Easy Bake Ovens and other desserts

Easy Bake Ovens and other desserts
Easy Bake Ovens and other desserts

I’ve written about the Easy Bake Oven before.

It’s sort of a funny story because my daughter kept calling it a “Queasy Bake Oven” accidentally, though I later found out its pseudonym wasn't far from the truth. Hasbro doesn’t list the ingredients of their baking mixes on their website so I had to call their customer service line to give them to me, but that experience proved to be futile since the customer service representative I spoke to seemed confused, and then told me I would receive a call back within 24-48 hours – but I never did. This was no surprise as we encountered this all the time when we wrote Unjunk Your Junk Food. But that didn’t stop me. Curious, I went to the toy store to see for myself what their mixes were made from, and quickly understood why they didn’t want to disclose them to me over the phone. They were loaded with Scary Seven Ingredients, and it would have taken them forever to read them to me!

Below is a glimpse of the ingredients found in some of their popular mixes:

Easy Bake Oven Red Velvet & Chocolate Flavored Whoopie Pies Kit (above):
This mix is made up of a Red Velvet Cake Mix, a White Frosting Mix, a Pink Frosting Mix, Pink and White Nonpareils (tiny balls made from sugar and starch), and Rainbow Sugar Crystals. This box contains a plethora of Scary Seven ingredients including trans fats (shortening), artificial flavors, artificial colors, and GMOs.

Easy Bake Oven Party Dessert Dippers Mixes

This mix is made up of a Chocolate Brownie Mix, a Cinnamon Stick Pretzel Mix, and a Chocolate Dip Mix. All three mixes contain trans fats (shortening and mono and diglycerides), artificial flavors and GMOs, and one package contains artificial colors.

Easy Bake Oven Party Pretzel Dippers Mixes
This box contains four packages: The Pretzel Mix, Nacho Cheese Sauce Mix, Egg Wash Mix, and Coarse Salt Mix. Yet again trans fats, artificial flavors, artificial colors and GMOs make up a good portion of the list.

Why Are There Still Trans Fats in Kid's Products? 
As you can see above there’s no shortage of trans fats in Easy Bake Oven mixes in the form of oil shortening, soy bean oil shortening, and mono and diglycerides. Most doctors agree there is no safe amount of trans fats. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol (LDL), lower good cholesterol (HDL), increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, have been linked to type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. The good news is the FDA announced in November that companies will no longer be able to include trans fats in their packages products. However, until then, please read all labels carefully to ensure they do not contain any of the following: shortening, partially hydrogenated oils, hydrogenated oils, DATEM, and mono and di- glycerides. You can download a cheat-sheet here.

What's Wrong with Artificial Flavors?
Artificial flavors are designed to mimic the taste of natural ingredients. They are a cheap way for manufacturers to make something taste like real food. They are known to cause allergic and behavioral reactions. Unfortunately the FDA does not require flavor companies to disclose ingredients as long as all the ingredients have been deemed GRAS – "Generally Recognized as Safe." This protects the proprietary formulas of the companies that produce artificial flavors. The issue is, however, that this protection allows for many chemicals to be hidden under the word flavor or artificial flavor on the ingredients list.

GMOs 
I'd bet money the cornstarch, corn syrup solids, sugar, and other ingredients highlighted in blue above are all genetically modified. However, because GMOs don't have to be labelled in the U.S. and Canada, companies don't have to tell us. We just have to make educated guesses. Unless I know for sure that a product is non-GMO, I will leave it on the shelf. GMOs are especially problematic for our little ones, because GMO corn has been shown to cause inflamed allergies in kids.

Cake Pops

Cake Pop's are all the craze these days. Cute, fun, mess-free, easy-to-eat and flavorful, these mini cakes on a stick make for great party treats, loot bags, gifts and just plain old dessert. While Cool Baker's Party Pops may be a No-Bake option, their ingredients are loaded with chemical additives I would not want my kids to eat. The only real food ingredient in this product is dry milk. Yikes!

Its sprinkles may be colorful but they contain trans fats (hydrogenated vegetable oil), and artificial dyes like Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1. For a close up list of conventional sprinkles ingredients you can check out our Label Lessons image here.

Instead of buying pre-made cake pop mixes, try this D-I-Y recipe with your kids (but be sure to substitute her ingredients for organic and non-GMO options). Some cake mixes I really like are from Pamela's Products and NOW Foods, which are gluten-free.

Cool Baker Donut Maker
Cool Baker's Donut Maker also contains chemical-additives like artificial colors, flavors, and GMOs that should be avoided.

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