to coach my son like I would any client – and he loved it.

  • I taught him first how to find the Nutritional Facts on the side of the cereal box
  • Next, I taught him how to find the number of grams of sugar, as a part of the food’s total carbohydrates and, for correct comparison to other cereals, realize the serving size (9 grams of sugar in a 1 cup serving is less than 9 grams of sugar in a 3/4 cup serving)
  • Finally, I taught him how to identify where sugar was in the order of ingredients (closer to the “first in the order” means there’s “more of it” relative to the other ingredients)

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And then it happened. We came to the Goldfish cracker aisle.

It was big, bright and colorful.

“Sure, go ahead. Let’s explore the Goldfish – especially the colored ones”, I said confidently.  I just knew they didn’t have a chance with my now fully enlightened child.

First three ingredients: enriched wheat, cheddar cheese and oils. While they weren’t great, they didn’t fit the bill of “no way, no how” in our decision-making process.

Next came a bunch of ingredients we didn’t know too much about – two types of yeast and some leavening – nothing too alarming.

I thought, “Wait for it….wait for it….” fully expecting the list to end with artificial food coloring – an ingredient that is a clear and distinct “No-no” in our house.

But there it was — watermelon juice, turmeric powder and beet juice. WHAT?! Naturally colored Goldfish?! Be still my heart.

All the wind went out of my sails and it was nearly impossible to say, “No” to his little inquiring face.

Those Little Fish Made it Through Our Family’s Checklist:

  • No artificial food coloring
  • Refined sugar wasn’t one of the first three ingredients
  • No obvious chemicals or preservatives (most foods were recognizable by name)

With a small package in hand and tiny serving sizes portioned out into Dixie-sized cups I “borrowed” from the coffee stand in the market,  my kids – with huge smiles on their faces – chowed down on their brightly colored fish crackers.

“Just like we have in school!”, my four-year old daughter exclaimed excitedly.

I smacked my forehead. What had I done?

What’s Really Wrong with Goldfish? Are they OK in Moderation?

This is a typical question I hear from my clients when I educate them about the potential dangers in our  food.

Dangerous additives and ingredients are in so many foods that it can be completely overwhelming to a busy parent.

  • You have all the right intentions in mind.
  • You’re not trying to break your children with the food you feed to them.
  • But you also know you can’t be all the way perfect all of the time – it’s just not realistic for your lifestyle.

I can help you do that. We can look together at your family’s health history, take into account your personal lifestyle, discuss what foods your family eats “typically” and what challenges stand in your way to feeding your family the way you want to feed them.

I can support you to find out what “moderation” looks like for you – without judgement or criticism.

Armed with balanced education and realistic strategies, I can help you achieve the health through food that you want so badly you can almost taste it.

Healthier Snack Choices

Of course, fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds are always healthier choices over pre-packaged snacks. But, sometimes, your kid really wants the same snack as the other children and you just want to make the best choice possible in the cracker aisle.

Here are a few of my kids’ favorite packaged salty snacks:

The good news is, there are plenty of natural snacks on the market these days so making smart and healthy choices is super easy. With the support, guidance and coaching I can provide to you, you’ll be unstoppable in the market!

Contact me today to set up your complimentary consultation… Erica Danziger, Holistic Health Coach – info@naturegirlwellness.com.

And register for my tele-course on How to Teach Your Kids to Enjoy Healthy Food.  Click here to register. 

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Disclaimer: I am not an investigative journalist and this information is not to be construed in any way as medical advice or scientific statements. This is simply the story of one Mom’s decision to buy a product — one time.

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Comments

  1. What could be some healthy snacks my child could bring to school but are not in the fridge?

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