Naughty or Nice: Magic Shell

Magic Shell is a "Less Often" Food

It’s the holiday season: a time for family, fun and food.  I often tell people that I’m not the best dietitian and, if the American Dietetic Association (soon to be the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) investigated my eating habits, they may put me on probation and stage an intervention.  What can I say?  I have a sweet tooth and I love food and having fun with food too.  That’s why I always have Reddi-Wip or Cool Whip in the house (the “lighter” versions – geez!).  My son loves to make a Reddi-Wip taco with his pancakes and there’s nothing like Cool Whip on a tasty pudding snack.  At least the pudding is a good source of calcium.  And hey, Reddi-Wip is made with real cream.  As for the Cool Whip, well…’s main ingredients are high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oil, but we are only using a couple tablespoons for goodness sake!

As you can see, I can rationalize most foods and prefer not to label any food as “bad”.  Certain foods are just “less often” foods, a real treat that you only have once in a while.  This holds true for Magic Shell in my family.  Magic Shell provides fun and entertainment as you wait for the chocolate to magically harden and create a delicious candy “shell” on your ice cream.  However, if you look at the nutrition label, it may spoil the party.  With a serving size of only 2 tablespoons, Magic Shell (chocolate fudge flavor) contains more calories and fat than a regular hot dog to the tune of 210 calories and 16 grams of fat – Yikes!  Not to mention that 7 grams of the total 16 grams of fat are artery-clogging, saturated fat –  something you don’t expect in your ice cream topping.  This all came up a couple of weeks ago when my son and I were enjoying our ice cream with Magic Shell and discussing the nutrition label.  Once we made the hot dog comparison, he asked that we change the subject, or else he may not be able to finish his dessert.

For a “more often” topping alternative, Hershey’s Syrup (chocolate flavor), is only 100 calories and 0 grams of fat per 2 tablespoon serving.  Hershey’s Syrup is always delicious and has an intense chocolate flavor, but it does not form a shell – which is OK, most of the time.  It’s also great for adding a little flavor to your milk (see my post on flavored milk).

The other day, my son used the Magic Shell, which I only buy a couple times a year.  I noticed that he lightly drizzled it on his ice cream instead of his usual attempts to try and cover it completely…..maybe I’m not such a bad dietitian after all.

***Let us know what you think about Magic Shell – click on the title of this post and scroll down to leave a comment.***


8 Comments on “Naughty or Nice: Magic Shell”

  1. DAD says:

    Magic shell on a hot dog, sounds good. Just kidding.

  2. Rich Adams says:

    That stuff is pure evil…

  3. Sharon says:

    You GO GIRL! You’re my kind of Dietitian (note capitalization)! I’ve been an RD for OMG 33 years. Wisdom, and reality where the rubber hits the road have been my guidelines. You are right on track. I have owned my own practice for 25 years and currently am a private Diabetes Educator at three separate clinics. I’m gettin’ me sum magic shell and some Hershey’s choc syrup for teaching purposes. Let’s see… if I buy a small cup of ice cream and rush back to the office……. Thanks for the fun blog and I’ll be following through email. Sharon Harris, RD, LD, CDE

  4. I hate it when I read the label and then it spoils all the fun!

  5. marie says:

    actually im kinda surprised at this, many of the dieticians i talk to have been heaping praises on coconut oil as a dietary SUPPLEMENT, so i would think that would put magic shell in your good graces heh. At least the homemade version which is nothing but coconut oil and good chocolate… win win!

    • I think the shocker for me with Magic Shell is the amount of fat in those two, innocent little tablespoons – which barely makes much of a shell on your ice cream. It’s a hefty dose of fat (good or bad) for an ice cream topping. Thanks for your comment!

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