Saturday, October 3, 2009

Something He'll Eat: A Smucker's Review

"If your kid doesn't eat, let him go hungry."

How many times have I heard this comment made to me? Too many. And I SO wish that I had the luxury of following that rule.

You may not think of it as a luxury, but indeed it is when you have a child such as my older son, Noah.

Call it what you like, Noah has food issues. Although he seems to be starting to grow out of them, they are indeed still there. We discovered them in kindergarten when Noah was having so many problems in class. We toyed with all of the typical "diagnoses", but they just didn't fit, but it was clear that something just wasn't right with the kid.

So close to the end of a very difficult year of school, I started playing with food. Diet, to be more exact. I made some discoveries, such as red dye #40 caused my child to have a difficult time displaying any type of self control. I also discovered that processed sugar breakfast foods wore right out of him and it was as if he hadn't eaten at all. An hour after eating them, he was an emotional basket case for no reason at all.

Over the summer before first grade, I experimented even more with his diet, including beefing up his protein intake and lowering his sugar intake.


I started seeing some major differences. I started researching every food I bought to reduce the artificial dyes in the foods I bought, as well as the sugar content and protein content. The biggest change was in breakfast. I started giving him PB&J with low sugar jelly for breakfast.

As first grade started, we had the mornings pretty much figured out. The first grade teacher, who had shared the classroom with Noah's kindergarten teacher the previous year was amazed at the difference in Noah. She couldn't believe he was the same kid.

But a problem remained lunchtime at school. Noah remained unconvinced that it really made a difference for him and that he could simply throw away what he didn't want to eat like the other kids.

But, unfortunately, for him it matters. He isn't like other kids, that can just not eat if they don't want to. He NEEDS to eat, and at regular intervals to keep his food level steady all day. It is indeed a trait passed on, especially in the males, in my family.

It was a constant struggle all year to get him to be sure to eat everything every day.

Here comes the review part, I promise...

I spent the entire summer leading up to this year's entry in second grade trying out new foods for lunch to make him more willing to eat his lunch, thereby insuring a successful second half to his school day. They don't have hot lunch, but since he has PB&J every morning, I wanted to finally find something that he would enjoy eating and that would keep his protein level up for a few hours before the afternoon snack.

I found it! In Smuckers Uncrustables Grilled Cheese. Noah LOVES them! They come in several varieties:
The regular sandwich varieties start out in the freezer, and while they thaw in the morning, they're ready at lunch time to eat. Because of sugar content and red dye, Noah cannot have several of the other varieties, but Aaron has tried them and likes them. The whole wheat ones are brand new and I am anxious to try them out next with Aaron. For Noah though, we will continue with the grilled cheese.

They come with only four in a box, so I can't give them to him every day. But I am finding that if I rotate them with PB&J some days, and cheese and salami (another one we discovered this summer), I have finally found a way to provide some variety to Noah in his lunch and a motivator for him to eat everything as well.

Smucker's has ended their campaign to give away 80,000 free uncrustables sandwiches, but I would still encourage you to visit their website if you are interested in other ideas for healthy snacking as well as other products available through the company. I was amazed at how many other products were included in the Smucker's brand.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Smucker’s Uncrustables and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. In addition, Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

1 comment:

bethn said...

I'm so glad things are going well for Noah. We love the uncrustables, although we are lucky that Sam's sells a generic grape jelly one so Alex and Dylan can have one nearly every day. It also helps Alex be able to pack his own lunch.

Have a great day!